Saturday, October 3, 2020

The Lost Sales Paradox


The Lost Sales Paradox

Tim Connor

Do you know what your lost sales are costing you every month?  Every year? Let me give you two quick examples. It’s what refer to as – The Lost Sales Paradox.

Example one - Your average sales are $1000 per order. You have five salespeople on your team and their average close percentage is one out of three sales presentations.  They see approximately thirty potential prospects every month.  So – the results; your average salesperson closes ten sales a month for 10,000 in total revenue every month. So, your organization is closing 50 sales a month for $50,000 in revenue.  But you are also losing one hundred sales per month (the 2 out of three they don’t close) for a total of $100,000 – or around a million bucks a year in total lost sales.

Example two – Your average sales are $5,000 per order.  You have twenty salespeople and their average closing percentage is one out of three prospect presentations.  They each see forty potential prospects each month.  So – the results – your average salesperson is closing 13 sales per month for $65,000 in revenue times twenty salespeople so the total organization monthly revenue is a little under one and a half million or around $60,000,000 per year but – you are also losing almost three million in monthly revenue or $36,000,000 per year.

To summarize:

Example one – Yearly sales revenue $600,000 – Lost sales revenue for the year - $1,000,000.

Example two – Yearly sales revenue - $18,000,000 – Lost sales revenue for the year - $30,000,000.

Regardless of your organization’s products or services, the number of sales employees, your sales-generating model, your competition or your market share the above paradox generally apply and why?

First – very few salespeople or organizations have a one hundred percent new customer closing ratio.

Second – Every organization sooner or later loses customers or clients for any number of reasons.

Third – Every day the world is getting more competitive.

And Fourth – If you are not reinventing, staying ahead of the trends, and staying in touch with reality it’s only a matter of time before you will be a statistic.

So, let me ask you - if I asked you the following question what would your answer be. “If you could invest, let’s say $25,000 in either situation above to cut your ‘lost revenue’ losses, let‘s say by twenty-five percent or even in half – would you do it?”

Well, teaching proven and contemporary sales techniques to hundreds of organizations around the world for over thirty-five years guess what the most frequent answer I have received to this question is when I have asked it?

No.  So, you would be willing to let go of more than +/- 50% of your potential revenue by not investing a few thousand dollars in teaching your sales team, customer service employees, or other employees who interact with your customers the essential and/or creative communication, sales, and negotiation skills to ensure you don’t lose this revenue year after year because they lack the necessary these skills or attitudes to perform with consistent, effective and creative excellence?

I get it – unless I can guarantee you won’t stop losing this revenue why risk it.  There are other important things you can invest or spend your money on like – more technology, nicer offices, or employee compensation.  Yes, but if you add up the losses over the years imagine what you could have done with that extra month after month revenue!

Yes, the sales process has evolved over the years due to technology.  Yes, the world is becoming a global village.  And yes, with social media, internet buying patterns and economic uncertainty things are changing.  But there are three things that are not changing. One – people buy from organizations and people they trust. Two – technology will never completely replace the human touch when it comes to major, critical, or significant purchases. Three - success will always involve a “Blending” process – mixing the best strategies, approaches, and techniques from, the past, present, and future.

If your organization is losing more sales revenue than you are achieving (and you might be amazed at how many organizations don’t know these statistics when it comes to lost sales percentages or reasons) and you are ready to get ahead of the curve when it comes to sales and marketing philosophy and performance-based approaches – let’s chat.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Life’s Eight Essential Ingredients! Tim Connor

Life’s Eight Essential Ingredients!
Tim Connor

Life for some people is an easy day to day experience filled with joy, success, contentment, and love but for many, each day brings new or different challenges that force them to surrender to people or circumstances they can’t control and even give in or quit because they don’t have the resolve, purpose, faith or courage to overcome.

There are multiple traits, attitudes, values, and skills that can help each of us weather life’s storms and emerge each day victorious but I believe there are eight that are critical for everyone to master regardless of age, gender, race, economic status or health and they are; wisdom, discernment, a spiritual foundation, responsibility, integrity, action, courage, and resilience.  Yes, there are many more but over the years I have learned that if I can master these then even if I am void of any others I can still overcome, prevail, survive and look back on my life with peace.

But first why have I chosen just these eight as the essentials? Well, it wasn’t easy as I have been on a very active journey for over forty years of study, learning, evaluating, growing, overcoming, and considering.  I read on average - two books a week (and have for many years) by a wide variety of authors and I have learned a great deal about what does matter and what doesn’t in life (no I am not going to tell you how to live your life).  What works and what doesn’t and what to practice and what to let go of. 

Let me add however that I am not there yet, not even close as life is an ongoing lifelong process of learning and unlearning, letting go and hanging on to, losing and winning and growing and staying stuck. I am a student of life and not by any means an expert. 

I chose these seven for three reasons. 1) What have I learned that I wish I had learned earlier. 2)What have I learned that has made life more peaceful and filled with joy and 3) What have I learned that I wish I had avoided or let go of sooner.

So, now the eight.

Wisdom – First – wisdom is not information, intelligence, maturity, insight, character, knowledge, experience, or lessons learned.  It is the willingness and ability to blend all of these into a lifestyle that contributes to success, happiness, inner peace, contentment, and ease of living no matter what you have faced, dealt with, overcome, or has hit you like a 2x4 when you weren’t looking.  It’s the ability to face all circumstances, situations, people, failure, adversity and pain with a life view that shouts – I can’t control everything or everyone but I can control myself and I can learn to lean on God for guidance and not my self-sufficiency whether I am faced with trials and struggle or success and prosperity.  Wisdom is simply living wisely according to what is and not what was, or you hope will one day be.

We all want success and happiness, but we don’t always get to choose what will bring these to us.  We all want less adversity, struggle, and pain but we are the ones who get to decide what it means, how we react to it, what we learn and how it impacts every area of our life.  That my friends are wisdom.

Discernment – The ability to determine what is important, relevant, or necessary to achieve a worthwhile life includes the ability to choose wisely.  Today we have hundreds if not thousands of options, choices, and directions we could go but just because it’s easy, quick, or good doesn’t make it right.  Discernment is the ability to consider both the short-term impact of choices, decisions, and actions.  

When you live with this as a mindset you will live with less regret, disappointment, and frustration.  It doesn’t mean you will have fewer problems or even less failure, but you will be better equipped to deal with these when you choose with maturity, consideration, and a sense of reality.

A spiritual foundation – I’m not just referring here to religion, but a belief system grounded in a belief in God or a higher power. I believe it is necessary to have faith in God, but He also expects us to have faith in ourselves, our desires, dreams, and goals.  By this, I am by no means suggesting that our human faith in life will ever equal, replace or dismiss our faith in God but without faith in ourselves, it is very difficult to have faith in anything else.  A spiritual foundation grounds you in a certain degree of ethics, morals, and behavior that in the end will accelerate your life journey in the right direction.  I  have met hundreds of people around the world who lack a spiritual system or belief foundation and one common thing I noticed with all of them was their attitude that when things worked out they took the credit and when things didn’t they always blamed something or someone. They didn’t understand the basic premise that we are all broken and the only way to get fixed is to have a mindset that is grounded in something higher than ourselves i.e. God.

Integrity – We are living in a world that is filled with uncertainty, a lack of congruence when it comes to words and actions and is riddled with greed and self-absorption. And the ultimate consequences are a lack of personal, relationship, and business integrity.  Yes, many people say what they mean and mean what they say, but often separating these folks from the majority of society is becoming very difficult.  Integrity is becoming a lost behavior in many ways in areas of society and the outcomes are – chaos, dysfunction, emotional outbursts, and a lack of trust to mention a few.  Integrity is doing what is right not what you think or believe is right as “right” can be defined differently by everyone.  It is honoring basic fundamental human beliefs and values that add trustworthiness to relationships and human value.

Resilience – Quitting is easy.  Giving up is no challenge. Letting go – no problem.  Surrender – better than continuing g to feel the pain. OK, so why is resilience so important? I could go on for pages but a quick answer is; if you give yourself the option to quit or give in while pursuing a dream, goal or outcome do you think that the attitude of possible quitting if things get tough might just influence your actions or journey towards your desired outcome in a negative way? YES - it will. Resilience is a test of your commitment, dedication, resolve, purpose, mission, and ultimately how your personal life journey ends.

Responsibility – Responsibility is all about integrity, self-esteem, and looking in the mirror rather than pointing your finger at someone or something else. Ultimately the responsibility is a definite indication of your maturity and courage to fail, admit mistakes, and take whatever comes at you for the outcomes you created or contributed to. I don’t know how my life will end – broke or a millionaire but either way – I get the credit, or I take the responsibility.  I did it.  

And you know what – your life is the same – no matter how it turns out you can blame all you want but – you did it.

Courage – There are many ways to define courage – physical courage, emotional courage, mental courage, career courage, communication courage – need I go on? What are the common traits regardless of the type of courage life is asking you to demonstrate? Here are a few to consider; self-responsibility (you don’t behave, act, decide, believe, function based on other’s expectations, demands, or often even rules) you are guided by an inner sense of values based on integrity, wisdom, and respect. You are not afraid of failure, regardless of how others define it. You keep going as long as the end makes sense and you believe it is possible to achieve. And finally, you can adapt, adjust, modify, change, and grow as you move forward. You do this not driven by fear or the need for approval but because you realize nothing is certain and to achieve success you must be willing to grow, let go, and embrace the unknown.

Action – Decisions, goals, dreams, and plans without actions are meaningless. You would be amazed at how many people want better life outcomes in some areas of their lives and plan, dream, and hope but never act.  What’s the point in spending time in these activities if you fail to move forward?  Action does not guarantee success or failure, ease or struggle, positive or negative results but one thing is for sure – without it, you will never achieve anything.  Let me repeat to achieve you must act.  It doesn’t matter whether it’s losing weight, becoming a millionaire, or finding life joy and happiness – you have to act.  

Acting is never easy as it never guarantees you the results or outcomes you desire but often the process can teach you about what matters in life.  In other words, if you act and as you move forward you feel less comfortable with your outcomes along the way it may be time to let go of something and embrace something else or new.  But in the end sooner or later you must act if you want to achieve anything.

Why not consider these and how you are doing when it comes to the quality of your life?  Go for it, what have you got to lose.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Uncertainty – managing the future

Uncertainty – managing the future
Tim Connor

Oswald Chambers once said, “The only thing that is certain is uncertainty.”
Uncertainty definition – “the state of being uncertain - times of uncertainty and danger." Well, that was really helpful.

Here’s mine – When we don’t know what the future, whether the next minute or the next year, has in store for us, will challenge us, help us, support us or cause chaos for us or is either positive, neutral or negative.

A little better, but definitions can often be challenging since words can be interpreted differently by everyone.  For example – how would you define; challenge, the future, problems, success, failure, or uncertainty?  OK on with the details (if you are still with me).

In times of uncertainty we have three options; wait, quit, or act.  Let’s first look at each from a short perspective. Waiting in some situations is stupid and in others a wise choice - what’s the difference? If you are waiting to act for something you can’t control, want to improve or disappear it’s wise.  If you are waiting for outcomes for something you can have influence or creative responses over - stupid. How about quitting? Quitting can be either wise or stupid.  

Quitting is stupid if you have failed to evaluate, consider, or effectively interpret circumstances.  It is wise if you have exhausted all your options, resources, approaches, and energy, and you just can’t change or improve the future outcomes no matter what. And finally, you can act. Acting when you have limited experience, resources, energy, time, skills, desire, clear direction, goals, etc. is stupid.  If you have all of these and are filled with confidence and resilience acting is wise. So regardless of whether a situation requires quitting, acting, or waiting the common thread is wisdom’s ingredients. And what are these - when in doubt listen to your gut, inner voice, heart, and consciousness. 

Let’s take a more in-depth look at your three options and their benefits and consequences.

There are five concepts however that you need to consider before we dig into the details.

1)  The number one contributor to death is stress. The number one contributor to stress is impatience. The number one contributor to impatience is the need for control.  And the number one contributor to the need for control is fear of the unknown.

2)  Doing anything - driving, eating, exercising, working, etc. faster does not give you one more minute of life.

3)  Everything changes evolves, ends, grows, or dies sooner or later.

4)  Letting uncertainty in the future have a negative impact on your present will 
contribute to a life-time negative impact on your past.

5)  Everything in life has consequences; some are positive and some are negative.  Some are short-term while others can take years or even a lifetime to materialize.

OK, let’s take a more detailed look at; quitting, acting, and waiting.

Quitting – Ever quit anything too soon – a relationship, a project a hobby? Quitting is only easy when you have given up – emotionally, financially, physically, etc. The problem is that most people don’t want to quit, they just want to want to quit.  See the difference?  We want the option to bail when we feel circumstances, results or expectations don’t equal our goals or actions.

To be honest, I have quit a few times when in hindsight years later looked back I realized I should have hung in there just a bit longer with more energy, more patience, more resolve, or more tolerance.  Been there?

Uncertainty can create a great deal of emotional tension that many feel the need to manage or fix with action now, decisions now, something now, anything now. Sometimes immediate action vs. quitting can be beneficial but far too often quick or knee-jerk responses to challenges or unknowns can lead to disaster, unnecessary failure, or costs emotionally, financially, or physically that could have been avoided.

So, how do we know when not quitting is the right or best option to uncertainty or unknowns. You are not going to like my answer but here it is anyway – it depends.  Depends on what Tim? It depends on your degree of commitment, investment, patience, a willingness to let go or surrender, your ability to learn before you quit, and your desire to ensure that whatever the outcome – it will be better than giving up or throwing in the towel.

No one knows what lies around the next corner in life.  Oh sure you can try and predict, hope, dream, work like crazy and pray but in the end, life is uncertain every single day of your life. After over forty years of speaking around the world, I have learned a great deal but one thing stands out – if you can control it – do something – if you can’t control it – chill, relax, breathe and use the time to learn, grow and get wiser. But quitting is far too often pre-mature and stupid without adequate evaluation, consideration, research, etc. I hope you notice the connection between these three options – quitting, waiting, and action.  If not you have missed the central message in this article. They are all connected in one way or another.  The secret is to learn to make the best use of the combination of the three options.  Keep reading and it will come to you.

Waiting – Ever had to wait for a call from your Doctor with the results of a biopsy? How about a decision from a potential new employer where you have applied for the job of a lifetime? Or a client who is considering making the biggest purchase of one of your products in your career history? Or how about little ones – a retuned call from a potential new date candidate for a possible relationship? Or, just an email or text response from one of your kids?  This list of things we wait for is endless and I will guarantee as you are reading this article you are waiting for something from someone or something.

A basic fundamental of the character of uncertainty is – no one knows; when where, how, if, whether, etc.  All we can do is hope, dream, pray, and yes wait.  But there are two kinds of waiting.  One is with wisdom, intelligence, and maturity and the other is with pride, arrogance, ego, or impatience.  Which tends to be your approach?

The outcomes to both are significantly different.
Waiting with wisdom or intelligence is grounded in knowledge, experience, accurate information, and common sense. Waiting with the other approach leads to stress, resentment, blame, anger, regret, and disappointment. Yes, sometimes there are actions we can take while we wait and other times - all we can do is just wait.

Trust me I understand the concept of waiting. After speaking in 25 countries and I only speak English – trust me – I have had to wait a lot for a lot of things and didn’t even know what I was waiting for or why.

Been there?

Keep in mind - you can’t control the weather, the stock market, others’ behavior, the traffic behind you, or in front of you, need I go on? One thing I have noticed about mature people is their ability to wait when they can’t control stuff.  One of my life mantras is simply – ‘I will not let your behavior determine my behavior’.  Is this always easy – no way.  When I am traveling the speed limit and an idiot is behind me on my tail beeping at me and flashing their lights for me to go faster, it’s not always easy to just ignore these idiots.

Waiting style demonstrates a person’s maturity, common sense, wisdom, and intelligence.

Acting – And the last action – acting.
There are four elements involved in acting and they are – the how, the when, the who, and the where. For example, let’s say you were just laid off from your position. Your spouse doesn’t work, you have three kids and a lot of bills and the economy is sucking wind.  I know I have been there – twice.
No one is hiring, you have limited special skills and limited cash to self-promote yourself. So, the four elements mentioned above.

How – You have to earn some cash so the kids don’t starve. Part-time job, two part-time jobs, reach out to family or friends, file bankruptcy, sell your house, take a job as a dishwasher in a restaurant, live on unemployment as long as it lasts – the options are limited or unlimited depending on your definition of your circumstances. And your definition will determine how you respond. The answer – spend a few hours every month reading, learning, growing in important life areas and I’m not talking here about survival tactics but just “life stuff” like improving skills in communication, emotional maturity, negotiation, money management, etc.

The when – do you have time to wait, reflect, consider, etc. or do you need to do something now? The when will determine how you handle the “how”. The answer – Read the book “The Power of Patience” by Ryan.

The where – This one can vary depending on the circumstances – where you live, where you work, where you play, where you do anything or everything. The answer – if you live in the city, now and then take road trips into the suburbs or the country to get familiar with different areas. Once a year I take a week road trip to a new area within 500 miles of where I live. If you live in the country, now and then spend a weekend in the city. And why – to get rid of any fears about areas you are unfamiliar with.

The who - This one depends on your relationships with; family, friends, neighbors, fellow workers, customers, employees, etc.  If you have people you can count on or ask for help, guidance, etc. consider yourself fortunate as many people lack these resources and have to go through uncertainty and challenges alone – again I’m not preaching to the choir – I’ve been there. Sometimes, even if you have these resources you might be unable to ask for help for any number of reasons. The answer – spend time developing relationships with people you can count on if you ever need help, support, or guidance in the future. And, find ways to be of value and service to others who may some day come to you for help.

Well, that’s it - during uncertain times, and I am familiar with them having been through four recessions during my speaking career, you can; give in, point the finger, whine, blame, or learn, grow, change, adapt and win.  It’s a choice.

Temporary truth and the consequences

Temporary truth and the consequences
Tim Connor

Do you know the difference between temporary truth and real truth?
Today we are experiencing a great deal of conflict because many people feel if they believe something, it is true. So you believe that there are only 325 days in the year, everyone deserves an education, that all old people are stupid - that these are truths. Have you ever disagreed with a spouse, employee, or customer?  Let me describe the conversation.  You tried to convince them that they were wrong and you were right.  They tried to convince you that they were right and you were wrong. How am I doing? The problem is that truth evolves. I’m not implying that Temporary Truth is right or wrong, just that a lot of stuff is only true until their replacement truth shows up.

Here is one example. For hundreds of years if you had an illness, first they cut you open and let you bleed till you were cured – the truth about medicine. Next treatment - they gave you pills. These were followed by radiation, chemotherapy, and other invasive treatments. Keep going - Next, they sent you to a therapist. For years people believed that the current treatments were the best or even only treatment available. But, over time each one was replaced by a new and supposedly better one – now the new Temporary Truth. Real truth doesn’t change.

Here’s a simple one – for hundreds of years people believed the world was flat – the temporary truth (and based on what – current beliefs grounded not in facts but rumors). Then – someone discovered that – wow the world isn’t flat so it must be round – an updated version of current perceived truth that everyone now embraced.

What is temporary truth – anything that is changing, evolving, growing, fading, or is in the past or the future. What is real truth – gravity is the truth? Consequences are truth. Death is the truth.

Let’s be clear - opinions are not truth or reality. I’ll wager if you asked 50 million people in the US what was their opinion about (whatever – pick a topic) you would get at least 25 million different answers. So, just because something is your opinion based on your experience, your education, your personality your (stuff) it’s still only your opinion. You have a right to it but here’s the interesting thing - I have a right to my opinion on the same topic (even if it is different than yours).

There is a great deal of discord in the world today and why? Because most people believe their opinion is or should be the truth (everyone’s truth) – what is right and what the rest of us should believe just because you believe it. If this concept were true; the world is still flat, we never went to the Moon, the average lifespan in the US is 35 years and God is a myth - need I go on?

Truth is not the truth because you or I believe it or think it should be true. Truth is grounded in facts and evidence and not opinions – hear me please - FACTS. If there are no facts to back anything up – it’s just an opinion.

Ever screamed at the TV as you listened to the rantings of some political Idiot?  Ever felt the stress of a relationship that was filled with tension or frustration?  I could go on with examples like these, but the question is – is there a common cause or contributor to all or each of these life situations, struggles, or outcomes?
One of my favorite questions I ask people when they start telling me (something) is true. Ready – “How do you know that? What true evidence or facts is this based on?” Try it the next time someone gives you their opinion on something and tries to convince you they are right and you are wrong. It’s really fun.

I have had more than my share of people come up to me after one of my speeches or seminars sharing their disagreements and/or opinions of what I talked about and how they felt I was wrong or just plain out of touch - especially when it was anything related to technology. I’m not kidding here – my opinion, no matter what it was, was wrong.  I wonder if the Fax machine will ever be obsolete?  Over the years I have spent a great deal of time and research trying to identify what the unique circumstances were that contributed to these types of reactions, responses, or behaviors when dealing with others whether in person or at a distance.  I finally figured it out.
The single biggest issue that contributes to poor communication, increased conflict, negative relationships, ineffective employee performance, declining health, bad decisions, lost business, ineffective management, and declining organization success (need I go on?) - is simple but not complicated. In a word, it is “reality or truth” and not what was true but what people wanted you to believe was true. When you deal in truth you have a better percentage of better outcomes than when you deal in Temporary truths or lies.
Let me explain.  Everyone has opinions, values, attitudes, prejudices, and beliefs that are grounded in personal experience, upbringing, conditioning, and education.  When blended into a person’s mindsets these create their personal sense of reality; what is, what is right, what is wrong, what needs to change etc.  The problem gets even worse when people begin to believe that their sense of reality (the previous stuff and more) is THE “reality” in other words - all other views, opinions, attitudes, beliefs, etc. are that disagree with it are wrong, outdated, stupid, unnecessary or invalid because they are different than theirs or challenge theirs. 
Imagine for a minute the last conflict you had with an employee, spouse, or customer – I will guarantee its source was the attempt by both of you to validate your own opinion(s) and invalidate the other person’s.  Due to current trends in Political Correctness, Social Media, The Selfie Generation we are very rapidly losing the ability to develop meaningful relationships grounded in respectful acceptance of different opinions, values, beliefs etc. – both business and personal – that are grounded in openness, understanding, tolerance, and respect.
So, what’s the answer?  Well, there are a few things we all need to understand if we are going to deal in truth going forward and in no particular order they are; fear, the need for control, the desire for approval, arrogance, insecurity, denial, criticism avoidance, acceptance, assumptions, uncertainty and change, the ripple effect, manipulation and yes so many more.  Let me just give you a brief overview of each as I’m sure you have other things to do.
But before I do - a quick real-life example from my past.  Many years ago I spent the holidays with the family of a client and a friend.  One night we had a conversation and he asked me, “Tim, what do you think about reincarnation?” My answer, “I don’t know much, I just know I don’t believe in that hokus pokus.” His response, “How can you have such a strong opinion about something you don’t know anything about?” I have never forgotten that conversation, and never will.
Fear – Fear is the most powerful emotion in life.  And when we let others use it with lies or lack of truth we give them power over us until the fear leaves us.
The hundredth monkey effect – This concept says that once an idea, rumor, concept, invention hits critical mass it is now spread quickly as truth regardless of its validity.
The need for control – Many people today will say or do anything that gives them perceived control or power. The problem is that if their actions are not grounded in truth eventually they will fail and lose this power or control.  Just look at global dictators over the years who have disappeared.
The need or desire for approval or acceptance – Many people today want to be liked and respected and want friends and connections who will “friend, like, support” them. Let me ask you how many connections do you have on Facebook or Linkedin that you don’t know at all but call them friends?
Arrogance and ego – People who are driven by ego and arrogance will often do or say anything that helps them maintain their reputation (no matter how dishonest it may be), control, or ability to influence others.  Just look at many politicians today.
Insecurity – If people feel insecure they will often say anything to help them manage their insecurity.
Denial – Denial is simple – it refuses to accept reality, truth, or any situations, circumstances that are.
Criticism avoidance – Often people will avoid the truth, endorse untruths, or just stay quiet for fear of losing their job, career, a relationship, or even their health or safety.
Assumptions – Assumptions are stupid.  When someone tells you something and you don’t question it you give them power over your ideas, actions, beliefs, values, etc.
Uncertainty and change – When life is uncertain or changing people fear the future they want reassurance or support that all will be well.  This is why many people use fear as a technique to control others.  If they can keep you in fear mode – they can control you.  Lies work and why?  Because we let them and don’t’ have the courage to challenge them.
The ripple effect – The ripple effect is like an ocean wave. Ideas, lies, misrepresentations, etc. continue by the simple rule of endurance.
Manipulation – People will often use their version of the truth to keep others in circumstances that they can control.  Just look at certain countries today that have populations that are under siege and there seems to be nothing they can do to change them short of a revolution.
So, what current truths do you believe that are impacting your life or choices and decisions and how do you define truth?

Sunday, January 5, 2020

A Few of my Life Mantras

I was not put on this earth for your approval.
I refuse to grow up.
I will not let other people determine my behavior, values or attitudes.
I am getting old but I’m not growing old.
If it happens I will be excited - if it doesn’t I won’t be disappointed.
Dream big, plan well, work hard, smile always and good things will happen.
What is happening now is nothing compared to eternity.
I will make my dreams bigger than my memories.
Quitting is stupid.
Every day is a gift.
I was were born, one day I will die – everything in between is trivia.
Today is the most important day of my life.
Brokenness always precedes – joy, peace, and wholeness.
Don’t wait for God to start you – keep going till He stops you.
Stop talking about it – just do it.
Fail often so I can succeed sooner.
What do I have that I can’t lose?
Joy is not an emotion but a mindset.
Just because God says yes, He doesn’t mean now and just because He says no He doesn’t mean forever.
If you didn’t know how you were how old would you be?
Laugh often and cry when you need to cleanse.
Life is short – have fun, make a difference and let go of the stupid stuff.

Want my complete list - contact me:

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Successful selling is not a transaction but a process.

Successful selling is not a transaction but a process.
Tim Connor

Two quick definitions:

The sales transaction approach: a one-time action or activity involving two parties where a transfer of services or property is offered in exchange for financial gain.

The sales process approach: a series of pre-planned actions or steps taken in order to achieve a successful outcome.

It doesn’t matter what you sell – homes, computers, services of any kind, aircraft or clothing.  It doesn’t matter whether your products or services cost less than ten bucks or more than ten million.

It doesn’t matter whether you are selling a product or service that has a global reputation or is a startup organization.

It doesn’t matter whether you are a long-term seasoned sales pro or just getting started.

Have I made my point yet?  When it comes to a successful sales outcome what matters is the approach you use.

One of the biggest mistakes’ many salespeople (anyone who sells anything to any one) make is they use a transactional rather than a process approach – let me explain.  Here are the short versions;

Example one (Transaction approach) – you make an appointment, you show up, you give your presentation    and you try to close the deal.

Example two (Process approach) – you do some prospect research.  You investigate any issue or topic that might impact their willingness or ability of them to buy from you. You attempt to establish buyer/seller leverage – a referral, an endorsement, etc. from someone the prospect knows. You ask lots and lots of questions before you launch into your presentation.  You maintain control of the buying/selling process. You tailor every aspect of your message and product or service to the profile of the prospect.  You ask for the business and close the deal.

So, here are just a few of the ways that poor salespeople fail to follow a process approach.  Yes, there are many more and in respect to your time, I am keeping these short and to the point.

1.They quote price too early in the process- just because the prospect has asked for a price doesn’t mean they need it right away or are even ready for it.  Prospects who want you to go to price early are generally price shoppers and may not be worth a great deal of your time.  Price is a function of perceived value.  If you have not had a chance to build value - the price will always seem high.

2. They talk too much. They don't ask enough questions early in the sales process. They just ramble on and on.  These salespeople feel or believe that people buy because of the various features of their product or service.  Everyone’s reasons for buying your product/service are unique.

3.They send out literature when asked, without first qualifying the prospect.  Billions of dollars of literature go in the trash every year. Requesting literature is often just a ploy or tactic to get rid of you.  You think, “Ah-ha… they want information.”  They are thinking, “Finally I have got this idiot out of my life.”

4.They rely too heavily on technology -using emails, websites, texts, etc. Selling is about trust and relationships and you don’t build those by typing a bunch of keys on a device and then hitting the “send” button.

5. They lose control of the sales process or never get it at the beginning.  I’m not talking here about manipulation but the ability to have the process proceed according to your plans and steps that are in the best interests of the prospect and not that of the prospect.

6.They don’t realize that if there is a trust issue in the sales relationship what will get that to the surface really fast is money. So, don’t wait too long in the process to bring up the issue of fees, terms, deposits, etc.  There is a professional way to accomplish this without referring specifically to the price of your product or service.

7. They leave 'will calls' when telephoning a prospect.  Please, if you are trying to sell me something don’t expect me to do your work for you. Trust me I will guarantee that fewer than five percent of your ‘will calls’ will ever happen and this includes less than 1% of your email reach-outs waiting for a response.

8. They fail to observe and pay attention to early subtle signals given by the prospect.  If you are focused only on yourself and your presentation and your product or service – you will miss some signs or signals during the process that will give you accurate clues as to the prospect’s real or serious intent.

I could go on, but I am sure you get my point. I’ll leave you with a simple question – are you primarily using the transaction or the process approach?

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Are you wasting time & money - training employees?

Are you wasting time & money - training employees?
Tim Connor

Many organizations that invest in employee development or training are wasting a great deal of their time and money.  Don’t believe me . . .  read on!

Do you know the retention of new material, techniques or ideas after three to four weeks?  Well, it’s around 3%. So, the next time you send your employees to an all-day seminar and expect performance improvement that lasts - you are living in La La Land.

I have been in the training business for over 35 years and conducted hundreds of seminars in 26 countries for audiences between 10 and 3500 people and I have observed hundreds if not thousands of people sitting in seminars while mentally they were – somewhere else – the entire time.

There are many factors that determine whether an employee will learn, understand, embrace and apply new knowledge and skills.  Some of these can be controlled by the organization, but many are the results of an employee’s beliefs, expectations, mindsets, attitudes, and agendas which can’t be controlled by the training entity whether an outside outsourced firm or an in-house training department.

Over the years, as a result of extensive study and research, I have developed a unique training process and approach that can be described as “curriculum-based training” rather than short term or transaction-focused development.  If you want your employee investment to have a positive long-term return the only guaranteed way to accomplish this is by ensuring that any training initiative or approach takes the participants completely through this process.

Believe me, you can have the latest and greatest toys, software, products, and services, but if your employees lack the creativity, initiative, motivation, skills, attitudes, and empowerment necessary for effective performance - I’ll guarantee that these resources will be underutilized.

There are two ways to educate, train or develop employees.

-The transactional approach
-The curriculum based approach

Let’s take a brief look at both.

The transactional approach -

A transaction is a single event, a onetime interaction or a short-term approach.  Let me give you an example.  Let’s say you send your customer service representatives to a half-day seminar on how to improve customer relations and increase repeat business.  These people are exposed to appropriate and valuable material for a few hours with little interaction or participation.  They sit there all morning – and learn. 

After lunch, they head back to work dealing with many of the routine customer issues that the training was designed to help them with.

Now I ask you, if a person has spent ten, twenty or even only five years developing mindsets, attitudes, habits, routines, approaches do you think they are going to permanently change these because of a four-hour seminar?  Not going to happen.

The curriculum based process –

The curriculum based process is a longer-term approach where there are ongoing gradual incremental increases of information that are covered as well as some form reinforcement, coaching, inspection and/or accountability.

Let me give you an example.  If you took algebra when you were in high school, how did you learn it?  Let’s say after your first 45-minute class on the topic of algebra the teacher gave you your final exam.  Would you pass?  Of course not.  How do you learn algebra so that after three months of classes, three times a week you could pass the final exam?

Goes like this:  Class, homework, next class two days later you discuss the homework, then new material followed by homework on the new material. Two days later the process continues.  Three months later, you pass the exam.  Now, let’s apply this to a corporate learning situation.

You send your salespeople to a one-day training seminar on how to close more sales (the transaction approach) and then send them on their way.  They might improve their ability to close for a few days or a couple of weeks, but I’ll guarantee that within a short period of time they will default back to previous attitudes, approaches, and techniques.

See the difference between these two training approaches?

The curriculum-based approach has four necessary stages if you want to ensure the success and/or improvement or change in any employee’s attitudes, skills or behavior.

The stages are;

-The awareness level;

At this level of learning, employees have an awareness only of techniques, tactics, skills, and approaches to be more effective in their roles.  However, they lack the clarity and understanding to embrace the learning in a way that will allow them to put the information into practice in an effective way and for the long term.  At this level, the behavior will not change, and you will have essentially wasted corporate resources and the employee’s time. They will be alert and attentive during any training session but will lack the knowledge necessary to know how, where, when and why to use this new information.  The awareness level can be described as sharing information only.

-The understanding level;

At the understanding level, employees get it.  They see the relationship between the information they have learned and its value, but they still lack the ability to apply what they have learned to their roles and responsibilities.

-The integration level;

Knowledge if it is not used, applied or integrated into current mindsets, activities, responsibilities or approaches is essentially useless information.  Without a doubt, the biggest challenge in any training initiative is to ensure that the new learning is used and used whenever and wherever appropriate for the long term. At this level - learning must include a variety of activities such as; the customizing of the delivered material, interactive participation during the training sessions, homework (take-away activities for participant implementation and testing), ongoing coaching and inspection by management, holding participants responsible for implementing new tactics or approaches, management or supervision attends the learning sessions so they are aware of what the participants are learning.

-The mastery level;  

Mastery is the highest form of knowledge applied.  This is where wisdom becomes the standard for learning and skill and attitude development.  Mastery occurs when knowledge becomes wisdom and wisdom is utilized at every opportunity when the situation or circumstance warrants.  Very few participants in a typical “transaction” training session for a number of reasons achieve this level of knowledge or wisdom.  Generally speaking, people who achieve mastery in their chosen field of endeavor have made mastery their goal and they have followed through with discipline, persistence, and planning.

That’s it, folks – so – keep wasting time and money or start using the “curriculum-based training process” that works and gives you value for your time and resources.  PS: If you want more information on this process – contact me – I have been using this process with clients for over thirty years.