Archive for southwestern company

Southwestern Company / Great American Ranked In Top 5,000 Companies In America

Posted in Leadership Coaching, Sales Coaching with tags , , , , , , on September 11, 2012 by Dustin Hillis
Southwestern/Great American Inc. 5,000

Southwestern/Great American ranked in the top 5,000 companies in America by Inc.

Inc. Magazine recently ranked Southwestern/Great American as one of the top 5,000 companies in America.

For more than 30 years, Inc. has celebrated the fastest-growing private companies in America. To be honored this year is a particularly notable achievement. To rank among the 2012 Inc. 5000, Southwestern had to thrive through three of the toughest years this economy has seen in living memory. To be successful in such times takes a team with creativity, resilience and tenacity.

As an Inc. 5000 honoree, the Southwestern Family of Companies now shares a pedigree with Intuit, Zappos, Under Armour, Microsoft, Jamba Juice, Timberland, Clif Bar, Pandora, Patagonia, Oracle and other notable alumni. The class of 2012 added such powerhouses as Chobani, CDW, Levi Strauss and a little social media company called Facebook.

Several people have already asked us “how did you do it?”

The top 3 common characteristics in the Southwestern Family of Companies are:

1. Persistence:  “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated failures. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” – Calvin Coolidge
Most companies think they need to hire the right talent to be successful.  Southwestern focuses on hiring people who are willing to work hard, study hard and are teachable. Then we plug them into a proven sales system and sales culture, and that is what makes them top producing salespeople.

2. Focus On Doing What’s Right:  Henry Bedford (CEO of Southwestern) often says “It doesn’t matter who is right.  All that matters is what is right.”
The removal of the ego and being okay with “not being right” is one of the hardest things a driven business leader has to do.  Bad decisions are made when a business leader is focused on “being right” and saving face or trying to look good. It’s easy to make progress when everyone in the company is focused on doing what is right.

3. Build Your People and They Will Build a Great Company:  Spencer Hays (the majority share holder of Southwestern/Great American) has always focused on putting resources, training, coaching and consulting into his sales teams, leadership teams and team of employees.  He says that the secret to success is not having the fanciest product or technology on the market.  It’s having a quality product that your company can provide that fills a need in society.  Then focus your time and effort in hiring, training and motivating quality salespeople to serve your customers well.

For more information about how to build these types of systems in your company, fill out this form:

Southwestern Consulting Sales Coaching & Leadership Coaching

Posted in Sales Coaching with tags , , , , , , , , on August 22, 2011 by Dustin Hillis

Recently a good friend asked, “I know your company does sales training, but what does that mean?”  The fact that my good friend didn’t know exactly what Southwestern Consulting does inspired me to create this video with a handful of clients to describe what Southwestern Consulting does in our sales coaching & leadership coaching programs.

If you find yourself asking “how do I make more money“, “how do I increase my teams sales“, “how do I skillfully manage my time“?
With over 155 years of experience from over 150,000 sales professionals at the Southwestern Company, the Top Producers Edge sales coaching program & the Managers Edge leadership coaching program are designed to get you results!

For more information about our Sales Coaching and Leadership Coaching program:

The Habit of Belief

Posted in Sales Tips, southwestern company with tags , , , on June 12, 2011 by Dustin Hillis

My Singaporean friend Theo is a very intelligent guy. One day my friend asked me “what does it take to be number one?” I found his question interesting considering he was the Valedictorian while getting his degree in math and engineering, and he’s formerly a #1 recruiter and top salesperson at the Southwestern Company. After much thought the only response I had for him was “belief“. Focusing on the habit of belief was the main reason Theo was earning $40,000 per year instead of earning $100,000 per year.

Theo responded belief… I thought that is a characteristic you’re either born with or not?” We discussed how in actuality belief is developed. For example over 500 years ago people believed the world was flat. Society had to change its belief that the world is round.

Theo then asked “how do you develop the habit of belief?”

Here are the 3 things Theo and I discussed while I coached him that next year:
1. You have to have Unconditional Confidence in yourself, your product, and your company.
– Ask yourself 2 questions:
Do you believe that your product is as good if not better than any other product in your industry?
Do you believe that your service is as good if not better than any other service in your area?
*If you answered “yes” to both of these questions, then you should have confidence in being persistent for people to take the time to at least meet with you!

While earning my Psychology degree at the University of Tennessee I learned that there are 3 levels of confidence.
False Confidence- not having anything on which to base your confidence.
Conditional Confidence- basing your confidence on results.
Unconditional Confidence- basing your confidence on controllable work habits.
*Focus on the number of hours you work in a day, the number of new people you talk to everyday, and keeping a positive attitude no mater what the circumstance and you will develop Unconditional Confidence.

2. Knowledge breeds confidence and confidence breeds persistence: Know thy self, product, and company so you can be passionately politely persistent.
Calvin Coolidge said it best when he said “Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”
Selling is 100% passion and conviction in yourself and your product with 0% pressure.
*Take 10 minutes everyday to improve yourself, study your industry/product, and understand how the inner-workings of how your company operates.

3. A key element of belief is knowing that you’ve put in more effort than anyone else. If you Out Work Everyone In Sight “OWEIS” and understand that life is a numbers game, then you will deepen your belief in what you do. If you are working more hours, talking to more people, following up better, and doing all of the little things right… you can sleep easy at night knowing you’ve done your dead level best. Belief comes from knowing your doing the right thing. Believing you can do something that’s never been done takes a lot of hard work and embracing the work makes all of the difference.
*Be extraordinary. Extraordinary people do ordinary things extraordinarily well!

Theo followed me that next year in Alaska and videotaped some of the things we discussed the year before. Then I coached him the next year about believing he can be number one! Not only was Theo number one the next year… he over doubled his income and almost broke the company record! It’s funny because the next year someone asked Theo during one of his keynotes at the Southwestern Company how he over doubled his production and almost broke the company record and he said “I just simply believed“.

Commitment, Control, Confidence Video

Posted in Motivational, Sales Coaching, Sales Tips, Selling Techniques, southwestern company, southwestern company truth with tags , , on May 4, 2011 by Dustin Hillis

The reason people do not reach their true potential is because they subconsciously build barriers that cause self-doubt. They don’t believe they can hit high goals. The Southwestern Company teaches that the three most important characteristics for breaking belief barriers are commitment, control, and confidence.

If you want more information about how to get a personal accountability coach send me an email at:

Navy SEALs & Top Producers at the Southwestern Company

Posted in southwestern company, southwestern company truth with tags , , , , , , on March 12, 2011 by Dustin Hillis

Flying home to Nashville, TN to get ready to back to work at the Southwestern Company coming from Bogota, Colombia last year I had the honor of sitting next to and speaking with the Commander of our Special Forces unit with the US Navy SEALs.  What he and his team do for our country is not only inspiring, but humbling to even think about.  Most of us cannot even imagine what our military goes through everyday just so that we can enjoy the fringe benefits of everyday life.

After spending over three hours talking with my new Commander friend I began thinking of the similarities between how an ordinary sailor becomes a Navy Seal and how an ordinary salesperson becomes a Top Producer.
The only real difference between a normal Navy sailor and a Navy Seal is training. The same goes for an ordinary salesperson that has turned Top Producer.

Let me walk you through what it takes to become a Navy SEAL…and a Top Producer, for that matter.

After meeting some rather stringent requirements to become a Navy SEAL candidate, sailors must undergo Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL or BUD/S training. It is divided into several phases:

  1. Indoctrination
  2. Basic Conditioning
  3. SCUBA training
  4. Land-warfare training


Official U.S. Navy Photos

BUD/S training lasts seven months and tests each individual to the brink, both mentally and physically. Days are filled with running, swimming, calisthenics, and learning small-boat operations. They must endure drown-proofing (where trainees must learn to swim with both their hands and their feet bound) and surf torture (a.k.a. cold water conditioning).

SEALs also train extensively in closed-circuit SCUBA systems and underwater navigation. They complete land-warfare training for nine weeks in intelligence-gathering and structure penetration, long-range reconnaissance and patrolling, and close-quarters battle. They become the best of the best and are trained to react to sniper attacks or anything else they might encounter.  All of the training is part of the process designed to build and perfect optimal Navy SEAL skills.

When BUD/S is complete, trainees move on to basic parachute training and SEAL qualification training to refine their skills before they are officially awarded the rank of Navy SEALs.

All of this extreme training is critical. To the average onlooker the training may seem excessive. However, in reality SEALs must be able to operate efficiently at all times, despite weather, temperature or physical discomfort. Their lives, and the lives of others, depend on it.

So, what does all this have to do with salespeople? Let’s just start by saying that sales training and Navy SEALs training can’t truly be compared. I’ve never gone through surf torture and I commend the men who are willing to go through so much in preparation to serve their country. But look at it this way, in the same way that Navy sailors must go through this incredible training process to become SEALs, the Salesperson must go through an incredible training process to become a Top Producer at the Southwestern Company. Ask anyone in sales; it’s no easy task to become the best salesperson in the company, region or industry! If you think about it, isn’t it amazing how a training process paired with unwavering determination can turn the ordinary into the great?

Whether you want to be a top producer or you’d like to become a SEAL: training is key. Here’s a brief look at the Southwestern Company sales training process:

  1. Southwestern Company Sales Fundamentals
  2. Sales Mastery
  3. Sales Techniques a.k.a. Practice!
  4. Continuous Learning from other Top Producers

In the climb to become a Top Producer, you’ve got to start somewhere.  The salesperson must first begin understanding sales fundamentals, as is done in Year One of Southwestern Sales Training. During this part of the training process the students learn how to develop work ethic, maintain a positive attitude and develop the right habits.

The second step in training process is to master the art of sales. This is done through continuous sales training, expanding one’s skill set and becoming wholly invested in sales. It’s no longer about memorizing the best basic techniques, but going above and beyond to know all there is to know about sales.

Lastly, in order to become a Top Producer you must practice what you preach. Go into the field. Perfect, hone and refine your skills. Experience slammed doors and sweet success until the former becomes few and far between and the latter becomes commonplace.

The evolution from a good salesperson to great sales professional, from sailor to SEAL comes as a direct result of training. In order to stay on top and stay sharp SEALs are constantly training and repeating the cycle so that they are continuously improving and learning new skills. Same goes for the Top Producers. Once you’ve made it to the top of the mountain, you’ve always got the sky to conquer! 

Check out the Southwestern Company Top Producer’s BUDS training program for sales people at Top Producer’s Edge personal coaching.

(Thank you for information and photos)


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