• Have your 2017 resolutions hit the rocks already? It’s not too late!

    I confess, sometimes I’ve been asked “How’s the ‘XYZ’ resolution going?” (fads include Clear Inbox or Bed by 10 etc.) and I’m forced to implement the “I’m OK” smile, declaring everything was going supremely well, easy, fantastic results already.

    Reality was that my resolve had gone down faster than Eeyore’s balloon in a firing range. Work crushed any semblance of control, change was consigned to history.

    Why is changing habits the traditional way so HARD?

    Let’s take a common example: “No more Chocolate”. This desire for change will be driven by some form of motivation e.g. “I want to look thinner”.

    This time we’re going to stick with it, excited about alternatives our motivation is high. We’re driven by pleasure (fitting new Christmas clobber) or pain (dentist, health) however ‘motivation’ gets exhausted over time.

    When motivation runs out, determined folk resort to willpower. But that’s a resource that gets used up too. Uni. of Albany research shows resisting repeated temptations is mentally draining. Like a muscle exhausted from overuse.

    Our brain is a high consumer of glucose. Tests found lower glucose levels in people who had to repeatedly exert self-control, sapping their willpower. Like a car stops with an empty tank.

    A day filled with things we don’t want to do drains our limited reserve of willpower, it’s genuinely hard work, tiring, underlined by survey results (Uni. of Scranton) showing just 8% of people setting habit changing goals achieve them.

    Rewire the brain to get good ideas back on track

    Everyone has a bad habit or two. Is it easy to stop them? For the more embedded habits the answer is ‘NO’! Wouldn’t it be rewarding to have that resilience applied to great habits instead?

    We mustn’t make it hard for ourselves by fighting entrenched habits. Form new habits by comforting our brains that little change is taking place. Try these tips:

    • Little StepsStart with boring goals. Our subconscious hates big change (Fear, Flight, Fight) creating resistance. Make 10 New Business Calls as your early target not 100.
    • Commit – Believe in your goals, don’t set any to please others
    • ‘Triggers’ – Any smoker will tell you how powerful Triggers are! After breakfast, 20 mins on LinkedIn? Visual triggers e.g. Car Keys next to Business Cards?
    • Preparation – Create call lists the day before. Fuel in car? Correct tools for the job?
    • Convenience – Clear clutter, ability to make noise if required.
    • Have Fun – Decrease resistance by increasing pleasure! Consequence or Reward with a partner?
    • Don’t break sequence – Visually keep goals In View. Mark daily achievements with a big cross, number in a box etc.

    Do something often enough, it becomes a habit. Probably how our bad habits started in the first place and look how robust they are!

    Change is hard, taking 66 days on average to develop a new habit

    The good news is, it may not too late to revisit the ‘wobbly’ ones!

  • The Key To Success In a Sale: The Agenda

    the agendaYour meeting date and time has been established.  You’re confident your product or service is superior to your competitors.  Your goal for the meeting is to convince the prospect. You’ve planned to be there for 45 minutes.

    The prospect checks their calendar and realizes a few minutes before that, they’ve scheduled a meeting with some salesperson and they’re not sure of the relevance today.  They’re wondering why they agreed to the meeting and plan to make it short.  They’ll ask a few questions, get a brochure or sample and usher the salesperson out the door saying “they’ll get back” to them. Fifteen minutes maximum and they’ll be able to get back to what’s important in their day.

    It’s apparent from the two scenarios that the salesperson and the prospect each have a different agenda.  Can you imagine what the outcome of the meeting will be?  Have you ever found yourself wondering why there are two different agendas for the same meeting?  Did you both agree to the same thing?

    Let’s diagnose where things may have gone wrong.

    1. The appointment was scheduled without a clear intention of what each side was hoping to accomplish.
    2. The amount of time allocated to meet was not established or may have been, however has now changed on the prospect’s side.
    3. The real purpose of the meeting was unclear.
    4. An agreed upon outcome was not discussed prior to the meeting.

    In other words, it’s like showing up at the dentist for a cleaning and he’s ready to perform a root canal.

    The Sandler Selling System refers to the concept of establishing an agenda for every interaction with a prospect as an Up-Front Contract.  It means prior to the meeting knowing what both parties are planning to accomplish in the time they are together.  A mutually agreed outcome is established.

    Following are the components of an agenda:

    1. Establish a mutually agreed purpose for the call or meeting.
    2. Find out what’s important for the prospect.  What are they hoping to achieve in the time you’re together.
    3. Share with the prospect what you as a salesperson would like to accomplish on the phone or in the meeting.
    4. Agree to a specific time you’ll spend together and reconfirm when you arrive at the meeting.
    5. Determine at the beginning of the meeting or telephone conversation what you both mutually agree will happen at the conclusion of your time together.

    Establish on the phone what will happen at the meeting and once at the meeting, reiterate what you both agreed to.  This gives the prospect the opportunity to share any changes that may have to be made such as now only having 30 minutes vs the originally planned 45 minutes.  You can adjust your meeting accordingly or reschedule if desired.

    Just like being in the dentist’s chair, you don’t want any surprises when you are face-to-face with a prospect.  Being disarmingly honest with the prospect and letting them know up-front what is going to happen in the time you’re together will save time, eliminate the prospect from giving you a vague response as to what happens next and it will move the selling process forward or conclude there isn’t a fit for your product or services.  And set another up-front contract at the meeting as to what happens next.

    What will you do prior to your next call or meeting?

    Mutually agreeing to what happens every step of the way ensures that you aren’t surprised at the outcome.

    Blog Editor

    Blog Editor

    Lisette Howlett edits the Sandler UK blog. If you have any questions or would like to submit a blog please contact her. Tel: 020 7484 5556 Email: Lisette.howlett@sandler.com

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  • You Can’t Manage Time

    Can't Manage TimeSo much has been written in various sales training blogs about time management that you hardly have the time to read about it. There are numerous time management programs, processes, and tools, and even with all this help, you still can’t manage time no matter how hard you try.

    There are 24 hours in a day, 86,400 seconds ticking away second by second as you read this. You can’t save these seconds or store them up; when they are gone, they are gone! Never to be recovered. Never to be recycled and reused, and although you can’t manage time, you can manage your activities-what you do in the time that you have and that will be your most effective tool for getting the most out of your time. To be a really good time manager, you simply need a process to successfully manage your activities and to manage your activities, you only need to know two things:

    • What to do first.
    • What to do next.

    Step 1: To identify what to do, take a piece of paper and create a three column daily or weekly to do list. Label one column “Must Do,” the next column “Should Do,” and the third column “Stop Do.”

    Step 2: In the “Must Do” column, list all of the things that are imperative to accomplish, things that must be completed, things that are directly tied to your goals and responsibilities.

    Step 3: Review the “Must Do” list; prioritize the items in terms of importance and difficulty. It is imperative to do the most difficult first.

    Step 4: Next, plan carefully and assign each item an amount of time for completion.

    Step 5: In the “Should Do” column, list all of the things that you would like to do because they are important, although not essential.

    Step 6: In the “Stop Do” column, list those items which tend to use/kill time that are not productive. The “Stop Do” list is a daily and weekly reminder of things you should stop doing that are getting in your way. There should always be items on the “Stop Do” list.

    So start with the “Must Do” list and begin with the highest priority and most difficult item, or the item you least like to do, and do it NOW! Today, without exception. When the time for that activity is up, STOP! And move on to the next activity. If you continue to work beyond the predetermined time limit, you are stealing valuable time away from the next important “Must Do” task. If that project suffers because of insufficient time, you will soon be in debt to countless hours of time that will never come. When you complete the “Must Do” items, you can move on to the “Should Do” items, but not until the “Must Do” items are complete.

    As time goes on, some of the things on past “Should Do” lists will transfer to the “Must Do” list, but you will evaluate them and move them, not chance or pressure or unorganized time.

    Most people have trouble getting the most out of their time because not only do they not prioritize their “Must Do” and “Should Do” lists, but they actually have too many things on their list to begin with that are neither “should do” or ‘must do”… maybe the Stop Do will be as important for you as the Must Do!

    Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “Finish each day and be done with it-tomorrow is a new day!”

    Blog Editor

    Blog Editor

    Lisette Howlett edits the Sandler UK blog. If you have any questions or would like to submit a blog please contact her. Tel: 020 7484 5556 Email: Lisette.howlett@sandler.com

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  • More on goals

    January is the time for setting goals.  Indeed, many business professionals are familiar with writing business goals for the upcoming year.  Unfortunately, it’s common to find these well intentioned goals tossed in a file drawer not to be looked at or referred to again.  What was intended to serve as a guiding force or roadmap for positive behaviours and change has been forgotten.  Does this behaviour seem flawed to you?

    Goal setting is all about creating balance. Goals need to address the whole person, not just the professional person.  If attaining a goal means sacrificing in other areas of your life, (health, family etc), one risks creating imbalance.  This imbalance can jeopardise not only the success of attaining the goal but risks creating a negative impact on other areas of life.”

    Sandler training has been working with professionals to develop, execute and achieve goals for more than 30 years.  By utilising a proven ten step methodology, people are able to identify, organise and plan activities designed to move them towards goal attainment.  The Sandler Goal Setting System is designed to address all areas of life so that goals work in harmony thereby accelerating success rates.

    Sandler’s 10 Steps To Goal Setting

    1. Label eight sheets of paper each with one life goal area: 

    Social, Physical, Financial, Mental (Educational), Professional, Family, Personal, Spiritual. Reflect on your current status within each life goal area and write it down.

    1. List everything you would like to accomplish for each life area

    Don’t pre-judge your thoughts, write them all down as if nothing is out of reach

    1. Prioritise goals in each of the eight areas from most important to least important.
    2. Create a master list of the top three goals from each of the 8 areas.
    3. Prioritise the master list.  Check for balance and any possible conflicts
    4. Write a detailed description of each master list goal and how you are going to achieve it.

    Goals must be SMART:  Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound.
    Goals are made to make you stretch so don’t make them too easy.

    1. Develop a timetable for each goal

    Break down long term goals into short-term activities with deadlines
    Include daily, weekly and monthly activities

    1. Share your goals with others – Hold yourself accountable.
    2. Review your goals regularly and track your progress
    3. Be persistent – DO NOT QUIT
      Priorities change over time so be prepared to redefine or realign you goal
      Only abandon a goal if it becomes irrelevant, never because it’s too difficult

    There are 68,899 books on goal setting listed on Amazon.co.uk so if you need more specifics on the process, any one of them can provide them. Experience, however, tells me that it’s not about the “how”, it’s about the “whether”.  My hope is that people reading this article will be motivated to take action, either setting goals for the first time, or setting more challenging goals, or scheduling time for review and refinement … and ultimate success.

    Lisette Howlett

    For twenty years Lisette Howlett lived and worked in Europe, Asia and the USA where she held senior positions running global programmes in some of the world’s leading companies. Since leaving corporate life Lisette has been successfully running her own consultancy for 8 years. Typically her sales training clients include entrepreneurs, CEOs, start-ups, Sales Directors, MDs, Senior Partners and business owners – often these are people who don’t consider themselves as traditional sales people but are committed to growing their businesses and thus recognise the need to sell more effectively and more authentically. Visit her Huffington Post Blog Tel: 020 7484 5556

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  • Can a daily schedule help me achieve my goals in 2015?

    “A person’s burning desire to achieve something must come from within.”

    schedule 2015 blog

    You’ve set lofty goals for 2015 but have you also built the plan to achieve them?

    Often we fall into the trap of setting goals without ‘building a plan’ to achieve them. If you decide to make one change this year – ‘build the plan and then implement it’.

    We often have clients tell us they want to earn a certain amount of money this year. The first questions we always ask are, “what are you going to do with the money?” or “let’s pretend I’ve just handed you the amount of money you want to earn – what are you going to do with it?” What we find when we ask that question is that most people don’t know what they’d do with the money. When we ask how they came up with the number, they shrug and tell us they’ve just pulled it out of the air. Is that your way of deciding how much money you want to earn in 2015 or do you really know why you want to earn a particular amount?  If you have not thought through carefully the amount you need or want to make, and more importantly, what it will mean for you when you make that amount, your ambition will not have sufficient substance to drive your behaviour.  And if you do not do the behaviours required to make the amount, you won’t make it.

    Also if your goals for 2015 are too narrow they will not carry you forward.

    The first step in the process of building the plan to achieve your goals is to determine what your personal goals are and why they are important to you. Take the time to look at all aspects of your life and set goals in the following areas:

    1. Social
    2. Physical
    3. Spiritual
    4. Financial
    5. Mental (educational)
    6. Professional
    7. Familial
    8. Personal

    Sometimes we get so caught up in the financial goals or targets the company we work for has either set for us or asked us to achieve (or indeed the company we own and run), that we lose focus on how these targets impact our personal lives and dreams. Your incentive to achieve the ‘what may seem unrealistic’ goals will be put into perspective when your desire to achieve them is because of what you want to do personally. So when you’re not feeling motivated or when you’ve had one too many rejections during your prospecting calls, think about what goals you’re working towards for motivation.

    How to get started with this process:

    1. Decide what you want. Spend some time really thinking about what’s important to you and why you want a particular amount of money, vacation, new home, etc.
    2. Build a plan. How are you going to achieve it? What is required to have it come to fruition? The key in this process is establishing S.M.A.R.T. goals:
    • Specific (you need to know exactly what you will achieve)
    • Measurable (you need to know when you have achieved it)
    • Attainable (or Agreed if you are setting them for someone or being set them by someone)
    • Realistic (It need to stretch you but also be possible)
    • Time-bound (You must put a specific date by which you will reach it)
    • Energising (The thought of achieving it must fill you with excitement and energy)
    • Rewarded (You should identify the reward you will give yourself when you achieve it)
    1. Break down the plan. Take that plan and organise it into monthly, weekly and daily tasks so you’ll know what’s required at all times to achieve your goals.

    Just saying in January that you have 12 months to achieve what you set out to do isn’t going to get you where you want to go. The plan has to be built so that every day, every week and every month you know what is required. I can hear the groans from some of you reading this right now, however I ask you to look back over the years and review if you achieved your goals consistently without building a plan.

    What are you waiting for? Are you prepared to make a big change in 2015?  If so, decide what you want and build a plan. And the days you get discouraged, you’ll remember why you need to do what you’re doing.

    If you need help with getting started contact your local Sandler Training office and ask for some guidance.

    Blog Editor

    Blog Editor

    Lisette Howlett edits the Sandler UK blog. If you have any questions or would like to submit a blog please contact her. Tel: 020 7484 5556 Email: Lisette.howlett@sandler.com

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  • What do you want for tomorrow?

    Many business owners and CEOs are so immersed in today’s business challenges that they struggle to plan for tomorrow.  Their time is focused on resolving problems, fulfilling orders and keeping clients, often working long hours for little reward.  As a business owner myself, I know that running a company can feel like being on a perpetual hamster-wheel.  You’re running faster and faster but not necessarily moving the business forwards.

    As we approach the end of 2014, business owners and CEOs need to be thinking about tomorrow.  Have you worked out your company’s business goals for 2015?

    Many businesses – even successful ones, struggle to define where they want the company to be in one, three and five years’ time.  Yet it is essential that short and longer term strategic objectives are mapped out in order to drive the business forwards.

    If one of next year’s strategic objectives is to create business growth, you need to define where that growth will come from.  Is the focus centered on growing existing customers or winning new ones?  If it’s about growing existing customers, how will you grow those customers over the coming 12 months?

    Businesses can be overly reliant on one or two key clients, but their products may have application in other target companies – or even industries.  If your plan is about winning new clients, who are your target customers and how will you get in front of them? Do you have the skills and ability to show them a compelling argument for using your company?

    Answering these questions will help to provide a strategic plan for your business.  Seeing the ‘big picture’ helps you to understand and set out what the team needs to be doing on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. It keeps you ‘on-track’ with your goals and provides a sense of achievement as you move forward.

    Finally, consider how you plan to improve your work/life balance in 2015. The most effective business owners and CEOs set both business and personal goals to ensure they achieve balance across the different areas of their life.

    Before the end of December, block out time to set your business and personal goals and spend time with your board ensuring that your strategy for growth is well-defined.  Then put your efforts into the right places so that you don’t spend next year running hard but ending up feeling disappointed.

    Andy McCreadie

    Andy McCreadie

    Andy McCreadie is a critically-acclaimed coach and facilitator who excels at identifying core sales and management challenges and implementing transformative growth strategies. Before setting up Sandler Training in 2007 in the South West, Andy spent six years as a strategy consultant for Accenture, selling and delivering high profile consulting projects to blue chip companies. He then worked in direct sales – in London and Sydney, managing business development teams across a wide range of industry sectors.

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