Archive for the Southwestern Consulting Category

3 Ideas How to Take the Pressure Off

Posted in Motivational, Sales Coaching, Southwestern Consulting with tags , , , on February 8, 2016 by Dustin Hillis

We live in a world of unmet expectations. We are consumed with struggling through the daily grind to be successful, or stripping away stresses to find our inner-self and calmness, or indulging in everything life has to offer to just be happy. We feel “less than”, pressure, and frustrated when we don’t achieve what we are longing for. We make an idol of success, tranquility or happiness.

Tim Keller said it best in his book Counterfeit Gods, “When an idol gets a grip on your heart, it spins out a whole set of false definitions of success and failure and happiness and sadness. It redefines reality in terms of itself.”

It’s mind-boggling how some of the most successful people I know are so full of insecurity and self-doubt. The outside world thinks these people are the most successful people who have it all together, and the reality is they are freaking out on the inside and putting too much pressure on themselves. I remember feelings of extreme pressure that I would put on myself, and thoughts of being less than no matter what I accomplished or achieved.

I’m sure you’re asking yourself right now, “this sounds good, but how in the world am I supposed to do this?”

Here are 3 Ideas on how do we take the pressure off:

  1. Take a reality check. Ask yourself these two question:
    • During your idle time, where is your head at? What do you literally think about when you are left by yourself?
    • If you were 100% honest with yourself, where are you at emotionally?
  1. Find the root of the problem. Typically, there are three main root issues that cause us to put too much pressure on ourselves.
    1. “Comparison is the thief of all joy” – Any time we compare ourselves to anyone else, it creates pressure. There will always be someone else who is better, faster, better looking, stronger and smarter. We are all inadequate to everyone at something.
    2. Not having fun. – Your attitude is a choice. Your energy level is a choice. Choosing to have fun and be joyful in every single thing you do every single day is a choice.   Most people live in a reactionary state. They just let things happen to them and just think “woe is me”, or they take themselves so seriously they leave no room to simply have fun.
    3. Feeling like a failure. – Feeling like a failure is the granddaddy of all root issues when it comes to putting too much pressure on ourselves. Failure is part of life. No one is perfect. Anyone who expects to be perfect at anything will be guaranteed to feel like a failure because it’s impossible to be perfect at anything over a long period of time. At some point, we will all break. Often, it takes us reaching our breaking point to be able to accept our brokenness and dig down to the root of our problems.

3.  Focus on Unconditional Confidence.

In Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the highest level is “self-actualization” which focuses on morality, creativity, spontaneity, problem solving, lack of prejudice and acceptance of facts.

Screen Shot 2016-02-07 at 7.36.14 AM

The difference between Maslow’s “self-actualization” and Unconditional Confidence is that Unconditional Confidence cannot be found inside yourself. Unconditional Confidence is not a goal or something you achieve. Unconditional Confidence comes from an understanding that you were created for a higher calling. You were created to die to your selfishness, and your highest achievement in life is to love, serve and care for other people. Another great book by Tim Keller – Every Good Endeavor – does an excellent job at describing in detail how to have Unconditional Confidence.

There are three types of confidences and our goal is to strive to be Unconditionally Confident.

  1. False Confidence – Faking it until you make it has its place and time. However, we need to quickly get ourselves out of a false confidence state once we embark on trying something new. False Confidence is saying you’re going to do something, or thinking you are good at something with no real evidence to back it up. There are plenty of people out there who say “I could have done that if I really wanted to” or “I’m going to be number one.” Etc.
  2. Conditional Confidence – Conditional Confidence comes into play after we’ve set the stage with our False Confidence. We’ve set an expectation for ourselves that we are supposed to be a certain way or accomplish certain things, and then when the results are less than what we hoped for, we feel defeated and less than. Conditional Confidence is contingent on results. If we win, we feel good. If we lose, we feel pressure. Conditional Confidence is equivalent to the 4th level of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs – “Esteem: self esteem, confidence, achievement, respect for others, respect by others”. Most of us get stuck with Conditional Confidence our whole life.
  3. Unconditional Confidence – People who are Unconditionally Confident have figured out their purpose in life and what they are called to do. Once we have figured that out, we then get to work every day knowing we are making a difference in the world through our work habits, not our results.

If taking the pressure off is something that you need to focus on, print off this quote and read it aloud every day for the next year:

“I do not expect success all the time, but due to the belief in my gifts and God-given abilities in addition to my knowledge and acquired skills, I can be fearless in the moment. In reality, self-worth has nothing to do with the outcome. So when the pressure comes, I cannot hesitate. Knowing sometimes I will do well and sometimes I won’t, regardless, I know failure is temporary and success will happen with perseverance.”

20 Ways to Be a Good Salesperson

Posted in Sales Coaching, Southwestern Consulting with tags , , , , , , , on July 1, 2015 by Dustin Hillis

The world is full of dichotomies, the yin and the yang, the black and the white, the good and the bad. At Southwestern Consulting™, we are on a mission to change the perception the world has about the word “salesperson”.  Unfortunately, over the years, really bad salespeople have created a negative stigma for what used to be considered the most honorable profession in the world, selling. I attended a church service once where the preacher literally was referring to being a “sinner” as being a being a “salesperson”!

The reality is everyone is a salesperson. It doesn’t matter if you are an accountant, teacher, engineer, doctor or a stay at home mother… everyone is selling something always. Selling is simply communicating. Every day we are selling an idea to someone else. My 4-year-old daughter Haven is the best salesperson I know. Every day she is selling her mother and me on something she wants, and she is really good at negotiating and handling objections!

Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wallstreet

Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street

In the movie The Wolf of Wall Street, Leonardo DiCaprio does a fantastic job of demonstrating all 20 traits of a bad salesperson. The Wolf of Wall Street is the best example of a horrible, self-centered, high pressure, manipulative salesperson. At Southwestern Consulting™, we work with some of the best auto dealers in the world.  Some of the used car salesmen and saleswomen that we work with are the most ethical, honest and hard-working people we’ve ever met.  However, it is so unfortunate that a group of bad salespeople like The Wolf of Wall Street got into the used car sales business and gave the honorable industry a bad name.

Steve Reiner is a Top Producing Salesperson at Southwestern Consulting

Steve Reiner is a Top Producing Salesperson at Southwestern Consulting

The other day I was in Denver, Colorado working with a really good salesperson named Steve Reiner. Steve is a Partner at Southwestern Consulting™ and is an executive sales and leadership coach. It was so invigorating to watch him meet with a very savvy sales manager and extremely competent regional director and then present to a group of seasoned sales professionals at Wells Fargo Advisors. If Steve was a bad salesperson, he would not have gotten into the door with these folks and the seasoned sales team would have eaten him alive. So why did they not only let Steve come train them on how to be better sales professionals, but then afterwards a good number of them signed up for one-on-one sales coaching? Steve is a servant salesperson. He focuses on asking really good questions.  He listens with a heart of service and wanting to help other people reach their goals in life. He is not focused on himself and personal gain. He is patient and persistent and creates a comfortable buying atmosphere and sells the way people like to buy.

At the end of the day, we all have a decision to make. Are we going to be a bad salesperson who is focused on ourselves and how much money we can make, and be consumed with what we deserve?  Or are we going to be a good salesperson and focusing on serving others, asking good questions and listening, and caring more about helping people get what they want than we do making a commission. After all, people can smell your commission breath a mile away.

Here are the traits of a bad salesperson and a good salesperson: 

20 Traits of a Bad Salesperson:
1. Are selfish and focused on making a commission
2. Make things up to get someone to buy
3. Talks too much and too fast
4. Force people to do things they don’t want to do
5. Don’t work a referral system
6. Pressure people and makes them feel sold
7. Don’t dress for success
8. Are not disciplined
9. Say one thing and do another
10. Are lazy
11. Have call reluctance
12. Don’t have a schedule
13. Don’t track their activity
14. Don’t know their numbers/selling ratios
15. Think about prospects in terms of how much money they can make off them
16. Make excuses and blame others for failures
17. Take credit for a collaborative team effort
18. Lie and are dishonest
19. Don’t know how to close properly so they create undue pressure
20. Are ego driven and focused on looking good

20 Traits of a Good Salesperson:

1. Has a servant’s heart and focused on serving other people through helping them meet their needs

2.Asks really good questions and intently listens

3. Qualifies prospects quickly and doesn’t sell to people who are not qualified
4. Are aware of their surroundings and considerate of others
5. Closes quickly once a prospect crosses the buying line and doesn’t over sell
6. Uses Feel (empathy), Felt (relating), Found  (solution) and 3rd Party testimonial stories to answer all objections
7. Helps prospects buy with ease and have fun when they are buying
8. Sells the way people like to buy / adapts to others’ buying styles
9. Always is dressed appropriately for success
10. Always on schedule and on time
11. Works a efficiency warm referral system
12. Has a positive attitude in all circumstances
13. Tracks their activity
14. Knows their numbers/selling ratios
15. Does the work and doesn’t care who gets the credit
16. Doesn’t make excuses and finds a way
17. Are team players
18. Tells the truth even when it hurts
19. Studies the art of selling and closing to help prospects feel comfortable and excited with buying
20. Has a humble and loving approach towards everything they say and do

I challenge you to be one of the good guys.  Be a Good Salesperson!

R.A.F.T.

Posted in Leadership Coaching, Sales Coaching, Southwestern Consulting with tags , , on March 2, 2015 by Dustin Hillis

Flat Tire

My very first summer selling I was out in the backwoods of Missouri where I got not one, not two, not three, but 10 flat tires. My 10th flat tire happened while I was driving a rental car. By that time in the summer, I had gotten pretty quick at changing out a flat and had formed a habit of jumping out of the car to change it, timing myself to see how fast I could do it to try to beat my NASCAR pit crew record breaking time.

On this particular day, I did not beat my NASCAR pit crew record-breaking time because in that rental car I’d never had a flat tire. I put it on the jack and didn’t realize in that car you’re supposed to pull the emergency break before changing the tire. The car fell off of the jack. And if you’ve ever been in the backwoods of Missouri and have a car fall off its jack, I can promise you that you’ll understand that this is not a fun experience! So I ended up having to move the car and work as hard as I could to get the jack out from underneath the car, jack the car back up, and change the tire. It took forever!

I’m loading my boxes back into the trunk and I looked down and realized that my skin looked like it was moving for some odd reason. Upon further inspection, I realized that I was completely covered in ticks. It wasn’t just a few ticks; it was not just a couple of dozen ticks…I’m talking hundreds of ticks that were in the canopy of woods above my head while I was changing the tire which had been falling on my head for over an hour while I worked on that rental car.

What did I do? What any other rational human being would do…I freaked out!  I stripped down to the nude, took my clothes and threw them in a blue Walmart bag that was sitting in the back of the car because I didn’t want to get the ticks in the car. Then I jumped in the car and drove off still freaking out! I remember thinking, “What’s going on?  Why am I out here selling in the middle of Missouri?” I wanted to quit, I wanted to go home, and I determined that that’s what I was going to do.

I pulled up into the only gas station in the entire town. It was the hangout for the city. It was the only place to go, evidenced by all of the people there. I opened the door of the car and I realized—wait a minute—I’m buck naked!  So I jumped back in the car, reached into the Walmart bag and grabbed my covered-in-ticks pants, putting them back on while I started running across the gravel, bare feet and all.

I opened the door to the gas station and find an old lady sitting in the corner. She asked, “Son, what’s wrong with you?” “Lady, I have ticks!” I told her. I think she laughed while pointing me in the direction of the bathroom. I quickly grabbed the only thing I could find in the store to help my situation: a bottle of rubbing alcohol and a razor, and ran to the bathroom. Inside, I looked myself in the eyes and, for the first time in my life, was absolutely convinced I wanted to quit.

I never wanted to quit more at anything in my life. And I’m not a natural quitter. But this day, I wanted to pack up my bags and go home. I didn’t care how much money I was making. I wanted to quit. And I’ll never forget looking at myself in the mirror, just picking off ticks and feeling miserable and sorry for myself. It wasn’t a pretty sight.

It was during this time that something in me began to stir. I remembered going through  training at Southwestern before that summer began and hearing Lee McCroskey teach about this very time in one’s life, the point in which someone feels ready to quit. He explained that everybody has an excuse why they quit and quitting happens in different forms in each different person. Some people quit and literally go home. They are through. Some people quit mentally while keeping at it physically. Some people quit on a month; some on a week; some on a day; some on a goal period…

I’ll never forget hearing him say that and writing down on a card, “I will never quit on my summer, on a month, on a week, on a day, on a goal card or a customer.”  I pulled out that card and re-read it. Looking myself in the eye, I decided, “All right, I’m going to do this.” I took out that rubbing alcohol and razor and I shaved the ticks off, one by one. That wasn’t the best day that I’ve ever had, but it was one of my most important days of my life.

It was important because I made a decision that day to push through.

I didn’t quit.

I had a few customers after that and it was brutal. But you know what? I finished.

After that, quitting was never an option.

I want you to think of a time in your life where you wanted to quit at something—whatever it is—and you didn’t quit. You pushed through. As the country song goes, “…if you’re going through hell, you keep on going. And you get through before the devil notices you’re there.”
When have you done that? When have you pushed through pain to the break through on the other side? On the other side, life becomes easier and quitting becomes less and less of an enticing choice.

At Southwestern Consulting™, we created a technique to help you do this consistently. It’s called RAFT.

R-A-F-T.

Try to imagine this acronym as your life raft, as something that helps you navigate the tumultuous waters that life brings your way.

R stands for Realize. You have to realize an event is occurring. Many times, realizing that you’re in the middle of an event is the hardest part. What is an event? An event is anything that takes you off schedule, anything that takes you out of your routine, anything that takes you out of your normal rhythm.

In my story, my event was the flat tire and finding myself covered in ticks. Events come in all shapes and sizes. It could be as large as a crashing economy, death of a loved one or loss of a marriage. Or it could be as small as a rainy day, flat tire or bad hair day. All of those events, regardless of size, can end up disrupting your momentum.

A stands for Accept. You have to accept that the event is occurring. This is another very difficult part! Acceptance is a psychological action. When I was getting my Psychology Degree at the University at Tennessee in Knoxville, I was so interested to learn that what psychologists are really doing as part of their job is working to drive their clients towards acceptance.  More often than not, people don’t like accepting things.

There are three things in life that you should put your energy and focus on.

1.    Controllables (your work habits, attitude and schedule)
2.    Things that you can influence (people)
3.    Things you have to accept (the events in your life—these are things that you can’t control. Instead, you need to roll with the punches as they come at you)

What’s interesting is that most people choose to spend their time, energy and thoughts focused on things that they just should instead be accepting. But that’s not fun! Everybody loves to gossip, to have an excuse, to talk about why something can’t work. It’s a rare individual who doesn’t make an excuse, but instead finds a way.

F stands for Focus. You have to focus on the controllables. Like I said above, there are only three things you can control—one of which is your attitude. Attitude is a choice and I challenge you to choose wisely. You can also control your schedule and your activity. Are you making wise choices?

T stands for Transform. You must transform the negative event or the negative emotion into positive momentum. Emotions are good, but even bad emotions can be harnessed to slingshot you into positive and record-breaking production.

It’s not coincidence that the week I broke the company record for making the most money in a single week was the week following learning my parents were getting divorced.
At that time, I made a choice to do RAFT:  to focus on the controllables versus quitting. Football players do the same thing. They get knocked down. When I played football, after somebody blindsided me the first time, that was when I had my best game ever.

Make sure you’re doing the following:

1) Realize the event is occurring.
2) Accept that the event is occurring.
3) Focus on the controllables.
4) Take the momentum of the negative and slingshot yourself into positive momentum.

If you can do those things, you will be able to be self-controlled, break records and take it to the next level.

Do you want more information about the R.A.F.T technique and its components? Fill out the form below to get in touch and we’ll send you more information:

Modify: Entertainer (Pt. 2)

Posted in Closing, dustin hillis, Sales Coaching, Sales Tips, Selling Techniques, Southwestern Consulting with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 15, 2014 by Dustin Hillis

Today I am wrapping up my Modify series. This week, I’ll finish with how to present and close with an Entertainer. Catch up on last week, how to present to an Entertainer, here (Modify: Entertainer Pt. 1).

Did you miss the rest of the Modify series? You can catch up here:

Modify: Fighter Part 1

Modify: Fighter Part 2

Modify: Fighter Part 3 

Modify: Detective Part 1

Modify: Detective Part 2

Modify: Detective Part 3

Modify: Counselor Part 1

Modify: Counselor Part 2

Modify: Entertainer – Presentation and Close

When it comes to modifying your natural approach, presentation and close with an Entertainer’s natural buying behavior style, it is important to remember that Entertainers are the kind of people who are energetic, enthusiastic, inspired by affirmation and their biggest fear is rejection.

Knowing all of those things, we really have to be careful with how we approach, how we present and how we close because they can be the most emotional when they are buying. They can also be really great advocates and referral partners, but only if we do it the right way.

–> Click here to continue reading.

Modify: Entertainer (Pt. 1)

Posted in dustin hillis, Sales Coaching, Sales Tips, Selling Techniques, Southwestern Consulting with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 8, 2014 by Dustin Hillis

Today, I am excited to share with you the last section in my Modify series. This week, I’ll cover how to approach an Entertainer followed by next week when I’ll go into how to present and close with an Entertainer.

Did you miss the rest of the Modify series? You can catch up here:

Modify: Fighter Part 1

Modify: Fighter Part 2

Modify: Fighter Part 3 

Modify: Detective Part 1

Modify: Detective Part 2

Modify: Detective Part 3

Modify: Counselor Part 1

Modify: Counselor Part 2

Modify: Entertainer – The Approach

When it comes to modifying your natural approach, presentation and close with an Entertainer’s natural buying behavior style, it is important to remember is that Entertainers are the kind of people who are energetic, enthusiastic, inspired by affirmation and their biggest fear is rejection.

–> Click here to continue reading..

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