Category: Leadership

You’ve Arrived: Now the Real Work Begins

When you’ve been on the path to achieving a leadership position – whether as President of the United States or manager of a sales team or leader of your kids’ PTA – the work doesn’t stop once you get there.  In fact, that’s when the real work begins.  It’s what you do after your arrival that counts. Or, to borrow…

Balancing Grit with Emotional Intelligence

I recently read Angela Duckworth’s book, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance.  In it, Duckworth  states that high achievers attain success not necessarily because they’re the smartest people in the room, but because they have “a kind of ferocious determination.” They are “unusually resilient and hard working…and they know in a very, very deep way what it is they…

Effective Sales Leaders Know Their Eagles from Their Ducks

One of your most important roles as a sales leader is to know your people – their triggers, where they do their best work, what they are like when they are overextended, their personal goals, and their career goals. This helps you observe, notice, and coach them, as you decide the most appropriate roles/responsibilities for them on your sales team.…

Acting Against Your Best Interests in Sales

Acting against your best interests means you err because of ignorance or ineptitude.  Ignorance says we err because you only know partially what to do.  There are skyscrapers we do not know how to build, snowstorms we cannot predict, and heart attacks we still have not fully learned how to stop.  Ineptitude is when the knowledge exists, and yet we…

Delusional Thinking in Sales

In the movie, “A Beautiful Mind,” Nobel prize winner John Nash (played by Russell Crowe) says in his acceptance speech, “my search for reason has taken me from the physical to the metaphysical to the delusional and back again.” The more I think about this statement, the more I realize that many of us – in any career – get…

When Sales Performance is Up, Don’t Let Behaviors Go Down

  There’s an old saying in sales that goes, “It’s amazing how many sins are forgiven when a sales person is hitting their number.” What I’m seeing and hearing about far too often these days are examples of sales professionals who start out leveraging positive sales traits and behaviors – reflective understanding, due diligence, enthusing, convincing, purposeful argumentation, engage with…

Sales is Easy…Selling Easily is Hard

Last week a sales leader said to me, “I’ve got some pretty tenured sales people on my team. What do you recommend providing them around advanced selling skills? Things like advanced negotiating skills and advanced probing skills?” In my opinion, getting better at selling is not about learning advanced skills. Listening is listening. Negotiating is negotiating. Probing is probing. It’s…

Change in Language Precedes Change in Behavior

In the work I do with sales teams and sales professionals, I’ve noticed that people often begin a description of their sales role as, “I’m accountable for…” instead of, “I’m responsible for…” I’d like to suggest that there’s a difference between “responsibility” and “accountability,” and I think understanding and internalizing that difference can contribute to improving your sales performance. Merriam-Webster…

Empathy is the Difference that Makes the Difference in the 21st Century

There was a fascinating article in Fortune magazine recently, “Humans are Underrated” by Geoff Colvin, that talked about the future of work, and answered the question: in the wake of advancing technology, “how will we humans add value?” A study cited in the article showed that transaction jobs and production jobs have decreased significantly over the years. Conversely, human interaction…

Coming Into and Staying in Alignment with Clients

Sales professionals in meetings often ask me for insight as to why they lost a particular opportunity. After listening to their story, I typically start with the same question: “Were you in alignment with the client?” Being out of alignment with your client is like when the tires on your vehicle are out of alignment. You may still be moving…