Archive for sales career

Positive Self-Talk

Posted in Motivational, Sales Tips, southwestern company, Southwestern Consulting with tags , , , , on August 4, 2010 by Dustin Hillis


I can, I will, I am going to! This is the mantra you will hear at a Success Starts Now conference. 

What is “self talk”?  I was introduced to self-talk when I was in high school by one of my football coaches. He pulled me off to the side and asked me, “Dustin, are you going one hundred percent in every play?”  I told him, “yeah, well sometimes I am and sometimes I’m not”.  He asked why and I told him “I feel like I need to save energy so I can make it through the whole game and still do well.” Then He told to say out loud, before EVERY play, “I go 100 percent.”  I said “Ok”, told him I would follow through and that before every play I would literally start saying, out loud, “I go 100 percent.”  And I did.

It started with the words and then it began to change my self-image. My actions then started following the way I thought and the way I felt and I actually started playing at 100 percent. Prior to this, I was never considered the best player on the team and I certainly wasn’t considered the best player on the field… but through that positive self-talk, I ended up changing my actions and made the All-State team.  I ended up playing 2 years of college football and it really all started with self-talk.

What is self-talk and why is it so important? I remember going to the Southwestern Company and my first year in sales school and Dan Moore gets up on stage and tells a story about a guy named Mr. Mediocrity and goes on to tell us that Mr. Mediocrity lives in every single person and that it’s our job to condition Mr. Mediocrity.

He told us that Mr. Mediocrity will bounce up and hop on your shoulder and that he will whisper negative thoughts into your head, such as, “what about the economy, this costs too much, this is boring, this job is not the right job for me and I need to be doing something else”.

Your mind has to be conditioned.  The same way that you condition your body through working out, the same way you condition your heart through eating healthy, and the same way you condition your soul, through reading the bible… YOU CONDITION YOUR MIND THROUGH USING SELF-TALK.

Avoid negative thoughts, negative actions, and negative circumstances at all costs.  If you can’t say something positive out loud then don’t say anything at all.  If you’re constantly aware of your speech and your thoughts, and you are actively trying to be positive, you eventually stop negative thinking. 

Self-talk is not only about what you say to yourself, but also what you hear other people saying about you and what you say about other people.  Every word that comes out of your mouth should be lifting people up as well as lifting YOU up.   

Try to take control of every single thing that you say. Here are some actions items and questions that you can think about;

  1. Make a list of all the things that you know you are susceptible to when it comes to negative self-talk, the things your mind tells you that could be negative. Like, “I am not a good reader”, “I can’t wake up early”, or “that may be for other people but that is not for me”.
  2. Then make a list if things that hold you back from making conscious efforts to improve your self-talk. Why do you not use self-talk? Do you think it is cheesy? Do you think that it doesn’t work? Whatever it is make a list of things that would be reason why you don’t do it.
  3. Make a list of people who talk about you in a way that makes you feel better about yourself. Literally, make a list of people who affirm you, lift you up.
  4. Then make a list of the following affirmations:   
  • When you wake up:  “Today is a great day” let that be the first thought that goes through your head.
  • While you are taking a shower: Say something positive about your goal for the day. “I can, I will, I am going to make my 10 phone calls today”.  “I can, I will, I am going to make my 3 sales today”. Say it over and over again while you are taking a shower.
  • While you are driving to work:  “I am so thankful for all the things I have in my life and their area ton of things that I have in my life that I am thankful for”. While driving to work, if you would like to say a prayer, that would be a good time to be alone and pray as you are driving.
  • Before every phone call or every presentation:  Affirmations about having a service line. This presentation is not about me but about the person I am meeting with and how I can help and serve them.  
  • After you do a good thing  OR bad thing: After you make a sale or hear a no, or even after someone cancels, have an affirmation ready.

Using Positive Self-Talk is the difference between an average producer and a top producer.  If you believe this is true… create a list of Positive Affirmations and use them everyday!

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Summer Job Scene Bleak for Adults;Teens;Alike (via Nashville Career Advancement Center)- Southwestern Company

Posted in southwestern company with tags , , , , , on July 5, 2010 by Dustin Hillis

Do you know someone who is college age and looking for a summer job? Read this article below about the Southwestern Company summer internship.

Newschannel5 – By Nicole Ferguson NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The summer job scene is tough these days, with adults and teens competing for the same jobs. "With the economy the way it is right now… I'm a school teacher and you only get 10 month pay. I really needed a job during the summer," said McGavock high school teacher Laura Vignon. The 25-year-old high school teacher has been working as a guest relations manager at Nashville Shores for the past five … Read More

via Nashville Career Advancement Center

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Managing your Natural Selling Behavior Style

Posted in southwestern company with tags , , , on June 28, 2010 by Dustin Hillis

How do you manage your natural selling behavior style?  It’s a question that doesn’t often get a quick answer.  And it’s always an interesting revelation when you take a look at your selling style and how do you behave when you are in a high pressured work environment.

I’m sure many of you would agree that you behave a certain way when you are selling something and you can behave completely different when you’re in a social environment. There’s a completely different dynamic when you’re selling versus just hanging out…which brings me to today’s focal point;  Navigate

In Navigate, the four different buying styles are covered.  Knowing more about these buying styles will undoubtedly cultivate your selling style.   As you examine at the four below selling styles, consider which ones best describe you, and think about how could you balance the extremities found in the different styles.

  • The Fighter:   Gets straight to the point, has a “don’t waste my time” attitude.  Fighters go straight to the bottom line. When they answer objections, they tend to fight with people versus embracing the objections. Fighters are the ones that close hard, and close again. They love the thrill of the hunt.
  • The Entertainer:  Extroverted and wants to build rapport.  The entertainer wants to feel they are well liked.  People trust them almost immediately. Many times they simply accept objections. If someone says the want to think about it, the entertainer will say “Oh okay, I understand, I’d want to think about it too”.  The always use a soft handed close, they feel it out and make sure everything feels right and if it doesn’t they don’t dare apply too much pressure.
  • The Detective:   A detective is very detail oriented; they want facts, they want figures.  They love to analyze everything.  They don’t get emotional; they don’t tell many stories. They are more into “this is the product, this is the price and this is how it can help you”, and they just state the facts when it comes to selling. When they answer objections, they do it logically. And when they close, they want it to be a logical decision. They close based on logic.
  • The Counselor:  Want to make sure that everyone in the group is on the same page. When they’re selling, they take their time, they to get to know the prospect then they do a second meeting with the prospect and their manager…then another meeting with their manager and the vice-president.  They build relationships and take their time with their selling and don’t want to rub any feathers or cause any controversy.  They are there to answer every question, no matter how long it takes.  They counsel prospects.  When answering objections, they empathize well.  Naturally when it comes time close, they don’t really even close. They will often sit back and let the customer come to the decision and close themselves.

How do you balance this out? How do you manage your behavior style?   For starters, you need to pull out the extreme points in your selling style and begin taking baby steps to get out of that “rut”…

For example, fighters can be too tense.  It’s a good idea to start a relaxation routine.  Before walking into a sales situation, practice some relaxation techniques and tell yourself that you don’t have to over react when the pressure is on.  Tell yourself often why people matter and why it’s important to care about the people you serve. 

Entertainers should take steps to focus on controllable factors or “keep your feet on the ground” so to speak.  Focus on your schedule, and goals.  Determine how many phone calls you need to make in a day and start trying to get organized.  Don’t let the busyness of the world get you so caught up in the whirlwind that you become frustrated.   

Detectives tend to get negative when the pressure rises. When the economy turns, when everything that can go wrong does, detectives become negative and pessimistic…and then become extreme to try and control the negative circumstances. So, detectives need to loosen up.  I challenge you to mess up your hair one day and wear it that way all day – and just see how that feels. It’s hard to be sour when you’re hair is messy on purpose.  Say something positive to the first person you meet every single day and try to verbalize some random positive comments throughout the day. 

Counselors, tend to shut down and avoid the controversy during pressure.  They feel weak.  So just relax and remember that pressure is a good thing. Say to yourself, “no pain, no gain”.  Because counselors tend to focus on others, it’s a good idea to add a little self-focus and evaluate what you really want from your job and from your life.  Set a goal to buy something for yourself.

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Fit to Fight

Posted in southwestern company with tags , , , , , , on June 22, 2010 by Dustin Hillis

Ron Marks is an expert in the field of Sales Management and is the author of “Managing for Sales Results”.  Ron embraces the techniques and teachings of the on the field style of the Southwestern Company

I have come to learn most sale leaders, most sales people in general, and their companies for that matter, have terrible timing when it comes to improving their skills. Most companies conduct training only when a particular sales person is new to the company. But my thinking is that companies should be training all the time, NOT just in the beginning.

Now, if I were to ask you to tell me the main difference between a United States Navy Sailor and a United States Navy Seal, you would probably know that the key difference is in the training and in the level of performance that is expected from each team member.  A commonly used phrase in military circles is “fit to fight”… training makes our soldiers fit to fight.

Imagine you are a military leader and you have a critical and crucial mission coming up; you would likely train your team harder and more intensely than ever before because your life and the lives of others are depending on your performance.  In comparison, your sales managers and sales people go out on appointments (part or their “mission”) each and every day without the slightest additional training or skill development during tough times.  Surviving the current economy as a sales professional is critical and crucial to the mission of living as a sales professional.  Just as a military leader carries the responsibility of training a team to prepare for a battle, sales managers and team leaders are responsible for training their team members to prepare a battle against rejections AND new economic barriers.  When you think about it in terms of survival, your team depends on that training to earn a living, feed their families, put kids through college, the list goes on and on.

 Now more than ever it is time to get serious about your skill level and get serious about your training efforts.

Here are three quick things you can do to jump start your efforts.  These are simple and won’t cost a lot of money.

  • Read at least two business books a month.
  • Break out the old motivational CDs and start listening in your car when you head to work in your territory. You can even download the information on your iPod.
  • Attend at least one sales conference in the next 60 days. And if possible, do one every 60 to 90 days for the next year.

All of these things and more are available to you through the Southwestern Company.  Click here to check out the resources available: Online Store

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Dancing with the Sales Stars

Posted in Motivational, Sales Coaching, Selling Techniques, southwestern company with tags , , , , on April 23, 2010 by Dustin Hillis

Watching Henry Bedford (now Chairman of Southwestern Family of Companies) being honored at the Dancing with Safe Haven charity event last week, I was reminded of some Southwestern Company (now Southwestern Advantage) success principles that I learned my first summer selling books door-to-door in college.

The contestants on the immensely popular reality show Dancing with the Stars are all people who have made a name for themselves within the niche of their trade or craft. They have all been asked to come together and compete against one another for one common goal. Each contestant works diligently to learn a new routine and perform more successfully than their competitive counterparts.

Believe it or not, these “dancers” really have to work hard during the weeks prior to the show in order to achieve the level of perfection the judges are looking for…it is, after all, a competition – Much like the real world. Whether we like it or not, the sales profession is a competition. Who is the best? Who can do the most? Who is going to be recognized?

The contestants on Dancing with the Stars want to be sure that the millions of viewers don’t see them fall on their faces, and then receive harsh judgment by professionals. They want to make a sale! The same could be said for those of us who aspire to master sales techniques and become the best we can be at our craft…To be truly successful in sales, we have to dance the dance! Just like the “stars”, we have to know the steps, the technique, the form, and the approach to navigating the dance floor successfully.

Each of us has different hopes and aspirations. To achieve these goals we have to be willing not only to put the work in, but to work with a partner that knows what he or she is doing…this is precisely why each novice dancer on Dancing with the Stars is paired with a skilled and knowledgeable “coach”… If you’re truly serious about turning your sales “job” into a sales “career” – you need to LEARN THE STEPS! The professionals and coaches at the Southwestern Company are second to none when it comes to moving skillfully across the “sales” floor.

Dancing with the Stars

To be the best, we have to be willing to learn, study, and cha-cha all over the competition each and every day…the winner’s circle is a great place to be, and a good sales coach, with a solid background like those found at the Southwestern Advantage, is the best way to ensure your place among the champions.

For more information about Southwestern Consulting Sales & Leadership Coaching: Click Here

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