Joyful Abandon – got any?

Joyful Abandon

A  friend of mine sent over this picture (his son Jax s the one in the front) and as we have been talking about passion (and winter sports) this month it got me thinking.

When is the last time you looked at life… at sales with the level of joyful abandon on these kids faces?

That is your assignment for today – do something ANYTHING with joyful abandon!

Introducing Burst Focus (w/audio) has started a monthly Quick Tip TeleClass and January’s topic introduced a new concept: BURST focus.

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BURST focus is the idea of putting one thing on your to do list in front of you at a time and ONLY working on it.

Don’t roll your eyes at me – there is more.

You get to pick the duration of time!

Ready to hear more, check out the audio Introducing BURST Focus

Passion Pushes Us Forward

Have you ever had this kind of view of your job or career?

Where everything is a bit fuzzy and unclear?

A day where the path forward is cloudy?

Fuzzy Picture

One of the easiest ways to move forward is to focus on what you are passionate about.

In the beginning of the ski season –

everything seems a little fuzzy.

My legs are typically NOT in tip top shape. Which means after a few thousand feet of vertical drop in a good stance with knees bent and weight forward – my quads are SCREAMING at me.

Yet, with my adrenalin pumping – I get back on the lift, my passion for speed propelling me to continue.

Plus the challenge propels me to take at least one lesson each season – to sharpen my skills and correct my bad habits. 

It is time to think about what in sales you’re passionate about. Is it the:

  • thrill of getting a cold call to talk with you
  • excitement of the deal
  • lure of commission
  • exhilaration of winning
  • delight of hearing you’ve helped

What ever it is for you, focus on the passion… relish the feeling you get… it will push you forward to keep having those experiences.

Don’t get stuck when the path forward is difficult – use your passion to push yourself forward!

Next week is about Passion Transference!

Passion Is Contagious

Sales is about Relationships

Relationships are about Communication

Communication is about Passion

Lynn Skiing at Whiteface Mtn

Ask me about skiing (if you have time) and you will see how contagious passion is!

The first thing that happens is I start to smile while I talk –

Which of course affects my voice tone/pitch/quality/pace –

My body moves as I’m describing what it feels like to ski –

All of the sudden, even if at the beginning you didn’t REALLY want to know anything about skiing and were merely being polite (silly silly person)…

  • You’re smiling
  • You’re laughing
  • You’re leaning forward
  • You watn to hear more

Need I say more? Now we’re in a conversation, to spite your resolve not to be involved.

psst – it works with prospects too!

The How To Section

Most of the time while working with salespeople they will fall into one of two categories:

  1. those who believe with their whole heart it the product/service they are selling.
  2. those who are excited about some aspects of their job, but not in category 1.

Don’t get me wrong – there are also salespeople who don’t believe and aren’t excited…. typically they aren’t coming to me for coaching.

Many category 1 salespeople, have already stopped reading (for the most part). It is easy for them to be passionate – they already believe. If you’re still reading, it is probably because conveying your passion is in question.

Remember my explanation of what happens as I’m talking about skiing? That is where to start.

  1. smile, believe it or not people can hear that over the phone
  2. use your hands, arms, whole body as you’re speaking – pretend the prospect/customer is in the room with you
  3. listen to yourself when talking with friends; what does your tone/pitch/quality/pace sound like? Make sure you exaggerate it just a little  (very, very little) while you’re on the phone

Pass along your passion DON’T keep it to yourself.

People in category 2, Today, check out what you ARE excited about and use that to fuel your enthusiasm. Make a list of the top 3 things you LOVE, LOVE, LOVE about your product/service you’re selling.

Don’t forget to include the things about YOU that set you apart from everyone else in your organization.  At times that piece is more difficult – so ask your coworkers, family, and friends about when they hear your enthusiasm coming through. Now exploit it by following those three steps too!

Need more? We will talk more about Passion Transference later this month.  Next week is about how Passion Pushes Us Forward!

Issue 21: A Passionate Edition

Work to Ski, Ski to Live

Important Safety Tip: in this edition of A Chip off the Block, when I start to blather on about skiing – please don’t zone out!

Instead; insert whatever activity you are passionate about (doesn’t matter if it is playing darts at your local pub, quilting, birding, or racing cars – all that matters is you get the same feelings I’m talking about when I start going on & on & on & on)

In life there are things that we;

  • Work hard to be good at
  • Look forward to EVERY TIME
  • Smile even thinking about
  • Execute with joyful abandon
  • Leave reluctantly, exhausted
  • Immediately think about “next time”

For me, in the wintertime, that thing is downhill skiing. I’ve actually orchestrated my entire life and business to enable my habit.

Once December arrives, I’m sad every time the temperature rises above freezing, until mid-April.

If I’m honest… with myself and you… the anticipation for skiing actually starts in early November once the fall foliage has dropped off the trees.

Someone somewhere is saying “Who cares – what does this have to do with sales?

I’m glad you asked!




Check out Issue 21: A Passionate Edition for more, plus keep coming back for expanded info!

How Do I Get Over The Stuff I Hate?

I had a great question this week; now that I know what I love, how do I get over the stuff I hate?

This may seem long & involved… so bear with me.

#1 –  when you think of the “stuff I hate”, regardless if it is the activity itself OR how you’re going about it… write down the result you are trying to accomplish instead of what you don’t like.

#2 – as you are looking at the result, as yourself a tough question: for me to be successful do I need to accomplish insert result here at all?

I know that seems like a crazy question, but last year I actually STOPPED doing something I hated, because I realize the result is outdated & I don’t need it anymore. Seriously!

A different question you could ask is: If I don’t do insert result here will anyone even notice – ever?

#3 – if you can’t give up the result (because it is important – not because it’s too hard to change your habits) lets take a quick look at how to

change the way you accomplish the result

In my personal dream world – I could delegate all the stuff I hate to do that has important results. Don’t roll your eyes at me! I said in my personal dream world 1st.

Unfortunately in sales, most people don’t have anyone to delegate to! That said, some people have a front line manager who believes in taking that stuff off your plate.

Here are a few examples of things I did (when I was a manager) to do just that for the salespeople who worked on my team:

  • run down internal issues & resolve them (both pre- & post-sale)
  • call on someone higher in a prospect/customer organization “manager to manager” to solidify our position in the account
  • work through strategy as a team on big deals, to make it less overwhelming on what still needed to be done to win

Therefore, if I did it… perhaps your manager would be willing to help you too (seriously, think of it as an internal sale – if you don’t ask w/the business justification that it will allow you to keep selling – they can’t say yes).

On to the un-delegate-able  (no I don’t know if that is really a word)

Go back to your results list, take a look at what you want to accomplish – instead of how you have been getting there.

Need an example? -in sales, understanding the emotional response is important.

Why that example? well I am not at all empathetic as a person; zero, zilch, nada – really don’t care.

That doesn’t make me a bad person, I am compassionate, but I don’t pick up on other people’s emotional signals (just ask my husband who has kicked me under the table numerous times).

So I look at the result “understanding the emotional response” and go back to my I love list to figure out a new path to the result.

  • I love the joy of a strategy working
  • I love being able to change my own perspective
  • I love making a game out of something boring and create fun

Then I start to use those to achieve my result. I made a game out of learning the physical and verbal cues people give for different emotions. I scored my game by reducing the number of times I get kicked under the table (for the record, it hasn’t happened in a long time now). It is something I look at NOT as emotional, but as information about the other person.

All that said – the question to ask yourself is how can I use what I love, to achieve  insert result here?

There may be things that you need a coach, friend, or manager to work through with you – the more extroverted you are, the more likely that will be. Find someone you trust and ask for help!

Our goal here is to reduce the eye rolling and heavy sighs that take away the energy, enthusiasm, and passion we need to be successful in sales.

Love what you Do, Do what you Love

Welcome to 2011!

This is going to be a great year. A profitable year. A fun year.

How do I know? Well I know because I’m rededicating my days:

  • to achieving excellence
  • sharing my passion
  • working hard to do more of what I love

Sound crazy? Well join me 😉

I played a little game, it is fun and easy. For one week, instead of focusing on the things that make me roll my eyes – where I screwed up – what  I failed to do; I wrote down all of the things I love about sales…. as they happened!

Yup a list that includes;

  • I love the rush of getting prospects & customers to answer tough questions
  • I love the joy of a strategy working
  • I love the warm feeling of doing a good deed
  • I love being able to change my own perspective
  • I love feeling clever when I figure out a better way to get where I’m going
  • I love making a game out of something boring and create fun
  • and so on
  • and so forth
  • etc

I even checked off when something happened more than once!

Part 2 = working every day to make those fleeting moments happen more frequently! All day long I’m working for the joy, crazy as it sounds – this helps me have better customer conversations AND find more business opportunity.

Maybe that isn’t crazy; after all passion and enthusiasm are contagious – I know I would rather work with someone who is having fun!