business

One Huge Way To Tailor Your Next Sales Pitch

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Salespeople are always looking for a meaningful way to connect with a prospect as quickly as possible.  If they knew more about the prospect, especially their personality type, they could tailor their pitch in a style better designed to reach them.  


Fortunately, Myers-Briggs has given salespeople a huge leg up in this arena.  Research has shown that 75% of all people are Sensors.  


* Sensors are concrete, detailed-oriented people who are focused on the here and now.  


* They are drawn to physical realities--what they can see, hear, touch, taste and smell.  


* Sensors like facts. They are practical; they learn best when someone shows them how they can use the information they are being taught.  


* Sensors will do things according to how experience has taught them to do it rather than try a new, unproven solution.  To Sensors, talk is cheap.  They want evidence.  


* As a group, Sensors are greatly concerned with the bottom line.


* When delivering facts, Sensors will move sequentially through them.  



So what does that mean for those of you in sales?


When you don’t know a prospect’s personality type, assume they are a Sensor. Until they show you that they want the big picture, talk in metaphors or generalities, or talk about the meaning behind the facts you are sharing.  If they seem bored with details, they are part of the 25% of us who are Intuitives.  


To best reach Sensors with your pitch:

  • Focus on concrete facts

  • Discuss the steps involved in the correct sequence

  • Emphasize immediate or short-term benefits

  • Build credibility by emphasizing relevant experience

  • When outlining an idea, state when the details will be sorted out and who will do it.


You will want to over-prepare for the meeting as they may want to dive deep into details.  Don’t be afraid to say you don’t know, but assure them you will get back to them with the answer to their detailed questions.  Make sure you follow through thoroughly and as quickly as possible.


If you are pitching to someone higher up in an organization, you don't want to waste their time. Even the leader is a Sensor, they may be able to put together the details through a bullet point.  So you will need to anticipate that: adjust the pitch by saying you will give the high level bullet points, and then will dive in deep to the bullet points they want details on.


As a side note, if you discover early on in your pitch that the leader is not a Sensor, be sure to adjust the presentation to a more Intuitive style.  Our next blog will discuss how to create a presentation for them.




Chew On This:

  • Which of your prospects are you sure are Sensors?  What do they have in common





Ryan C. Bailey is President and CEO of an organizational effectiveness company that supports leaders in developing in-demand high performing teams



*This blog is an amalgamation of a few different clients.  No one single client is being singled out.


8 Tools to Help You Manage a Layoff

I am currently working with two different companies that are going through significant changes. They are outsourcing some of their work, eliminating the roles of some employees. The leaders want to handle these situations really well.  They care about the displaced employees and want to ensure a proper fit for them moving forward. Laying off an employee is no easy task. Confusion, anger, and even denial are some of the reactions that often greet a layoff. Working with these companies, I began thinking through tools that can aid in the lay off process. Here are 8 helpful tips to help you manage layoffs:

1. Have a Clear Mindset

  • Know that all eyes are watching how this is done, and it is important to have a clear mindset as you approach the layoff process.

2. Establish Healthy Principles

  • Communicate transparently and often:
    • People know when things are not going well. We often don’t give them enough credit, and attempt to hide the full picture. Instead, it’s important to be honest with the people who will be impacted.
    • Next, set clear goals with the given resources. Share market data and competitive information.
    • Don’t lie or be unrealistically upbeat before the layoff.
    • Answer the most critical question right away, then offer support.
      • People first, and most critically, want to know if there is bad news ahead. Answer that first. They will not be able to think clearly and listen through options with that question looming over their minds.
      • Then, support them with a discussion of the competition, market forces, or the financial environment. Take the time to talk through options with them.

3. Never delegate the pain:

  • Most people are loyal to their manager first, then to their companies.
    • The news needs to come from the manager directly.
    • The manager needs to be prepared to be there for the dismissed employee.

4. “Dismiss others as you would have them dismiss you.”

  • Practice empathy towards your employee. Empathy involves sitting with others in their current emotions and letting them feel understood.
    • Some common emotions felt during a layoff include:
      • Humiliation, anxiety, fear, and anger
      • An underlying emotion is the experience of shame: where they doubt that they are good enough.
    • Major concerns in the midst of a layoff are:
      • How do I leave the premises with some semblance of self-respect and with the information and materials I may need to help me in my job search?
      • What will I tell my significant other/family/friends etc.?
      • How will I afford to stay afloat now that I am unemployed?
  • Dismiss with dignity.
    • Deliver the message in private and face-to-face:
      • Do the dismissal before or after work so they don’t feel paraded around.
      • For most, avoid letting someone go on Friday because they will stew and could get worse. Also they will want to be able to reach out for advice or effectively start the job hunting process
      • For others, Friday is great because they need to decompress and can use the free time to do so.
      • Make the termination meeting quick and humane.
        • It should be done with the manager leading the conversation but it is also important to have another person in the room, such as HR.
        • If there is any concern, for safety make sure security is close by.
        • Within the first 30 seconds, state that their position has been eliminated.
          • “Sales have been down at the company and tough staffing choices had to be made.  It is with great regret that I must tell you that the company has decided to eliminate your position.”
        • Don’t get into messy personal discussions or say anything that can haunt you later.
      • Along with empathy, active listening is key. Give them a space to voice their emotions, concerns, and frustrations. Connect with them through the use of empathy statements, such as, “I hear you saying that you feel shocked and afraid, and I imagine that this is really hard for you.”
      • Along those lines, give them time to react in safe environment.
        • Some may need to vent
        • Some may need time to think
        • Some need facts and explanations
        • Your role in this is to provide a space free of judgment, where they can feel safe to express themselves.
      • Give them what they need to move to a stable, emotional keel.
      • Then as quickly as possible, move them towards thinking about their own future and not about the company.
        • They should feel that you want to help them succeed in the future.

5. Give them practical tools moving forward. Severance Package must be vetted by an employment lawyer. An appropriate severance package is:

  • Clear on what it offers
  • Includes the date it must be signed off by
  • Provides conditions on which it can be revoked
    • Provide outplacement consulting as part of the severance which helps to mitigate potential liability.
      • Most people who are in the process of getting laid off are thinking, what do I do now? Few have resumes at hand.
      • Providing outplacement consulting sends a message to the dismissed employee and the remaining employees that you are treating the ex-employee as a human being, not a line item on the budget.
      • Then, direct them to the outplacement immediately.
    • Allow them to come back to the office on a weekend or evening to get their valuables and/or return company property like laptop and smartphone to minimize embarrassment.

6. Give them the best chance to transition successfully by focusing on the person’s needs.

7. Have an exit interview with the terminated employee so you can grow.

  • Assess how will they represent the firm after they’ve been let go.

8. Have a town hall meeting for those who survive the cut.

  • Know that you are going to lose a lot productivity the day the layoff happens (and possibly more days).
  • Address the core questions of: What is the company’s future? Are there more layoffs coming? How will their jobs change? What are the expectations/goals now? Will they have to do two jobs?
  • The doubts start with their role and then expand outward to their team and then the company overall. Be honest, clear, and available to your employees.

 

Chew On This:

  • What areas of a layoff seem particularly challenging to you?
  • How can you improve your layoff strategy?

 

Ryan C. Bailey is President and CEO of a company that catalyzes the transformation of leaders’ lives.

 

*This blog is an amalgamation of a few different clients.  No one single client is being singled out.

What the Fitbit Workweek Hustles Taught Me About Pacing

 

It might be hard to make out from the photo, but this is a picture of my swollen foot and the red rash that covered my lower legs not too long ago.

In a previous blog, I related what I had learned about healthy competition through participating in Fitbit Workweek Hustles.

I shared how I had rediscovered what a competitor I am.  Given my schedule, I thought at first that it would be super hard to get to 10k steps per day. Then, thanks to the encouragement and example of my just-as-busy-friends, I started averaging 18k-21k steps per day.

I realized that when I did phone meetings, walking actually helped me focus more on my clients, and get to the heart of their concerns.  That was a side benefit, but during the first couple of weeks, I did not win a Workweek Hustle.  I marveled at how the winners could get over 100k steps in a five day span.  I wanted to reach that mark, but doubted if I could.

Then it happened.  I got into a deep competition with a friend in NY.  We pushed each other hard throughout the week.  Late at night on the last day of competition, we were both walking--she in NY, me in Atlanta.  We reached 100k at about the same time.

Though I was tired, I kept moving.  My socks were itchy, but never in a million years did I think I was doing to my foot what you see in the picture.

We both continued to walk until midnight, and I actually won.  It was close, but I was thrilled to finally have won my first workweek hustle.

As I approached the front door of our house and slowed my pace, I could tell I was somewhat sore. But when I started going upstairs to our bedroom, the soreness really hit.  My legs continued to itch, and when I took off my shoes and socks so I could shower, I could see that my feet were swollen, even though the light was dim.  “Oh well,” I thought, “I’ll elevate them with pillows and sleep that way.  I’ll be ok.”

But when I turned on the lights, I could see all the red splotches on my leg.  I had no idea what they were, and I feared what it might mean.

After showering, I felt even more sore, so I got into bed.  When my wife came upstairs, I asked her to check my legs.  She gasped when she saw them, and it was one of those gasps of real concern.  “I’ve pushed it too far,” I thought.  “I’m really going to pay for it.”  She looked at me as if I should have known better.  And she was right.

I am an overweight 47-year-old man who had just resumed working out a couple of weeks earlier, and I had overdone it.

The next day, I had a doctor look at my legs and feet.  The doctor said to keep them propped up, do light walking on the weekend, and then encouraged me to get back into the competitions.  She assured me that I had not done any serious harm, and that I would be fine by Monday.

That weekend I took it easy--maybe did 7k steps the entire weekend.

When I got to the office on Monday, I showed my assistant the pictures of my leg and foot and she said, “I know a blog is coming about this one.”

That got me thinking.

I did not want to write a blog about a setback since I recently wrote a two-parter on it (1, 2). I wanted to write something that showed the lesson learned.

So, taking my cue from business, where there is a need to pace yourself and your team and go for the most critical wins, I worked on pacing myself and building up stamina.

Over the next two weeks, I stayed between 15k-18k steps.  Then I built up to 25k steps and stayed there for a couple of weeks.  Finally, I did 56k steps in a day.

Here is the kicker.  I felt great after the 56k.  Yes, tired.  Yes, sore, but not that sore.  I felt really great.

So what does all of this have to do with business?

Often in business, we can let our impulsiveness and desire to win do tremendous damage to ourselves, our team, and those we care about.  We push ourselves hard to get results.  But we don’t stop to ask ourselves: can our team and even ourselves handle the pace?

I started thinking about some of the more successful people I’ve worked with and the price they paid to achieve their success.  Many of their key team members quit because, at the heart of it, they felt like they were being used.  The leader cared more about the glory of the leader than about those who were working really hard to get them their glory.

As a leader, how are you handling the pace you are setting?  How is your team handling the pace?

Sometimes we have to push ourselves to the limit to get a crucial win, but at quieter times, is there a way to change the scope of what you are trying to accomplish so that your team builds more and more stamina in their reach for the top?

How can you show your team that you love them enough to help them reach their potential at a pace that doesn’t break them?

Ultimately, pacing allows for a sustainable, steady high-performing team.

Chew On This:

  • What is the right pace for you and your team right now?

Ryan C. Bailey is President and CEO of a company that equips business leaders to develop the teams that everyone wants to work with.

Your Best Self In The New Year

This blog is going to be short. If you followed last week’s blog, we discussed how busy the holiday season can get, and I am discovering that is truer than I realized ;-) Many of us are looking into the new year with a desire to better ourselves.  We may have received some feedback as to what areas need to be improved.  We may also know intuitively of other areas that need improvement.

A helpful question my coach once gave me is, “If you had to replace yourself with an idealized version of yourself, what traits would your replacement have?”

So let me be clear... Since we are talking about ideal traits, we may never reach that idealized version of ourselves, but excellence and mastery can still be achieved.  For a goal to be SMART, it must be achievable.

For me, one skill my replacement would bring would be the ability to apply just the right amount of structure into coaching meetings without losing connection or movement towards the essence of what a client wants resolved.

1. Create SMART Goals

My advice is to make a list of ideal traits then consider creating SMART goals around each of those idealized traits. 

So for me, it is: In January, I will ask clients whom I sense want more structure to describe the structure they want, and I will start a process of trial and error to nail the structure they are looking for within three months.

If you create SMART goals around the idealized traits, then you can set yourself up for success by breaking those goals down into smaller steps.  Given the above goal, my steps can include:

  1. Determine which clients want more structure.
  2. Depending on personality type, phone, Skype, email, or wait until our next meeting to talk about the structure they desire for our meetings.
  3. After they share what they want, repeat what I hear them say until they feel like I’ve nailed it.
  4. Let them know that I want to nail it down as soon as possible, and if there are further tweaks that need to be made along the way, I will be happy to make them.
  5. Implement.
  6. Review and assess how it’s going with the client.

2. Get Accountability

Next step is to have accountability for the change you want to make.  How would you like to be held accountable for the realization of those idealized traits?  In my case, I have my coach. But more importantly, the client will naturally provide accountability.  Accountability would also come from what I am sensing as the structure is implemented.

3. Celebrate Your Victory

Finally, once repeatedly nailed, it will be time to celebrate.  How would you like to see yourself celebrate once you’ve achieved what’s possible to achieve, with respect to that idealized trait?

The celebration could be small, like “I will buy a couple of songs on iTunes that I have saved in my wish list.”  For goals that really impact your leadership or team, you could choose something bigger, like “I will take my wife and kids on a three-day beach vacation.”  The idea is to visualize how you will celebrate so you are further motivated to achieve that goal.

If the goal is a bigger or long-term one, consider having celebrations each time a milestone is met.

If you dream of the idealized version of yourself, you can achieve your best you.  Make small, steady progress, and you will be surprised by how different you will be by this time in 2017!

Have a fantastic holiday season and very happy new year!

Chew On This:

  • What traits does your idealized self have?

Ryan C. Bailey is an Executive Coach who helps business leaders develop in-demand high performing teams.

Identifying Your Core Beliefs

IDENTIFYING YOUR CORE BELIEFS Have you ever seen a co-worker implode?  That is, really blow up their life?

How about the opposite?  Have you ever seen a co-worker push through difficulties and succeed in unexpected ways?

If you knew what led either to happen, you would know what drives them, and ultimately, you would discover what is at their very core.

How about yourself?  Do you know what led to your biggest failures and your biggest successes in the workplace and in life?

Although beliefs can be found at different levels, deep ones are called core beliefs.  There are very few of those--maybe just one or two--but they are responsible for most of the decisions you make.  You are just not aware of them because they are buried deep in the heart. Discovering our core beliefs can help us understand why we feel and behave the way that we do. It can also help us see our staff in a different light, recognizing that their behaviors are rooted in a deeper core belief that impacts the way they feel and behave, too.

How do you discover your core belief?  

You have to dive into a couple of areas:

  • Family-of-origin

If we got together the people you were raised with and asked a few questions, you will discover that there are belief themes that run through the family - even if each family member is very different.

How do you discover these?  Ask yourself what your family is about.  What matters most to them?  If they are threatened, do they jump into a state of alarm?  Let’s say a family seems to care a lot about what people think of them.  And let’s say we see some inordinately strong behaviors when their image is threatened. The next thing you want to ask yourself is, “What does their image represent to them?”  That’s where the belief is.  So it could be that they believe that if they look good to others then they will have:

  •     Security
  •     Love
  •     Acceptance
  •     Value
  •     Enjoyment
  •     Significance
  • Traumas/Milestones

The more emotionally intense a situation is, the more it impacts our beliefs.  When we go through an emotional trauma, we are so overwhelmed by the emotions running through our bodies that our brain can’t process it quickly enough.  While our brain may numb us out, or even in some cases knock us out, or form memory blocks, our heart seems to scream, “I will never face that pain again!”

The heart then sets up new “protective” beliefs to prevent us from getting into a scenario where we can face that kind of hurt again.  You can spot these protective beliefs because they often seem like an over-reaction.

For example, say a staff member is struggling with taking initiative on a project. If he has had experiences in the past where he has been rejected, shot down, or criticized for his assertiveness, his defense mechanism may be to passively accept others' suggestions. His “protective” belief looks like, “If I agree with others’ opinions, I will be accepted” and “If I take initiative, my team members will reject me.”

Belief changes are not always negative. I have seen others develop new beliefs when they push hard to accomplish a goal, and succeed. The “confidence” that results can be traced to a new belief that came through the experience of pushing themselves.

Once you have listed all the beliefs that you sense derive from your family, and the traumas/milestones in your experience,  then see if there is a belief that binds them all (cue the Lord of the Rings).  That could be the core belief.

Ultimately, recognizing our own core beliefs helps us better understand the way we operate in our workplace. As we explore the root of our core beliefs, we can identify areas where we primarily operate out of maladaptive beliefs. Is our need for approval rooted in a belief that we are never good enough? Is our superior attitude towards coworkers rooted in a belief that without power, we are worthless?

Not only does processing our beliefs help us better understand ourselves, it helps us better understand our staff, too. Recognizing that the behaviors we see are rooted in core beliefs that we cannot see helps us approach staff with grace and understanding. In the next blog, we will talk about how to deal with these core beliefs.

Chew On This:

  • If you wrote out your story and included your family of origin and traumas/milestones that you experienced, what would be the belief themes that come up for you?
  • How does becoming aware of your beliefs affect the way you view yourself and others in the workplace?

Ryan C. Bailey is an Executive Coach who helps business leaders develop in-demand high performing teams. *This blog is an amalgamation of a few different clients.  No one single client is being singled out.