Apr 22 2012

I have what you need and want now!

You are not what you sell.


You are what you solve.


True business professionals who dwell in the world of sales, and all small business owners (who live there too) know instinctively that they are not really salespeople pushing their wares and services on others.

They recognize that they are actually problem solvers who listen carefully to customers and prospects and respond with solutions. They focus on building relationships.

The problem is that solving the problem is often glossed over, dismissed, and sidetracked in the process of communicating with a customer or prospect. How often have you heard a store or organization or company rep start out (or jump to her or his safety net when a positive response is not evident) by rattling out a long list of product or service features?

It’s human nature to talk about all the strong points and unique features of a product or service we want others to like, and want, and dive into their pockets for the money we hope they’ll produce. But human nature doesn’t move sales. Customers and prospects don’t buy features. They buy benefits.

How long will this product or service last? How economical is it? How does it work? What colors are available? How spectacular is the price deal? How great is the supplier company or organization? These are all very nice kinds of things to get across because they help purchasers justify their decisions to others (bosses, spouses, friends, etc.) BUT . . .

None of those kinds of features will trigger a purchase.

Features are rational objective things. People are motivated by emotions. Maybe they’re simply charmed by the rep, or maybe they’ve been convinced that the personal benefits to be had outweigh the expense . . . because the product or service solves their problem!

We buy benefits: how easy and convenient this makes your life, how much your friends and neighbors will admire your good taste, how great you look with/in/next to it, how terrific your garden will be when this thing keeps the deer and rabbits away, what you can do for your children’s/grandchildren’s future with the savings from this policy, how wonderful this will look in your living room/dining room/kitchen.

And how do you get someone to this decision point? 1) By listening carefully (prompt customers and prospects to talk 80% of the time!), and 2) By processing what you hear and see to show how what you have to offer can solve their problem.

Anyone can ram features down someone’s throat. This loses more sales than anything else. It takes patience, understanding, and sitting (mentally and physically) on the same side of the table, working in concert to solve the buyer’s problem.

For immediate, focused, affordable sales help, call me now: 302.933.0116

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 With thanks to my LinkedIn friend Kevin Kempler for inspiring this post

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Open  Minds  Open  Doors

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Aug 21 2011


No good examples from


the White House, but


  small business excels.



 My last post here, A Sense of Urgency,” raised hackles among some visitors I heard from who all seemed to express the notion that “Standing Still” and former idealist President Woodrow Wilson’s failed “Watchful Waiting” policy toward Mexico should be dictating business and politics today. 

Don’t take it personally, but that’s sick thinking.


Doing nothing, as the White House appears to relish, has never been –nor ever will be– a policy or guideline for small business success. Standing still and watchful waiting may deck the halls of Congress and the Oval Office, but they represent the anthisis of what needs to happen to grow business and military strength.

Small business and military strength must be grown to preserve and protect the freedoms we enjoy in America, and to revive and revitalize our still sinking economy.


The government and big business continue to prove every passing day that not only do they have no answers to this incipient 2nd Great Depression (“The Obama Depression”), but –rubbing salt into the wound– they give nothing but lip service token talk to proclamations of supporting small business. Truth? They HATE small business! 

Small business hangs on in spite of the formidable clout corporations and the government have in tow — PRECISELY because small business owners, operators, and managers are responsive to market needs. There’s no time wasted studing market share and shifts, or testing stuff to death. A sense of urgency is ever-present.

As small business owners, we must –first let Mr. Romney know that it’s not just “Corporations” that “are people.” Small businesses are (to a FAR greater degree) “people” too! (And, BTW, DNC Chairperson Debbie Schultz in protesting even the “Corporations=People” equation simply demonstrates that her ideology is dumber than dirt.

Of course “businesses are people.”

ALL businesses.

Next, we need to teach responsiveness by

example within our business enterprises.


Acting responsively and responsibly with every interaction –customers, other employees, suppliers, even what may appear to be disintersested inquiries– means instilling and reinforcing awareness that EVERY person’s needs and wants are the most important in the world, with never an exception. 


Cultivate respect and an action attitude.


Sales professionals know this instinctively and typically make a practice of attacking problems before they become disasters. Stop looking to Washington for guidance. Take a page from sales pros.

The US Government 

is presently leaderless.


Consider the total lack of urgency and response to The Gulf Oil Leak; Mid-West Floods; Moammar Gadhafi; Japan’s Tsunami and Nuclear Disaster; Illegal Immigrants Pouring Across US Borders EVERY night; The Debt Crisis; and 20 more calamities. 

Your business would fold if you practiced such laxadasical “take another vacation” attitudes.


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  Open Minds Open Doors 

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Jul 13 2011

Twisted Meanings

The mouth says “Yes!”


 but the body says “No!”


What’s wrong with this picture?

You stand there, head down and tilted to the right, parentally staring over the tops of your glasses.

Your arms are folded defensively across your chest.

Your aggressive right-side shoulder is turned away and leans on the doorway or wall.

Your aggressive right-side foot is being held back by your receptive left-side foot which has it blocked or covered.

And you are telling your contentious investor or your irate customer that she is right, that you agree completely.

A mixed message? 


Great sales professionals know that when your job involves some form of persuasion (name just one that doesn’t!), you can’t learn too much about body language.


Because without some great theatrical dynamics in your DNA, or having taken some pantomimist course of study, people’s bodies speak truer than their mouths.

(Precisely why txtmsgs fail in every attempt to exercise persuasion.)


Without being able to see firsthand how the person or group you’re communicating with responds to greatly handicaps the persuader’s ability to gain acceptance. Remember that every successful decision to buy, or buy in, is one that’s emotionally-triggered–not logically reasoned.

Telephones are a step up from texting because careful listening allows us to “see” responses like a smile, a frown, anxiety, preoccupation, anger, but it’s true that there is nothin’ like the real thing, baby! Skype? Pretty close to in-person, though you’re not likely to ever know if the tie and jacket are just upper hosts to underwear and bare feet!

Studying up on observation skills is always a good thing, but don’t expect it to suddenly turn your tide. Careful listening and effective eye-contact (note the word “effective” means to eliminate staring, glaring, leering, and flirting) are equally important assessment tools. They give you the unspoken chance to make adjustments.

Great athletes will tell you that the ability to make adjustments –batter to pitcher, quarterback to hard-charging defenders, boxer to boxer, skier to slope conditions, golfer to wind, marathoner to temperature, etc.– is the difference-maker and deal-breaker when it comes to actual performance.                                                                                  

Still trying to think of a job that doesn’t involve some form of persuasion? There are none. And that should tell you something all by itself. The better you can be at quietly and unobtrusively “reading” and processing another’s body language (kinetics, if you prefer formality), the more effective you’ll be at growing your business.

When you note someone folding arms, crossing legs, sitting back, jiggling a foot, or steepling their fingertips, you must decide how to mentally/physically/emotionally step back from whatever you’re representing, long enough to prompt a change to more receptive posture before moving forward.

Thinking is one thing. Awareness is another. 

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May 09 2011

Creative? Risk Being Unliked.

As a writer, designer, teacher, 


artist, architect, landscaper,


jewelry-maker, stylist or stage


performer, if you’re not


risking . . . you’re not


being honest!


With special thanks to author Mary DeMuth for the three great words: “Risk being unliked” which were featured in her article, “A Smart Approach to MEMOIR” in the June 2011 issue of The WRITER.


Those of us who create for a living, who own, operate, or manage creative businesses understand immediately what the “Risk being unliked” message is all about. And does it apply to professional selling too? Absolutely.

Whether we create with computers or paint brushes; with crafts supplies, hair, or music; with classrooms or pen and paper, or with the ways we communicate our sales messages, we must –as Ms. DeMuth so aptly puts it– “Tell the truth as you understand it. If you’re a writer,” she says, “you have a moral obligation to do this.”

I propose that truth-telling applies to all businesses, even the least creative.


When your focus, your branding, your website, your messages, your employees, and most importantly YOU are all about telling the truth as you understand it, you are setting yourself up to cultivate strengthened long-term high-trust relationships. Those who unlike you for it are not those you want to deal with anyway.

Honesty is (still) the best policy!


I’m not suggesting any limitations here. What’s the best way to express this idea to people who earn their keep with their creative talents? Could there be any greater and more meaningful statement than the following six words from Shakespeare?:

To thine own self be true.


When you believe heart and soul that the line, the dimension, the color, the musical note, the arrangement, the word choice, the emphasis is what your gut, your intuitive experience, says it needs to be, go with it and don’t waste time worrying about winning a popularity contest. People will judge your authenticity, not your masks or apologies.

For ALL business pursuits, not fibbing to or misleading customers, employees, associates, partners, referrers, investors, professional advisors,  lenders, and the various communities you serve is just one chapter of your build-a-better-business book. Leadership transparency is another. Honoring commitments is yet a third. 

Delivering exactly what you say you’re going to deliver –and more– exactly when you say you’re going to deliver it is the standard by which others will continuously measure your business performance.


There’s risk involved in all of this, but as with the mark of true entrepreneurship, the risk is always a reasonable one. We’re not talking about harnessing creative spirit here. In fact, if anything, the suggestion is to set it free, and to recognize that the results produced by an honest free spirit outperform those born of smoke and mirrors.

Don’t throw the tending to details, business conduct, and tight-fisted money management out with the baby’s bathwater simply for the sake of being more expressive in the products, services, and ideas you create. But do stop cowering away from being straight-ahead with your work and with all those you come into contact with every day.

Your behavior is of course your choice. Where do you think your reputation comes from?                                            


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“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson] 

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals. God Bless You.

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

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Apr 20 2011

America IS small business

Like Nero with Rome,


Obama Fiddles


While America Burns



And not unlike one of Aesop’s Fables, The Boy Who Cried Wolf, mainstream media talking heads reported once again today that the U.S. economy is on the road to recovery. How nice. Do YOU believe it any more?

Some of these feeble excuses for “reporters” need to talk to the plummeting dollar, soaring fuel costs, unemployment lines, and some of the Americans I’ve felt saddened to see rummaging through fastfood and convenience store garbage pails and dumpsters for food scraps.

Has your business been interviewed? 


We have of course heard this type of hype (floating somewhere between make-believe and outright lying) every day since Mr, Obama moved into the White House.

Checked the gas pumps lately?


I mean, really folks. First of all, we who visit this blog are small business and professional practice owners and managers. We are entrepreneurs. We are professional salespeople. We represent the leading edge in business, technology, education and healthcare.

We–to use Mr. Obama’s own “words of the week”are not stupid!

$4 a gallon and rising? 


Even IF gas pump prices were simply a fuel-for-our-vehicles issue, we might live with it. Unfortunately, it’s Dominoes! Skyrocketing fuel costs mean skyrocketing delivery costs and skyrocketing food costs and skyrocketing travel and airfare costs. All these “burstings in air” and it’s not even July 4th!

And to top it all off, the grand tsunami of costs that are tangled up with “Obamacare” will be paid by small business for decades to come, providing free healthcare for those unwilling to earn it, including (unbelievably) illegal aliens!

If you’re trying to figure all of this out, think politics. Reality is that we do not have a national leader who understands or practices or even cares about leadership. He fiddles while our nation’s reputation and respect dissolves away. What would happen if you tried to get away with that in your business?

He fiddles while his reckless socialist agenda spending disregards the lives of small business owners and managers who work hard for a living, who contribute most to society to begin with, who have the most promise to offer for real economic turnaround. Why? Because he doesn’t care and he doesn’t get it. All that matters is politics . . . 

Voter dependency delivers voter votes!

(Listen to his speeches. They are A~L~L campaign speeches. A~L~L.) 


The more that government continues to intercede in our lives and businesses, the greater the dependency on government that’s created.

The more dependent on government we become, the more beholden we become for what government decides to give us, the more we vote for government generosity in order to live.

Is that sick or what?

Sorry, fellow business owners, but I doubt this is why any of us are in business. Lured by The Great American Dream, and the rights granted us as “We the people” by the Constitution of the United States –and as one nation under God– we are in business to help ourselves, our families, those for whom we can create jobs, and our communities.

We are in business to create opportunities to give back to the communities that support us from the only place that makes sense — from a position of strength. 

Our present government seeks to be THE ONLY source of strength.


Frustrating? Inconceivable? This is why I will not let go of these issues. They are at least as important for each of us to deal with as our our own employees, customers, balance sheets, income statements, brands, operations, revenue streams, and innovative leadership. Our federal government is over-stepping its bounds every single day.

Isn’t it time to step up to the plate and make your voice heard? There are 30 million small businesses in America. Just imagine what’s possible if each of us would just speak up . . .  


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 “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson]
Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals. God Bless You.

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

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Mar 31 2011

Seeking Crossed Paths

If you are one of the following, you are all of them . . .!

Small Business and Professional


Practice Owners and Managers,


Educators, Sales Professionals,


and Entrepreneurs



What makes you different? Just the path you’ve chosen to take? Think about the one you’re on. 


It doesn’t matter if you teach third grade, own a chain of pizza parlors, sell advertising space or socks or perfume or gaskets. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a heart surgeon, hot dog vendor, social media guru. or a charity fundraiser. It makes no difference whether you manage a work team, a sports team, or function like the Lone Ranger.

The bottom line is that you’re not a government incompetent or corporate mogul or union thug, which means that you work for a living.

You work at what you do, what you support, believe in, were trained for, invented, designed, inherited, created, or stumbled into.

Does that pretty much cover it?


Ah, but what makes you the same? How could such diverse specialists have common grounds? Well, hey, you’re all leaders, right? You’re all communicators. And you are all (like it or not, willing to admit it or not) heavily engaged in selling on a daily basis.

You spend the bulk of your energy attempting to engage the interest and support of others in the ambitions, goals,  practices, opportunities, beliefs, ideas, and challenges that occupy your table, fill your plate and dance around your dining room.

Even when you’re not “at work,” even when you’re at family gatherings (you know, Ground Hog’s Day and Boxing Day, stuff like that), you’re still selling (oh, that nasty word again, especially for all you professional practice types; I know, there’re not too many brain surgeons rolling up their sleeves in supermarkets these days doing a “tell ya what I’m gonna do for you” presentation. There is that guy,though, with the sets of knives . . .)

What is it that you do when you get ready to give someone your spiel? Isn’t it that you (and sales professionals know this better than the rest of the world) are seeking common ground, shared interests, places where you can better relate to your audience? Aren’t you looking for places your paths have crossed?

Oh, my, there go all those light bulbs at once. Wait a second will you while my transition lenses back off. Ah, such a flood of light! 

So back to places your paths have crossed . . . of course that’s what we instinctively seek! Isn’t it, by the way, the premise for Facebook and LinkedIn?  

Whether we’re teaching a classroom full of students, explaining a procedure to a patient, a reason to donate, a special deal on foreclosed property, the benefits of sushi, the truck’s suspension system awards, how the use of Twitter can outperform Facebook, why everyone should buy a new mattress every ten days, or how easy it is to use this new bookkeeping system . . . we are constantly looking for common interest areas we can use to establish rapport.


We go to great lengths and ask a zillion questions to get to the point of “So you’re a Cubs fan, huh? Poor guy; you’ve really suffered over the years. I used to hang out with a few of them when I commuted from New York to Chicago for three years; I had an office at One East Wacker Drive on the Loop. What’s the name of that rooftop restaurant there?”

Well, maybe not all that dicey, but you get the point. We all seek crossed paths. They help us get closer to what’s under our skin. Prospecting is easier, but –more importantly– growing our relationships with existing customers, clients, patients, employees, suppliers, investors, lenders, and referrers is also easier.

Stop fighting it. Getting to know others better is a pathway all by itself . . . and one you can never tell where it will lead, but usually it will go where your authentic self opens doors and focuses spotlights. Open minds open doors.

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931.854.0474   Hal@BusinessWorks.US

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You.

“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson]

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

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Mar 22 2011

Business Lessons From Kids

Kids are


the world’s greatest


salespeople because


they know how to 


paint a verbal picture 


. . . and put you in it!



When’s the last time you took business advice from a single-digit-aged kid? Every small business owner, operator, manager, entrepreneur, and sales professional should have to do this at least once a month, even for a ten-minute long crash course.

Ask someone under ten years old to tell you why she or he likes something. Then listen. Ask questions but only for clarification. Odds are pretty good that you’ll end up inside that child’s verbal description of a thing, a place, or an event. You’ll get there by your own choice and you’ll enjoy the experience.

Those of you who are Mothers (or Mr. Mom’s) know all about the pearls-of-wisdom-from-the-mouths-of-babes thing, but in case you’re not, or don’t, don’t think for a minute that you haven’t time to waste with such foolishness.

Innovative business empires have been built on ideas and messages that have come from listening to children.

Children —and generally the younger the better– are less inhibited, have far fewer fears, and fewer feelings of self-importance. They may fantasize. They may not seem very realistic about things like money or distance or amounts or sizing up people or situations, but they speak the truth.

And they are passionate.

And they know how to

paint a verbal picture.

And they won’t hesitate to tell you

all the things you need to know

that no one else will tell you.


You will gain value from a child’s perspective.

His or her viewpoint, remember is looking up under your chin and your belly, and inside your nose. Put your new product, or a photo or video clip of it on the table in front of the nearest 8-year-old and ask what she or he thinks it is. Ask what it does, how it works, who would use it, why, when, where, how?

It’s a service? Simplify your explanation of it and see what you get back. Offer and ask for examples and comparisons. Does he or she if the product or service would be a good or bad thing . . . and why?

Tou’re looking to save your business money? What better deal can you make than to get an outpouring of honest, unbiased opinions about your business or business ventures for the price of an ice cream or hot dog, or a trip to the circus or a walk on the beach or through the park?

On top of all that, you’ll get a firsthand booster shot of salesmanship. Maybe you forgot about how important energy and enthusiasm are, or the importance of painting a mental picture with words, and walking a customer into it. Hmm?              

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302.933.0116     Hal@BusinessWorks.US

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You.

“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson]

Make today a GREAT day for someone

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Jan 31 2011

STOP Beating Down Doors!

A knock unanswered is a nudge


in the direction of more


productive selling, not an


invitation to pound on the door.


Every one in every business or profession is engaged in sales. Some don’t want to be. Some don’t accept that they are. Some push so hard running in place that they wear out their treads and lose traction.

Some give up on the starting line.


For the benefit of those from the “knock ’em dead” school of pushy salesmanship (who are probably out there selling cars instead of reading this anyway), put all “the failing economy” excuses aside, and consider these ugly face-the-facts truisms as you examine reasons for not making sales quota:

Assertiveness is not aggressiveness.

Speaking up for yourself is not the same

as punching someone in the nose

. . . and the flip side:

No one ever bought anything

from a slab of fish fillet.

How happy this news must make all you handshake aficionados who are smart enough to know deliver a handshake that comes down the middle, avoiding both the MMA bone-crusher grip and the floppy wet, soaped-up washcloth slither slide.

Effective, successful sales professionals mimic and resemble in attitude what they present of themselves in that first three customer-size-up seconds of presenting a genuine smile, trustworthy eye contact, and a handshake that speaks of authenticity.

So why do most home and business service providers not get it? Most one-man-band performers see themselves as service provider performers, not sales professionals . . . not sales anything.

They are SEO consultants, or upholsterers, or plumbers or electricians, or painters, or carpenters, or designers, or bookkeepers, or carpet cleaners, or hairdressers, or artists, or window-washers, or specialty retailers, or delivery service people, or car service specialists, or appliance repair specialists, or photographers, or building maintenance people, or writers or editors, or . . . you name it.

They are not, and do not want to be salespeople.

They are not and do not want to be politicians.

They are not and do not want to be agents.

They DO want to be businesspeople and get paid fairly for their services, but most are not willing to be open-minded enough to accept that today’s market for home and business services is filled with less capable, more personable provider options.

And being successful means being able to compete . . . not by being “Mr. or Ms. Personality” but by being more focused on how they come across to others, on how carefully they listen.

It really doesn’t take much to ask questions, listen carefully to the answers without interrupting, take notes, nod, smile, offer reassurance, and hand over a supportive piece of paper or simple folder that outlines the basics:

  • credentials

  • insurance and bonding contacts

  • customer references

  • contact information

  • payment terms

  • satisfaction guarantee

  • ah, yes, and a website address (simple outperforms nothing every time!)

There’s no need to stand in place and recite these.

Face-to-face time must be used productively, listening 80%, talking 20%!

When a best-effort presentation or introduction has been made, and there’s no expression of interest, or there’s an expression of interest but the prospect literally “disappears,” stop beating your fist (head?) against the guy’s door.

A dead-in-the-water sales pitch will not revive itself because you don’t want to give up. It will instead eat your time up sideways, and haunt you. Knock on another door.

Accept that what you had to offer just didn’t work for that person at that time and/or that she/he simply overlooked being courteous enough to not lead you on . . . and get on with life!



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“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!”   [Thomas Jefferson]

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You.

Make today a GREAT day for someone! 

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Jan 04 2011




Front burner food for thought


for every sales and


leadership encounter!

First, recognize that every form of leadership gets its salt and pepper from the world of professional sales, and particularly for spicing up the first ten seconds of every encounter, which is the amount of time used to “size up” a leader or a sales pro.

Second, since everybody seems to love acronyms (especially all those tax-dollar-paycheck-justification head-cases in government and big corporations), here’s another acronym to write on the palm of your hand . . . or on your knee, perhaps, if you wear skirts:


(I hear your brain ticking away as we speak.)


TONE— Set the TONE by being on time with your neat, clean appearance (from clean shoes and clothes, to deodorized skin, clean nails and teeth, and neat hair — briefcases and pocketbooks count too!). YOUR VISUAL APPEARANCE consumes second #1 of being “sized up.” The same dynamics apply to email and text messages that appear crisp and friendly, that don’t assume too much with abbreviations and attitude.


EVERY — EVERY smile :<) is a free gift you can give to others. Make it genuine (people can tell, even by phone, when it’s not). It consumes second #2. And E is also for EYE CONTACT (neither probing or riveting stares, nor sideways glances). Keep in mind that people can also tell when a phone call connection is distracted. Ask if you’re interrupting. Offer to call back.


NUANCE — Your handshake (neither bone-crusher nor fish fillet) takes up second #3 and either confirms and reinforces the first two seconds, OR raises a mental-red-flag cause for doubt about you and the products/services/ideas you represent.

Tick-Tock, Tick-Tock, Tick-T. . .


START — START with a friendly clear greeting and question.


EACH — Remember that EACH of the first ten seconds that passes will make or break your sale or degree of leadership acceptance.


CONVERSATION— Begin with a brief (“elevator speech”) summary that “BILLBOARDS” what you have to sell: Use emotional triggers. Tell a story with a beginning, middle, and an end, and that’s persuasive . . . all in seven words or less, then ask for the sale (since it takes 5-6 attempts to close a sale, you can’t start asking too soon).


OPEN — OPEN your ears and listen with care. Ideally, you’ll listen 80% of the time after these first ten seconds, and speak 20%.


NOTE — NOTE what’s said (and what’s not said) right from the git-go. Actually write it down. Ask the speaker to slow down so you can jot a couple of reminder notes of what she/he says. Ask for examples. Nothing flatters like an attentive listener and note taker.


DECIDE — DECIDE if the prospect is worth your time and energy (especially on a trade or professional show or showroom floor) and politely dismiss yourself from window-shoppers and tire-kickers when you’re busy. When you’re not, get engaged and practice!


SELL — Too many salespeople (!) and leaders forget to sell!

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931.854.0474 or Hal@BusinessWorks.US

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You.

“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson]

Make today a GREAT day for someone! 

No responses yet

Dec 15 2010


 “I read a blog today,


Oh Boy!”


[With thanks for the unconscious melody, to The Beatles]


Contrary to a blog post I just read, MOTIVATION does NOT come from inside you!

It is DESIRE that lodges itself deep within each human being (and of course most animals).

Motivation is an influence that’s exercised and exerted from the OUTSIDE.

It is what activates or triggers desire.

To say someone is “self-motivated” simply means that person is in touch with her or his desires, and that some external things or events (or other person or people has) have activated, stimulated, or triggered those desires, increased awareness of them, and brought them to the surface.


This little bit of wisdom is as important to marketing strategists, sales professionals, and online content writers and designers seeking to trigger emotional buying motives, as it is to business owners and managers.

  • We’ve chatted here often about the practical motivational applications of Maslow’s Theory of Needs Hierarchy.

Decades later, it is still a constant and still the most valuable motivational tool for business and organization leaders.

It requires leaders to pay ongoing attention to what things most make themselves and those around them “tick,” and recognize that needs can change instantly. 

  • Herzberg’s research adds yet another dimension of reality that we often assume that we know what other’s needs are, but are frequently wrong . . . and that financial and job enrichment rewards are important, but in motivating for true job satisfaction, gaining some sense of achievement is what really matters most.


Okay, now that we’re past all that textbook stuff, let’s take a closer look at leadership. Motivating and inspiring others to perform optimally is a primary challenge and responsibility.

Whether the prompts to action are directed toward problem solving or innovating (or producing innovative solutions), or selling (which may of course combine all of the above), there is an over-riding need to turn on the reality spotlight!

The point is if you are out there on the front lines of sales and/or management–and aim to be successful–you’re not likely to have the time or patience to mollycoddle (cool word, huh?) a bunch of theoretical approaches about how to do your job.

Theory talks. Reality walks.


Now, here’s the killer: if you don’t do the reality booster-shots hourly or daily, your leadership effectiveness stands to suffer big-time.

Remember those on-the-job moments when a boss expected you to be internally-motivated and told you to do something “by the book” that turned out to be dumb, wasteful, irrelevant, insensitive, or ineffective (maybe all?)? Just a small example.

What about the boss who got you excited about doing something that you always wanted to try or to learn, but thought you’d never get the chance? THAT is external motivation of your internal desire! Also just a small example.   

How can you reach inside those you are responsible for leading, to locate and push those magic buttons that ignite their rocket launchers?

One good answer: 

Igniting people’s individual rocket launchers requires full understanding that the strength of your role performance as a leader is determined by how well you can get to know your SELF and others’ individual selves.


Your ability to make great things happen depends on how effectively you size up other people’s qualifications, energy drives, interests, instincts, capabilities . . . and desires!

The more you can know yourself, the more easily you can know others. When you know what others want and need, you’ll know how, when and where to reward and challenge them most productively.

But keep it on your back burner that a personal crisis or even minor oversight on your part or on the part of any of those you lead, can change the dynamics of the relationship and the tasks at hand overnight or within the hour, even within the minute! And that can change what you need to do to help others make a difference. 

# # # 


302.933.0116  Hal@BusinessWorks.US

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You.

“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson]

Make today a GREAT day for someone!



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