Business is always changing and evolving. While that brings many challenges it also creates opportunities for sales success.
Salespeople need to stay on the cutting edge and keep their knowledge of best practices and strategies current.
I was asked, along with other members of the Forbes Coaches Council, for advice on staying relevant and finding success in sales. Our tips for sales success are wide-ranging, from the use of technology to managing relationships. You can read the full article at Forbes.com.
Among the important topics discussed:
- Relationships, including understanding human behavior, focusing on relationships and developing trust
- Communication, including how to make it more personal, how to practice active listening and tailor your approach
- Technology, and how we use it in the sales process
- Creating value, including knowing what your customer wants and needs
You’ll find valuable advice on these topics for both new and experienced entrepreneurs to become and stay relevant in a changing landscape.
For more advice on sales success, read Embracing Your Inner Salesperson
Often, when confronted with situations that are unfamiliar or stressful, we stay in our comfort zone to shield ourselves. But that personal bubble might be holding you back from achieving success.
To reach our goals, in sales and other areas of entrepreneurial life, it is sometimes necessary to take actions that might seem daunting, rather than exhilarating. So how can you move beyond your comfort zone and achieve your potential?
I believe the combination of passion and purpose is powerful. Find out how to use them to soar above any personal discomfort and achieve success. More on this, and 14 other strategies and first-hand insights from members of the Forbes Coaches Council in this article on breaking out of your comfort zone.
Learn how to use valuable strategies including:
- Problem-focused interaction
- Practice and presentation
- Setting up systems
- Understanding ‘no’
- Changing perspectives
- Experimenting with approaches
Additional reading you may enjoy: Embracing your Inner Salesperson
You can find balance as an entrepreneur if you understand the true definition of success.
I believe in a model of success that hasn’t been applied before, and once you learn it, you can achieve a balance of wealth and well-being.
In the past, there has been no universal definition of success that is holistic and takes the whole person into account. This results in a focus in one area only – such as making money or being of service.
I have worked with a Wall Street executive who dedicated his life to creating wealth, but near the end of his career felt emotionally and spiritually bankrupt. Despite his wealth, he felt like a failure. On the other end of the spectrum is a woman who had worked directly with the Dalai Lama – a spiritual guru – but she was unable to continue her valuable work because she had no money. They were extremely successful in one aspect of their lives but could not sustain it. They were either wealthy and unhappy, or well-adjusted but unable to support themselves financially.
If you’d like to learn more about a balanced achievement of wealth and well-being, and understand the definition of success as it applies to the whole person, please listen to this Forbes podcast where I share my ideas, along with other members of the Forbes Coaches Council:
Unlearn What You Have Learned, Focus, & Find Balance
Find out more about:
- The four cornerstones of success and developing habits to nourish each one
- The skill of unlearning old habits and proficiencies in order to replace them with new ones
- Training your brain to overcome moments of overwhelm and distraction
Learn more about broken definitions of success.
Negotiation is a critical leadership skill. We are not all born with it, but you can learn it.
As business leaders we often have to negotiate with clients or employees. We even negotiate in our personal lives.
I was recently asked, along with 14 other members of the Forbes Coaches Council, what skills are important for leaders who want to up their game in negotiations, and how to go about getting those skills.
I share the mistake I see most often, and the quickest path to successful negotiation.
Read more in the Forbes article.
This article originally published on Forbes.com
Entrepreneurs are faced with an endless array of daily decision making. And, if not handled with conscious control and discernment, it can lead to decision fatigue, causing a decrease in productivity, effectiveness and ability to achieve and sustain success.
As a veteran entrepreneur who has conducted business worldwide, I’ve been directly involved in extensive decision making processes, both on my own behalf and as agent for others. I’ve had the opportunity to witness decision making habits of executives of private and publicly traded companies, Fortune 50 company executives (including their legal counsel and primary partners) and solopreneurs.
Through decades of that direct personal experience, I’ve discovered a pattern of what works to deliver the minimum amount of decision making stress and strain possible and the maximum successful outcome.
1. Eliminate and/or minimize daily, nonessential decision making. When it comes to your daily agenda, use self-control to focus only on what is essential. This keeps your mind fresh and sharp, enabling it to think optimally to achieve the highest outcomes.
2. Avoid polarization. When it comes to business agreements, seek out the core values of the company or person you’re making a decision about. Make sure those values are compatible with yours. When core values are in alignment, communication, problem-solving and shared responsibility flow more easily and effortlessly. When they are not aligned, there is a predisposition toward roadblocks, delays or even failure to achieve success.
3. Avoid people-pleasing. There is a natural human tendency to engage in people-pleasing with the people we like as opposed to those we don’t. Liking someone makes it more challenging to say no or to set a boundary when it’s required and can lead to poor decision making. No matter how much you like another person, don’t lower your standards when it comes to doing your homework. It’s business.
4. Assess personality compatibility. If you don’t like someone yet choose to do business with them anyway, you add extra stress, strain and fatigue to the business relationship and can diminish positive returns. Find someone you have more synergy with.
5. Don’t feel pressured to make decisions on someone else’s “need-by” timeline. Rushing your decision making process to accommodate someone else’s timeline is never a good idea. If the timeline can’t be negotiated to match your needs, it’s a sign that it’s not a good match and will lead to other hard-lining behavior in the future.
6. When in any doubt, don’t make a final decision. Making a final decision in spite of lingering doubts is allowing an unconscious or conscious fear to drive your decision. This is an emotional decision, not a rational one, and it often leads to making poor choices. Wait until you are free from doubt.
7. Don’t rush your contract negotiations for any reason. Rushing negotiations is often a sign of being too hungry for success. It means that you are coming from a place of fear or desperation, which will not net you the positive returns you’re seeking. This will only cause a delay in achieving the success that you want or need.
8. Get references, no matter how renowned or grand the recommendation. It’s imperative, in every circumstance, to do your due diligence to make the wisest, risk-averse decision as possible. You need to hear firsthand the answers to your specific questions. Assuming the answers is a risky proposition.
9. Don’t allow fear to rule your decision making process. Fear is an irrational feeling, and not a rational thought. An irrational mindset leads to mistake-making. Take the time to do all the research, investigation and rational analysis prior to making a decision so fear doesn’t override your rational judgment.
10. Get advice, trust your gut and make your own final decisions. Nobody knows your goals, values, wants, needs or point of view like you do. Not even the most seasoned expert is likely coming from the same position as you, which can lead you astray. It’s important to get expert advice, but it’s imperative to make your own decisions to achieve the outcomes that you want and need.
Getting mired in too much decision making can lead to decision fatigue, and therefore, failure. Both Barack Obama and Mark Zuckerberg know this all too well. That’s why they eliminate all the nonessential decisions. When Obama was president, he chose to only wear blue or grey suits every day. “I’m trying to pare down decisions,” he said in an interview. “I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make.”
Similarly, Mark Zuckerberg almost always wears a grey T-shirt and jeans for the same reason. “I really want to clear my life to make it so that I have to make as few decisions as possible about anything except how to best serve this community. And there’s actually a bunch of psychology theory that even making small decisions around what you wear, or what you eat for breakfast, or things like that, they kind of make you tired and consume your energy.”
If not made carefully, every decision, big or small, can deplete your time and energy. By consciously and consistently abiding by the top 10 tenets of successful decision making, you’ll optimally be conditioned to avert decision fatigue and achieve maximum returns and success on your energy spent making decisions.