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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…

VALUE ADDED LEADERSHIP

Since the global economy started going pear-shaped at the back end of 2008 all of your people have taken a beating and, even if they choose not to show it to you, their egos are bruised, their self-worth is seriously hammered, and their self-esteem and confidence is at its lowest ebb for many years. Do you want to have any chance of engaging them in helping you get the results you need to thrive in this challenging economy? Then YOU have to help them fix that – now! There has never been a more important time than now for you, a leader, to validate your people. As I started writing this post I did what I always do as I write – I Googled my topic. I hit this powerful short film within three results of the top. Watch it – and you’ll see why it ranks so highly with the search engines (how come this was around since 2007 and I didn’t stumble across it before?!) The best communication pieces tell you what you realize you already knew to be true – but probably hadn’t realized. This short film does just that – it reminds you of the incredible power of something as simple as identifying, and then recognizing, the particular strengths of each of your people. If you’re short on time just watch the first 3 minutes for the message. POWerful! If you’ve 16 minutes and need a smile and a little old-fashioned sentimental ‘feel-good’ then go for the whole film! So, how do you as a leader become a Hugh Newman (the film’s hero) to your... read more
What is a Business Proposal?

What is a Business Proposal?

Used properly business proposals are tools that could easily double your hit rate on the business you pursue, substantially increase the margin on all the business you win, and bring existing and new clients back to you again and again. My focus throughout this entire business proposals post series is upon teaching you how to write excellent, winning proposals, step-by-step. Before getting into the other great resources here on business proposals, though, it’s important to be sure that when we talk about proposals — who uses them, why they are used, and how you will learn to produce “best of class” examples — that we are all thinking about the same thing. It’s important to be sure that we have a common answer to the question “what is a business proposal?” The Business Proposal – a Definition Anyone involved in modern solution selling need to be an expert proposal writer. A proposal is a lot like the artist’s sketch of a new building, which shows the general form of the proposed structure. It’s not intended to be a detailed floor plan (a specification), or a detailed blueprint showing electrical or plumbing arrangements  (a design), nor is it supposed to be the final product. A business proposal is designed to describe — to an extent sufficient to sell the idea — the concept you are proposing to your client. There are many more grandiose definitions of just what a proposal is, but the following describes those everyday that make up the majority of proposals you’ll come across: ‘A written proposal is a selling document, a statement of  your capabilities to address a given client requirement.  A proposal says I can... read more
TWO ATTITUDES OF GREAT LEADERS

TWO ATTITUDES OF GREAT LEADERS

Great business leaders are defined as those who: “… create and maintain a work environment where people are emotionally and intellectually committed to the organization’s goals; build an energetic and positive attitude in others and inspire them to do their very best; and in doing so create a common sense of purpose where people are more inclined to invest extra energy and even some of their own time in their work.” (taken from ‘Leadership Charisma’) Great leadership is all about getting results. No leadership – no results. No results – no leadership. The greatest leaders share two attitudes in common: 1. Great leaders view everything through other’s eyes This is not as cynical as it might sound, but when you strip away all of the niceties, all the layers of ‘proper’ behaviour that define the way we act and interact with others, all the social norms and so on, self-interest tends to inform most of what we do. Before doing anything asked of them, even the most altruistic, at least unconsciously, ask, ‘What’s in it for me?’ (WIIFM?).  And if the answer is ‘nothing’ then they generally don’t do what’s asked unless they’re coerced into it. Great leaders know this – and it informs everything they do. They know that to get people engaged they have to answer the WIIFM question – they have to present everything they require of their people in terms of what’s in it for them. Think of any situation where an individual is considered charismatic or engaging by any group and you’ll see how she or he is, to some extent, giving them what they want... read more
DRAMATICALLY RAISE ENGAGEMENT & PRODUCTIVITY

DRAMATICALLY RAISE ENGAGEMENT & PRODUCTIVITY

Employee Recognition Works! Want to start today to dramatically raise the engagement of your team and rocket their productivity? One study by Towers Perrin showed that a leader recognizing good performance can raise employee engagement by as much as 60% – and raising engagement dramatically raises productivity and bottom line results. Best of all it doesn’t cost a cent! Here’s a step-by-step guide for making it work for you. Why does it work? Employee recognition is extremely powerful because it triggers employs two powerful responses common to every single being on the planet – one physiological and one psychological. Physiology: It’s Chemical! When you’re praised by someone, particularly someone you respect, your brain responds with a release of the brain’s feel-good chemical, Dopamine. Without Dopamine it’s pretty much impossible to feel pleasure. This is the chemical that gives the runner her high, those in love their intense feelings of well-being, and even provides the highly pleasurable sensation that comes from eating chocolate or making love. Recognizing employees works because our brain chemistry is wired to respond positively to praise – and we naturally respond by unconsciously repeating the behavior necessary to get another dose of this feel good chemical. Recognition encourages the repetition of the desired behavior. But there’s another psychological factor that multiplies the effectiveness of recognition – the so called ‘Norm of Reciprocity’. Psychology: The ‘Norm of Reciprocity’ There is a universal human response psychologists call the ‘Norm of Reciprocity’. Most people feel an involuntary sense of obligation to return the favor when someone treats them kindly – even when that service was unsolicited, and even if the... read more
LEADERSHIP CHARISMA – THE ROLE OF VISION

LEADERSHIP CHARISMA – THE ROLE OF VISION

Vision is a critical component of Leadership Charisma – the quality we attribute to a leader when her/his people are so fully engaged that they enthusiastically contribute their best possible efforts to the the achievement of the organization’s goals. In the first post in this mini series you saw that the largest research study ever undertaken into the subject of charisma showed that what we traditonally call charisma in a business leader is nothing more than the reaction of people to a specific set of behaviors the leader demonstrates. And because charisma is all about behavior anyone who is motivated to understand and honestly assimilate the behaviors of charismatic leaders can raise the charismatic impact they have upon their people – raising with it employee engagement and productivity. This post and the next posts that follow look at the behaviors that are typical of charismatic leaders – make them your behaviors and you can raise your charismatic impact on your team. A vision is successful when it “speaks” to a wide audience, tells an engaging story that people want to be a part of, challenges people, and creates a sense of urgency Mark Lipton, author of “Guiding Growth: How Vision Keeps Companies on Course “ Vision is key Really probe anyone who has every worked for a truly charismatic leader – one who inspired her or him to engage fully with their work and contribute the very best they are capable of – and one of the things they will inevitably talk of is their leader’s vision. Every organization must have a vision statement of some kind  – it’s... read more

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