This past weekend I had a conversation with my brother-in law. His two girls are now in college and he and his wife are ‘Empty Nesters." He seemed a little down as we discussed the "what now." He had some short term goals, most of them related to socialization. He did, however, have some additional goals that were two years out.
Many years ago, before my firm began using the OMG assessment tool, I personally completed an assessment. The results came back which indicated I was not goal-oriented. I had a hard time believing that because I saw myself as goal-oriented. After reviewing the results I had a conversation with David Kurlan, the President of OMG. During the conversation I shared all of my perceived personal goals with David. Here were some of my goals
We want to travel to Europe.
We want to ski in Switzerland.
We want to live in a wooded lot with a good deal of acreage.
We want to have children.
There were many other We goals that I discussed with David. I will not bore you with all of the details but here is the bottom line of our conversation.
David Kurlan said, "Al, I am all in favor of We goals between you and your wife. We goals are very important, but there is more. The We goals you have are not I or Me Goals. What about you, the I goals? I goals are the goals we have for ourselves alone and are the goals that motivate us on a daily basis." Much to my amazement I had none.
David went on to explain that he wanted me to come up with some personal I goals. He also stipulated that the personal goals had to be in addition to the We goals. We then made an appointment to discuss them two weeks later.
Over the next two weeks I had to come up with personal goals that neither compromised nor were in conflict with the We goals.
The day came when David Kurlan and I were scheduled to meet. I shared my personal goals with David. My assignment for the following thirty days was to focus on my personal goals on a daily basis. The end result was the following month was the best month in new business I had ever had.
The lessons I learned from that experience are as follows:
If I do not take care of me first, I can't take care of anyone else.
Taking care of me is not selfish.
Taking care of me is the fuel that gives me the energy to care for my clients and my loved ones.
If I am there for everyone except me, I will run out of fuel.
If I run out of fuel I will not be able to take care of my clients or loved ones.
Selfishness has not been defined properly.
Even when we think we are on top of our game, we need reminders. Last Friday I went for an eye exam. The doctor said, "Al, you have not been here in five years." I was stunned. It seemed like it had only been a year ago. To my benefit my vision had not changed.
Here is my message:
Have short term goals.
Have long term goals.
Take care of yourself so you can care for the people who are important in your life. Don't take five years to take care of yourself, it may be too late.
On a final note ~ You are the most important person in the world for you and you are the most important person in the world for the people you care about. If you are not taking care of you, you can't take care of anyone else. Not your family, your staff or your clients. What are you going to do for yourself today without compromising anything else? Make your comments and share them with everyone. You can be the one that makes the difference in someone else's life. Here is your opportunity. Be the first to comment. See below.
On the way back from the Arcade one evening my son and I passed three teenagers sitting on a bench along the boardwalk. They could not have been more that fifteen years old. Adam and I greeted them and they responded with a friendly, "Hi, where are you going? We replied, "Going home, how about you?" Their reply was, "We are waiting for some other kids to come by". Here is how the conversation went on...
Us: What kids?
Teenagers: Oh, any kids.
Us: Any kids?
Teenagers: Yeah, we are just waiting for some kids to come by.
Us: Really, why?
Teenagers: So we can have some fun.
Us: What do you mean by fun?
Teenagers: We are waiting for some kids to come by so we can go to the Arcade or get some ice cream.
Us: Well, what if they don't come by, then what?
Teenagers: Well I don't know. I guess we will do something.
Us: Really, like what?
Teenagers: I don't know. I guess something.
I could not resist the opportunity to get these incredible people in touch with who they are and what their capabilities are. So, here is the message I delivered to them. You can learn from it as well.
Do you know what an incredible being you are? The day you were born you had no experience on this planet, you did not know the culture, could not speak the language, and did not have a network except for your family. You had no history and no belief systems. All you had was YOU (who we will define later), your subconscious mind, your conscious mind, your body and the outside world. Your subconscious mind is responsible for managing your bodily activities such as breathing, respiration, etc. Your conscious mind is where you store your knowledge and memories and where you do your cognitive processing of information. So, who are you? You are an incredible entity living on this planet dealing with life situations so you can get in touch with who you really are and what you are capable of.
Let's look at the first five years of your life. You learned how to speak a language, manipulate your environment including your parents, ride a bike, use a computer, text message at lightning speed, go from crawling to running, and by the way never stopping because you fell a couple of times. You were a master in your universe, were successful and never quit once. THAT SPEAKS TO WHO YOU REALLY ARE.
So, why are you waiting for something to happen? Why aren't you doing what is so natural to you? Doing so will make things happen.
I thought their eyes were going to pop out of their heads. I asked the question, "Am I making sense, am I getting through to you?" Their reply was, "Mister, we get it. You are so cool. Thanks, but you are so cool."
We never saw those teenagers again. On the way home Adam said, "Dad, you are so cool. That was so great. You should write a book for kids so they can get it." I replied, "Adam, I am. And you are so cool too. I will write the book and you do the drawings". Adam replied, "Can I make some money?" At which I informed him he could.
Now, let's look at the business applications of this story. First let's clarify something. I do not sit in judgment nor am I voting. I am raising what I believe to be an important point.
How many people are out there waiting for the real estate business to change, the mortgage business to change, the election to happen, the economy to change, or for good news from Wall Street indicating things will change? How many are sitting on the bench waiting for something to happen.
How is it that there can be two salespeople in a company? One is successful and the other is not. Is it the economy, etc., or is it how they think, feel and act that makes the difference?
How many are in touch with who you really are? The YOU who learned how to speak a language, manipulate your environment including your parents, ride a bike, use a computer, text message at lightning speed, go from crawling to running, and by the way never stopping because you fell a couple of times.
You were a master in your universe, were successful and never quit once. AND THAT STILL APPLIES NOW.
Don't let the illusions get in the way of what you are capable of. GO FOR IT, CARP DIEM.
Tags: hiring, hiring criteria, prospect, hire salespeople, mortgage industry, salespeople, recruit, top performers, hunter skills, qualifier skills, closer skills
A prospect went to our web site http://www.turrisiassociates.com looking for information on how to write an ad to hire salespeople. When I called the gentlemen he informed me he had targeted the mortgage industry. He went on to say the mortgage and real-estate business was in a downturn and salespeople were looking to leave.
When I asked the prospect what business he was in I was told he was a house builder. His plan was to write to mortgage company owners and recruit salespeople that wanted to leave the industry. He wanted salespeople that understood financing and real estate.
Let's pretend for a moment that a mortgage agency owner was to respond to his letter. Do you think for a moment an agency owner would be inclined to give out names of employees who were top performers or poor performers?
When the criteria for hiring a salesperson is industry knowledge, I can't help feeling the focus is on presenting when it should be on Hunting for Prospects, Qualifying or Disqualifying Business Opportunities and the Closing of sales.
In order for a salesperson to be successful the salesperson has to have a good balance of hunting skills, qualifying skills and closing skills. Without these skills the knowledge base of the salesperson is useless. Especially when the opportunity is not qualified or disqualified properly.
By way of example let's pretend that the salesperson was a big game hunter and knew everything about the use of their weapon, how to load it, how to aim it, and how to pull the trigger. Without having the ability to tell the difference between a bear and a cow the big game hunter would be unsuccessful in achieving their goals or at best lucky from time to time.
In selecting a candidate the candidate should be matched to the position based on their sales skills, strengths and compatibility to the position. An example being if your salesperson is going to be calling on C-level executives in a highly competitive market and has come from and industry where they called on low level managers and were the only game in town they would find it extremely difficult to be successful.
My family and I spent the last two weeks at the Jersey shore. We spent our days at the beach and our evenings either with friends, snuggling at home, taking walks on the beach or at the local arcade.
At the arcade there was a game that required you to place a plunger into a cylinder. The prizes went from a piece of candy to 500 points. My son Adam was intrigued by the game and wanted me to play. When we arrived at the game room he pointed out the game and kept saying, "Dad, you can do it, I know you can. Just try, you can do it." So, I tried the first few times and was unsuccessful. Adam was right there, "Come on Dad. Try again. I know you can do it. Just move it a little to the right and a little lower. Good, try it now." Over a period of time I began to see why I was losing. Then I began to see what I could do to win and then I did win. The secret was to line the yellow bar with the center of a screw on the side of the game and place the gear in the center of the orange and green buttons. There was little margin for error. Over a period of two days I won ten times with a total accumulation of five thousand points. Each time I won Adam was there to say, "See I told you Dad, I knew you could do it." All through my learning curve Adam never once called me on the carpet, never addressed what I did wrong, never put me on notice. Do you know why? Because he believed in me. He knew I could do it and let me know. When I failed he was there to remind me of what he believed I could do. He was my coach and mentor. Adam motivated and inspired me to go on when I was not succeeding. He never got on my case. As I continued to try and try again I developed a process that when duplicated would always produce the intended result. Although it was a game it became a game working at the game.
One might say, "He is only a child, you would expect that from a child. They get excited, they don't see the world the way it really is, but I am adult."
Let's examine this. He had a positive attitude. He was there for me. He was invested in my success. If I succeeded he succeeded. The level of confidence he has in me and his capacity to love me no matter what sometimes overwhelms me.
Now let's look at the business application of this event and the Vice Presidents of Sales & the Sales Manager positions. Does the Manager see the role of a Manager to point out what the person did wrong, point out their failures, get on their case, put them on notice, and show them how to do it?
Or, should the Manager really care about the success of the salesperson. I mean really care. Should the Manager really believe in the person in the sales position and know their strengths and weaknesses? Should the Manager be a coach and assist the salesperson in reaching higher levels of success? Should the Manager be saying, "I know you could do it, come on try again. See, I knew you could do it. YOU DID IT, I KNEW YOU COULD!!!"
Today I received a call from a former client and current friend, Barry Farbstein of Premier Office Supply. He asked "What questions would you ask if you were applying for a position in a company?" As I thought about the question I came up with a number of questions, I as an employer would want a candidate to ask.
Let me first say good employers are looking for employees to help the company be successful. Strong employers are also interested in rewarding Top Performers.
I am not interested in the candidate that wants to know how much vacation time they get, days off, etc. I am not discounting these items because they are important. The questions I am looking for are the ones that will indicate that I am having a conversation with a serious candidate. Here is a list of some of the questions I feel are important.
- What is the vision the President has for the company?
- Has the company grown over the past 3 to 5 years?
- What has been the percentage of growth?
- How does the company stand up against the competition?
- Who are the company's top three competitors?
- What are the strengths and weaknesses of the competition?
- What are the strengths and weaknesses of the employing company?
- What percentage of the market does the company have?
- What geography does the company sell into?
- What is the profile of the ideal prospect?
- What is the profile of the ideal customer?
- What are the growth plans for the company for the next 3 to 5 years?
- Is the position to be filled a new position or a vacant position?
- How long has the position been open?
- How long was the former employee in the position?
- Why did the employee leave?
- What are the responsibilities of the position?
- Who does the candidate report to?
- How long has the person they would be reporting to been in their position?
- What is that person's management philosophy?
- Who else will the successful candidate interact with?
- Can I meet with those people?
- Do you hold staff meetings?
- May I attend one?
- How do you measure success in the position?
- What are the behaviors, personal attributes and motivators necessary to be successful in the position?
- Do you have a training program?
- Do you have a mentoring program?
- What is your on board process?
- What is the length of the learning curve for the position?
- What are the milestone steps for the position?
- How often do you do reviews?
- What is the growth path for the position?
- How do you reward Top Performers?
To visit Barry's web site, go to http://www.premieroffice.com/
While debriefing a salesperson's evaluation there was an indication he had a number of Non-Supportive Beliefs. Non-Supportive beliefs have a way of neutralizing a salesperson's ability to perform correctly. In the case of this particular salesperson, he believed he could not get to the decision maker because the receptionist was not allowed to give out names of employees or departments. His actual statement was ‘I can't get their names; they won't give them to me."
The key words in his statements that disempowered him were I can't and they won't.
When a salesperson says they can't or they won't they are done and there is no place for them to go except fold up their tent go home.
What this sales person should have said is I do not know how yet. This new statement is supportive because it opens the door to opportunity, exploration and new strategies.
I was once faced with the situation of finding a key executive in a fortune 500 company. I went to the web site and looked for any information on key executives in addition to board members. I also went on Google and looked for news about the company and found an article written by the President of European Operations. I called the corporate office in the United States asked to speak with president. I was given the president's executive secretary. When we spoke I told her the reason for my call. She in turn gave me the name of an executive in the United States who referred me to another executive who referred me to another. After fourteen referrals to people in the organization I was finally able to speak with the individual I needed to talk with. During the process I collected the names of fourteen executives and asked them if I could send them my newsletter which resulted in nine e-mail addresses. This was all driven by one of favorite mantras, "I don't know how yet, but I know I can figure it out."
My family and I are the new proud owners of a Bose surround sound system. Being handy around the house I made the decision to do the install myself. At one point in the install I got stuck. I called the Bose store in the Short Hills Mall, New Jersey and spoke with Dave Cesaretti the store manager.
Dave helped me through the install. While Dave was helping me I looked at the clock and realized we had been on the phone for one hour and fifteen minutes. Feeling guilty I apologized for keeping him on the phone so long and suggested I get off since he had other customers in the store to help. I was in a state of total shock when Dave told me not to worry about it because the store had been closed for the past hour and a half and was happy to continue to help me until the system was up and running.
Now while Dave is the store manger he clearly has a Presidential Mindset. Dave in a sense is not selling stuff. Dave is building relationships, helping his customers and is committed to their enjoyment.
I am so impressed with his willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty.
When we look for Top Performers for our clients we look for people like Dave.
The Top Performer is not just focused on the sale. They are focused on the customer having a positive experience. They want the customer to know they are important and the salesperson truly cares.
If you want to avoid hiring mistakes it is important to measure the attributes of the individual you are hiring. The attributes are what they bring to the table. In the case of Dave he is a perfect match for the job. He is patient, customer focused and a value added provider.
To learn more about Bose Systems go to Quality Service
Six years ago I had ten custom made shirts which I paid one hundred and twenty five dollars each. When I went to pick them up at the dry cleaner they all had the same tear in the same place as a result of a machine malfunction. Al gave me a credit of one thousand two hundred and fifty dollars on the spot and then offered to repair the damage which was under the collar and would go unnoticed.
This morning I picked up my dry cleaning at the local dry cleaner. I could go to any one of six different establishments in our area but I have stayed with Al's dry cleaning over the years.
This morning I said to Al "Al thank you so very much for what you do". With his oriental accent he said yes, I clean your suits and shirts. I said no Al, you do more than that. You Al, because of what you do make sure I am always very presentable when I visit my clients. You also give me quality time to spend with my family.
One could say Al is running a business that has become a commodity, or not. I recognize the value he brings into my life. He may not have.
Here is a more important question. How many salespeople do not see the contribution their service or product provides and because of that are willing to drop their price to get an order rather than sell a value proposition?