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I live in a world where I am required to continually raise the performance of my sales team worldwide.

Any time I come across an idea that I find successful in my own business I like to write it up as a blog post to share it others who are also focused continually on raising sales performance.

Here’s a selection of those articles…

A MAGIC NUMBER FOR LEADERS: 2.9013

A MAGIC NUMBER FOR LEADERS: 2.9013

What sort of investment would you expect to make to drive the engagement and productivity of your team up by 40% or more? If you could start today and were confident you could get this level of increase for absolutely no cost would you be prepared to make a few changes in the way you deal with your people day to day? Of course you would!  The approach to achieveing such increased performance hinges on a little known ‘magic number’ – 2.9013. What has 2.9013 to do with rocketing my team’s productivity? For more than ten years researcher Marcial Losada has studied what drives the performance and productivity of teams drawn from all over the world. His research demonstrates that the ratio of positive experiences to negative experiences in the workplace has a huge impact on the productivity of teams. Losada found that the absolute minimum ratio to maintain a neutral workplace environment (neither negative nor positive) is a positivity/negativity (P/N) ratio of 2.9031 – and this lower limit has become known as the ‘Losada Line’. Get this ratio above 2.9013:1 and you begin to positively impact the productivity of the team. Losada’s research says that the maximum ratio for positively impacting performance is 11:1, and that the optimum for a positive, productive environment is 6:1. The space between the Losada Line at 2.9031:1 (3:1) and the maximum of 11:1 is known as the ‘Losada Zone’ Operate inside this zone and your team will ‘flourish’, achieving a ‘flow’ state – where team members report that time flies by when they work, creativity thrives and productivity increases dramatically. This flow... read more
HOW TO WRITE A BOOK TO ENHANCE YOUR PERSONAL BRAND – STEP 2

HOW TO WRITE A BOOK TO ENHANCE YOUR PERSONAL BRAND – STEP 2

This is the third post in a series that shows you how to write a book that will put your career on a faster track and dramatically improve your personal brand. For an overview of this series on how to write a book have a quick read of the first post before reading on.  If you’ve already read the first post then I recommend that you read the second post too – this step will make more sense when you’ve done so. In Step 1 you started the process of capturing onto your ‘war room’ walls all of the ideas and topics you have had flying around in the back of your mind since you first started thinking that you might write a book – one idea or topic per Post-it.  This is an exciting time – as all of the ideas you have make it to paper you starts to get a hazy idea of how your book might look.  After all of the time you spent thinking about it it’s exciting to finally be doing something concrete to make your book a reality – that’s Step 2: ‘Structure Your Book’. Step 2: Building Momentum Step 2 consists of three actions After a few weeks or months (depending on how much you throw yourself into the process and upon the scope of your book) you will have completed a ‘brain dump’ of most of those ideas and you could start to run out of steam. Of course, as we discussed in the last post, your subconscious (your Reticular Activating System) will still remain alert for any potential topics that come up... read more
2 STEPS TO BECOMING AN EXPERT – IN ANYTHING

2 STEPS TO BECOMING AN EXPERT – IN ANYTHING

Want to be a leader others want to follow?   Then become THE recognized expert in your field and watch your star rise.  Here’s a simple two-step program for becoming an expert in any topic you choose: 1st Step: Develop Your Expertise Continually In the 2nd step we’ll look at how to get recognition as an expert but first you must choose a topic you want to have recognized as your area of expertise. Then you have to build some expertise that’s worth recognizing. How do you do that? Read! It’s that simple – if you wish to build expert power you need to read much more than anyone else on your chosen topic. Focus upon the newest books that specifically address the latest developments in your field and create a greater expertise gap distance between you and your peers. Most people learn about new developments third or fourth hand. To become an expert learn first hand. And learn first. Step 1: make it a goal to read just of these books per week and your expertise will grow exponentially. This first step is just a matter of dedication and persistence. But you become a recognized expert by following the second step in this program. 2nd Step: Build Your Expert Reputation – Share Your Knowledge It’s not enough to be an expert – you must also let people know that you have this expertise. This is no time to be modest. Write at least one article on the best application of whatever you learn from your reading each month – save others from having to read those four or five... read more
SELLING YOUR VALUE PROPOSITION IN A TIGHT ECONOMY

SELLING YOUR VALUE PROPOSITION IN A TIGHT ECONOMY

Selling in Tough Times – III In the first post of this three-part mini-series on ‘Selling in Tough Times” we looked at the vital first step of cleaning up your sales forecast. In the second post of the series we looked at how you uncover the new purchase process in each of your target deals. You now have a forecast that contains only real deals that you genuinely believe you can close.  You have also have scoped out the new decision-making process for each of those deals. In this final post of this series it’s now time to look at repositioning your offering to give you the best possible chance of winning the business. STEP 3: EXAMINE YOUR VALUE PROPOSITION When the buyers or purchase process in one of your key opportunities changes it’s key that you see how what you currently have on offer stacks up to the expectations of the new buyers. When you first submitted your proposal the climate within the target organization may have been very different indeed. Previous arguments and justifications for your proposal may have become redundant – if they were not formulated to appeal to particular motivations of a new set of buyers. With all of the understanding you have of the new decision-makers and their motivations look critically at the business case you are currently promoting for your deal. Will it appeal to these new buyers with their different priorities? You’ll need to be convinced that your proposal stacks up under three main criteria: Positioning. Be certain that all of your arguments and justifications will work two or three pegs higher... read more
7 REALLY POWERFUL GESTURES

7 REALLY POWERFUL GESTURES

Do your body languages and gestures contradict the words that come out of your mouth? If you ever need to communicate or persuade you need to be sure you’re not betraying yourself unconsciously with poor body language or negative gestures. The first post in this series got you started with you with some basic gesture ‘vocabulary’ you can use to positive effect.  The second post presented the ‘Terrible 13’ – those negative gestures to be avoided at all costs. Here are seven really powerful gestures and body language elements that combine the gesture ‘vocabulary’ from the first post to provide you with an extremely effective set of gestures that have a universally positive and powerful effect.. 1. “I have nothing to hide”. Stand straight with good straight posture and relax your shoulders so that you’re not too stiff in appearance. Position your feet at about shoulder width, one slightly more forward than the other (to steady yourself), and lean in slightly. Hold your elbows at about 90 degrees and turn your hands to your conversation partner or audience, palms up, fingers slightly splayed, showing them your fully open palms. Make sure they have an unimpeded view of your solar plexus. An alternative version that gives the same effect and can give you variety, especially when presenting to a large audience where you want to make yourself look bigger on a stage, is to spread you arms out from the shoulders, again hands and fingers up with your palms facing forward fully. Showing your palms is always positive body language.       2. “From the heart” / “I mean this sincerely”.... read more
Business Proposal Layout – Choosing the Right Fonts

Business Proposal Layout – Choosing the Right Fonts

As important as any element in your business proposal layout is the selection of the right fonts for your business proposals. Typefaces & Typography Although the two words ‘typeface’ and ‘font’ do not mean precisely the same thing you will frequently see the terms used interchangeably. For our purposes, when talking business proposal layout, any time I use the word ‘typeface’ or ‘font’ I will be referring to the choice of typeface. As there are literally tens of thousands of typefaces already in existence you do not have to become a typography expert to create readable proposals. However, you do need to understand one or two key principles in order to be able to make the best decisions when it comes to selecting the fonts you will use in your proposal. Typefaces & First Impressions The typeface you select conveys a very strong message to your reader as to how you regard your content and really forms the foundation of a successful business proposal layout. When it comes to proposal evaluation your readers will ‘read’ the subliminal messages that your fonts send about your attitude to the content just as surely as they’ll read what you actually write. Look at the typefaces below – in this example all are used to present the same message, but the typeface ensures that there is some considerable variation in the way that message is conveyed: Figure 1: The Impact of Font Selection The first two typefaces presented above (Times New Roman and Arial) are very widely available, tend to be standard inclusions in pretty much every word processing program, and are classic... read more

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