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Building Your Business with Gratitude

Building Your Business with Gratitude

In the United States we are two weeks shy of our national Thanksgiving holiday, a celebration that can be traced to an autumn harvest feast held by the Pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians in 1621 at Plymouth. Giving thanks is an important cultural tradition, and similar celebrations of the harvest occur in countries throughout the world. These days, Thanksgiving has been appropriated as a marketing opportunity in the United States and other countries. Now people send out mass emails or cards to...
The Prescription for Customer Relationships That Last

The Prescription for Customer Relationships That Last

A medical doctor recently asked me what I did for a living and after sharing about my role as a speaker and expert on influence and impact, he shared how he has become a better person—and a better doctor—by learning how to listen better. He spoke about not merely listening to the words being used, but listening to the individual. The difference between the two is significant. Listening to words is not real listening. It is what I call hearing. Genuine listening means setting...
How to Set the Stage for Success

How to Set the Stage for Success

We all want success, and we may even expect it in some way, but not everyone attends to the details and habits that build a successful outlook. This morning I walked into the lobby of the Residence Inn where I am staying in Winston-Salem and witnessed a surprising scene—the entire hotel staff was going through a stretching exercise with smiles on their faces. Leading the exercise was the area general manager for BPR Properties, Kowee Truesdale, Sr. After everyone had stretched...
Memorable Experiences Bring Customers Back

Memorable Experiences Bring Customers Back

Loyalty is a valuable commodity. First and foremost, of course, our loyal and valued customers buy from us, and better yet, they come back, again and again. But they also tend to sell us in a way that we can never sell ourselves. As a Sales and Leadership expert, but also as a customer, I have seen that loyalty is something to cultivate. Last night I checked into the Hampton Marriott Courtyard in Hampton, Virginia. I usually stay there when I am visiting this...
Eliminate the Fear of Rejection

Eliminate the Fear of Rejection

We rarely think about it or recognize it, but we all operate with something known as “normal strategies by default,” those ingrained strategies we have used all our lives to help us get to where we are today. As salespeople, some of those strategies are geared toward protecting us from rejection. Yet when those strategies remain unacknowledged and unexamined, they can prevent us from reaching the next of level of success we strive for. I learned this years ago from...
Increase Your Value by Developing Trust

Increase Your Value by Developing Trust

The NFL season opened Thursday, September 7th, with the Kansas City Chiefs versus the New England Patriots. In the pregame show on NBC, they ran a clip of Patriots’ Coach Bill Belichick addressing the football team of the high school he attended as a teen. In his message, he said, “Trust is not given to you. It is earned.” Do you do what you say you are going to do?  Do you get the job done? Always? Do you do so without reminders or...
How to Turn Setbacks into Opportunities

How to Turn Setbacks into Opportunities

A client cancels a meeting at the last minute. A customer cancels an order you were expecting. A long-time customer is lost because a competitor has wooed them away. The unexpected happens more often than we might like, and for those of us in sales and leadership, dealing with the unexpected should be expected. Yesterday I was on my way to Fort Myers, Florida, for a meeting when I was notified the meeting was being cancelled. As a top-tier United flyer,...
Avoid Being Seduced by Empty Promises

Avoid Being Seduced by Empty Promises

The act of seduction is not always about romance and sex; it happens in sales all the time. I remember going after a deal many years ago where the buyer was trying to seduce me into lowering my price in exchange for more business the following year. But guess what? I said no! I had fallen for this trick when I started out in sales and the reward never happened. In fact, the relationship deteriorated because I felt the buyer took advantage of...
How to Differentiate Yourself from the Competition

How to Differentiate Yourself from the Competition

If you want to differentiate yourself from the competition, you have to play your own game, not the game everyone else is playing—which is doing whatever the customer is asking to make the customer “like” you. The old saying that people do business with people they like is only true to a point. What is more true is that people do business with people they TRUST.  To gain trust, you must have conversations that are in the best interests of the customers....