Archive for category Training & Development

Mindfulness – Wakening to the Framework of What-Is and What-Is-Not, The Law of Reversibility

(The Foreword to my forthcoming booklet, The Threefold Death – Mindfulness: Wakening to the Law of Reversibility)

Face Optical IllusionImage courtesy of interestingcreativedesigns

The Law of Reversibility

Situations (events and people) can affect your emotional state. The reverse holds true too; inducing that same emotional state will manifest those same events and people into your life.

Manifesting is not attracting. It’s creating something that’s already there, yet unseen, vibration. This is the paradox of duality. For ‘something’ to be present, ‘not-that-something’ also exists, at the same time. For example, when you ask someone to marry you, they may say, “yes” (success) or “no” (not-success). You know the shape of a building because the air around it is not-that-building.

So how can you apply this principle to life and death? Answer: it requires a fundamental reframe.

The opposite of death is not life, it is birth. Life is eternal.
Paraphrased from Eckhart Tolle

There is no such thing as death in the traditional sense of its definition. Upon death, the physical body returns to its constituent elements and consciousness leaves the body, unseen, reborn into the vibration it came from. Death and birth are coincidental. You give birth to new levels of consciousness in life by bringing death to, killing, those things that you allow to stop the birthing process. And…

You can only bring death to, or kill, that which you have power over (i.e. the properties of things you own or control): your personality, your feelings, your outlook – and how you perceive, and thus respond to, the information you amass through your five senses (sight, sound, touch, smell and taste). You do not have control over the events and people in your life – but you always have control over how you respond to them.

Author’s extract from Defrag your Soul: If you perceive life negatively for a few hours, people will think you’re in a mood. If your negativity lasts a few weeks, others may think that you’re depressed. If your negativity sustains over a longer term, others will define you as someone with a negative personality – or of a negative character.

Your outlook in life shapes your responses to its peaks, middles (“Glass half full, half empty?”) and troughs. Your sustained responses, define your character – and thus your destiny…

All that happens is the result of character; the only manner in which the destiny can be changed is to change the character … (and) can be markedly altered in any direction desired.
CC Zain

A deeper process of ‘personal alchemy’ is at work…

Strength of character comes not from a life of ease and tranquillity but from a life in which our hearts, minds and sometimes bodies are pitted against forces we do not understand.
Paraphrased from The Druid Plant Oracle, by Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm

Change in your consciousness is only brought about by changing your character; ergo, changes (preceded by deaths) to certain aspects of your personality and feelings, which in turn are shaped by the framework of how you perceive the information you gather through your five senses. Life, at some level, is thus about opening, as Aldous Huxley so eloquently puts it, the doors of perception AND shaping your character accordingly and consciously.

As you open the doors, you waken to the framework of what-is and what-is-not, the principles of spirit and matter, the Laws of the Light, the framework of truth borne of justice, just-is. It requires focus, imagination, faith in yourself, and a cleansing of the mind.

All whom I love I teach, but first confute,
Thus from their minds all errors to uproot.
For truth by biased minds is ne’er divined,
Therefore seek wisdom, but first cleanse the mind.

(
From Message to the Hierarchy of Selene, from The Restored New Testament: The Hellenic Fragments…, by James Morgan Pryse)

Otherwise you will not know clearly whether you will manifest what you want or its polar opposite, its duality…

The Paradox of Duality

To know love, for example, you need to know not-love. So learning not-love serves a purpose. You are indirectly learning about love. And you won’t experience love wholly until you complete your learning. Here lies the rub of duality. This is how life works.

 

3FD Paperback Cover

So…

Be clear that what you imagine will bring you what your soul seeks. And know that all the things you experience – that you don’t want – serve a purpose.

My forthcoming booklet describes three fundamental deaths (or reframes) to aspects of personality, feelings and perception of what-is and what-is-not  – or as the story of Merlin portrays, The Threefold Death.

These three reframes are fundamental to your wakening.

Shine on…!

/|\

Paul C Burr

Business/Personal Performance Coach, Author, Public Speaker, Visiting Lecturer, Singer, Film Extra and Model

Facebook: Beowulf (>15,000 followers)

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Blue Moon in Aquarius, 31 July 2015….

Blue_Moon-580x386…..opposing the generous and regal Leo in you, whose pride is easily hurt.

Take a big step back a look at the structure of, and emotions in, your life.
How have you developed over the last two weeks?
How have you developed over since January, this year?

Include yourself, in mind, body and spirit….
Emotionally, where or with whom have you received (a balance with) what you give?
Where are you giving too much? Do you do so out of duty, fear or love?
Where are you receiving more than you give? Do you do so out of pleasure or fear?

Take another step back. Look at the big picture in your life. Consider the consequences of your fears. This is a good time (When is it not?) to switch out all the decisions you are making in life out of fear.

Ask Billie Holiday! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9LOB_I7sgoI

Shine on…!

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Paul C Burr

Business/Personal Performance Coach, Author, Public Speaker, Visiting Lecturer, Singer, Film Extra and Model

Facebook: Beowulf (>15,000 followers)

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Druid Science – The Death or Rebirth of Incompletions

An extract from my forthcoming booklet (working title), The Threefold Death: the changes you make to approach inner wakefulness.

Of Spirit Force…

I can tell you as a result of my research about atoms this much: There is no matter as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume, behind this force, the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter.
Max Planck, 1917

Max Plank

Image courtesy of Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestial Science

The future ‘dies’ when it meets the present – which ‘dies’ instantaneously into the past. There is plenty of evidence to prove what has happened in the past. Statisticians, economists and scientists gather evidence to project what will happen in the future. Despite all the evidence, the past no longer ‘is’ and future ‘is not’ yet present.

The only moment that truly ‘is’, is the present. Yet there is no evidence that the present tense exists – by this I mean, as close as scientists get to it, the present tense cannot be experienced through our five senses; it thus cannot be measured. What scientists measure instead is the before and after effects of ultra-micro interactions in time and space: for example, proton collisions, using the Hadron Collider in Switzerland. The Present Tense – which cannot be measured directly – is termed by scientists as a singularity point.

According to The Big Bang Theory, the universe started with such a singularity point. We can measure to within a zillionth of a second what happened after its inception, but we are not sure what banged – and the question of ‘why’, what-banged banged, transcends philosophical, religious, mystical, spiritual, and metaphysical domains.

The same holds true for black holes and dark matter. Scientists know of their existence because of the effect they have on things that can be observed and measured. Mathematical theory suggests that time and space collapse into nothing, a singularity point, at the centre of a black hole.

Time and space emanate from singularity points and ultimately return. And what fills that time and space (according to Planck and the ancients) is but a projection of the universal mind – of which you are an essential part. Through your mind you project thoughts, speak words and commit actions. And…

You are governed by The Laws of the Light and The Law of Consequences which, collectively, invoke dharma (Divine will) and karma (consequences).

The Laws of the Light:

When you commit to a journey, in line with your and others’ consciousness needs, at the right time and place, what you need will come your way.

The Law of Consequences:

What you project (do, say and think) out to the universe, returns to you amplified.

You attract, in/from the future, everything that is complete as well as incomplete in your approach to achieving your goals in life.

  • Completion: When something within is complete; you do, say, think, and feel things borne of the heart – love, light, compassion, patience, enthusiasm, and curiosity. You will have The Laws of the Light with you.
  • Incompletion: Unchecked, will invoke things you do, say and think not borne of the heart but instead borne of anger, shame, hurt, or fear.

I shall focus primarily on incompletions.

Should you learn and act appropriately from future’s gift (‘present’), you ‘complete your incompletion’. The incompletion unifies with its duality and thus is no longer perceivable by the mind. Zero projection by the mind means ‘it’ no longer exists in time and space. ‘It’, your completed incompletion, dies into the Present Tense, your true nature.

Should you ignore (or remain ignorant of) your incompletion, it travels unacknowledged into the past only to resurface again in (or back to) the future. Why? Because your mind is still projecting this incompletion through your thoughts, words and deeds.

The most common example, I know of, is the troublesome relationships that we invoke, time and time again. Relationships that keep repeating until we learn what we need to learn about ourselves and then ‘do’ something different in our approach. I have fallen foul of this as much as anyone I know.

Incompletions (recap: the inner things in me that attract the outer things I allow to make me feel angry, ashamed, hurt or fearful) keep being reborn in my life until I transcend to become my true nature – the love, light, truth and gnosis: the chokmah or wisdom of the I-am, the Je-suis, the Je-su(i)s within – as one of the standing stones in a circle at Stonehenge. This is my purpose in life.

Stonehenge under a red sky

Shine on…!

/|\

Paul C Burr

Business/Personal Performance Coach, Author, Public Speaker, Visiting Lecturer, Singer, Film Extra and Model

Facebook: Beowulf (>15,000 followers)

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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)

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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

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The Mystique to the Game of Life

IMG_1662Extracts from my forthcoming booklet (now in draft form, being proof-read):

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

#Mindfulness in Relationships Series, No 1

Have you ever loved someone so dearly and have that love not returned? The other person shares everything apart from their love. They refuse to surrender themselves to the process of love; the unconditional surrender of freedom to the commitment that love requires.

Have you ever felt sick to the stomach over unrequited love?

Have you ever yearned in your heart or loins for someone when your head is telling you…

  • “This is absolutely the wrong partner for you”?
  • “Bottom line, she/he just doesn’t fancy you”?
  • “You and him/her, it’s never going to happen”?

Or something like

  • “She/he simply doesn’t love you the way you love her/him”?

Your head judges, your loins desire sexual fulfilment and your heart seeks to share love. I call this the Head, Heart and Loins dynamics of a relationship. When all three are aligned, within and between partners, their relationship is probably in good shape to meet the outcomes they seek. (The same holds true for a personal friendship whether there is a sexual element to that friendship or not.) I speak neither of good nor bad, nor moralise. I speak of the process of achieving a purpose through the journey to the goals you set for the relationship, be those goals profound or for short term recreation.

Mindfulness, sometimes referred to as being present in the moment, is the process of creating love, enthusiasm, compassion, patience and completeness in the moment (by moment) – regardless of whether these vibrations are returned or not. It takes mindfulness to fulfil a relationship’s true purpose, which curiously can be achieved whether the goals are achieved or not.

For example, in movies and songs I’ve heard the phrase, “You complete me”. Well if someone’s purpose is to become complete and they set a goal to find someone who completes them – what happens should they achieve completeness? They no longer need someone else for that purpose.

Other people don’t complete you. You find ‘completeness’ through the journey to ‘completeness’; you find ‘oneness’.

Mindfulness is the vehicle by which to travel the journey.

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

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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…!
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Paul C Burr

Business/Personal Performance Coach & Author

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“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…!
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Paul C Burr

Business/Personal Performance Coach & Author

Image courtesy of Fans Share

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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

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The Currency of All Relationships: Truth, Trust and Passion

QG3 BookCoverPreview.do

Shine on…!
/|\
Paul C Burr

Business/Personal Performance Coach & Author

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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