Archive for southwestern

7 Ways People Lie

Posted in dustin hillis, Leadership Coaching, southwestern company truth with tags , , , , on April 20, 2013 by Dustin Hillis

Liar. What a harsh word. It cuts to the core. No one wants to be a liar, yet we all are.

Most people define “lying” as looking someone in the eye and delivering a bold faced lie. The reality is that we are all much more creative in the ways we lie.

I was sitting in church at Mid-town 12th South listening to my pastor Russ describe the 7 ways we lie, and realized that the reality is that almost everyone at some point in their life will not only be a “liar”, but we will all probably will be guilty of all 7 ways we lie.

Here are the 7 ways we lie:
1. Error- a lie by mistake.
2. Omission- leaving out relevant information.
3. Restructuring- distorting the context. Spinning.
4. Denial- refusing to acknowledge a truth.
5. Minimization- reducing the effect of a mistake or judgment.
6. Exaggeration- representing something as greater, better, more experienced or successful.
7. Fabrication- deliberately inventing a false story.


I feel the number one reason people lie is to “be right”. Being aware of the 7 ways we lie is one of the first steps in preventing being a liar. The truth is that we all have our version of the truth. The best we can strive for in not becoming a liar is having a heart for always doing what is right and letting go of caring about who gets credit or caring about who is right.

I loved this message because it gives us all pause to think about the way, not only the way we deceive others, but how many ways we deceive ourselves when it comes to our commitments with our careers, our health, our family, our faith, and our friends. It certainly made me think and I hope the message resonates with you too!

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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Using Your “Whole-Brain”

Posted in Motivational, Sales Coaching, Sales Tips, southwestern company with tags , on March 3, 2010 by Dustin Hillis

Have you ever wondered why some people are dynamically successful and others seem to achieve goals by the sweat of their brow?  As they say, there is more than one way to skin a cat…but the key to ‘dynamic’ success is working smarter and not harder.

So – how does one ‘work smarter’ you ask?  And you’re absolutely right – when you think about it, working smarter and not harder is easier said than done. 

There are literally thousands of answers to this question – but one of our personal favorites is:  TAP INTO YOUR CREATIVITY

You may thinking to yourself “I don’t have a creative bone in my body”, but the truth of the matter is WE ARE ALL CREATIVE.  Or at least we all have the ability to think creatively (unless of course you’re missing half your brain.  You see, left brain thinkers are analytical, logical, and very “Doctor Spock” like.  Right brainers tend to be more creative.  The secret is learning to tap into your “right brain” even if you’re a “left brain” thinker.

One psychologist says this “In order to be more “whole-brained” in their orientation, schools need to give equal weight to the arts, creativity, and the skills of imagination and synthesis.”  In short, to tap into your creative side – you have to PRACTICE. 

Have you ever wondered why some sales coaches and sales seminars incorporate a “free thinking” type exercise in their work – this is exactly why!  Thinking outside the box is an excellent way to embrace ideas and techniques you may normally neglect.

Believe it or not, this is PRECISELY the way social networking got started – and exactly the way social networking became a staple in the business world! 

A few simple tips for getting started on your quest to become more “whole brained” –

  • Consider taking an art or sculpture class.
  • Help your kids do finger painting or decorate cookies.
  • Take a dance class with your spouse (or even by yourself)
  • Take up a hobby that requires “vision” and not “analytics” (Think jewelry making versus Sudoku).

Basically anything you do to flex your right brain muscles will help you begin to tap into the creative possibilities in your sales career.

A human being is a part of the whole, called by us “Universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest—a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. The striving to free oneself from this delusion is the one issue of true religion. Not to nourish it but to try to overcome it is the way to reach the attainable measure of peace of mind. ~Albert Einstein

Back by Popular Demand – The Southwestern Company presents “The Mimic Effect”

Posted in Sales Coaching, Sales Tips, Selling Techniques with tags , , , on February 1, 2010 by Dustin Hillis

Some time ago, we made a post that was dedicated to teaching others the art of the “mimicry”… Lately, we’ve been getting lots of questions about what it takes to be a “master”  – so, we’ve decided to bring back the Mimic Effect to help all of you who are seeking to learn the secrets of best and brightest.


The Southwestern Company presents “The Mimic Effect”…

Have you ever noticed that when two kids are good friends they mimic each other? Sometimes they bounce around like a Mexican jumping bean and have more energy than what they know what to do with. Or if the kids are like me and my best friends growing up the friends or group of friends could be known as the notorious “gruesome two-some” or kids that your parents warn you about.

“The mimic effect” is a universal principle that’s been around since the beginning of time. At the Southwestern Advantage, we have taught top producers to learn from other top producers for over a century.  We are naturally programmed to emulate the people we surround ourselves with. The good, the bad, and the ugly absorbs into our DNA like a sponge. As Charlie “Tremendous” Jones said “the only difference between who we are now and who we are in 5 years, is the people we meet and the books that we read.”

From birth to death “the mimic effect” determines the altitude of our success. We are only as successful as our 5 best friends. Whether or not you have heard of this universal truth before matters not. Do you purposely use the principle to take your business and life to the next level? Do you find yourself aware of this principle, yet still squandering your life away hanging with negative, lazy, fear paralyzed people?

Try this simple exercise that will forever change your life:

Developing your “peer group”:
Write down the specific characteristics you want to have. What do you want other people to describe you as?

For example: Dependable, Honest, Top Producer, Hard Working, Creative, Wise, Entrepreneur, Business Owner, Financially Free, Dedicated, Caring, etc.

Then make a list of the 5 people you spend the most time with. Then write down the top 5 traits other people would say they have (good or bad). Next, make a list of people you know who have all of the traits you just listed. After that compare your lists and see if you have anyone on your list of people you spend time with who are doing the things you want to do with your life. If not… you guessed it’s time to get a new set of friends! Set a goal to surround yourself with the people who are already doing the things you want to do and “mimic” them.

If you want to be a good investor…start hanging out with a top investor in your town. When hanging out ask a specific question and try to get inside their brain. Then “mimic” them!

If you want to start your own business, or be a top producer, or be a good husband/wife, or whatever your passion is to become, you must surround yourself with people who are already doing what you want to do and let “the mimic effect” go to work for you.

When I decided I wanted to become a professional sales trainer/ consultant/ coach for the Southwestern Company I put into play the law of “the mimic effect.” I made a list of the type of people I needed to surround myself with… and guess what, I’m now certified by the National Speaking Association.

Here is the peer group that I on purpose surrounded myself with:

My Southwestern Company top producer/ sales ninja “peer group”
Here is the Southwestern Company all-time sales record holders and our Chairman Henry Bedford.

Sales ninja "peer group"Sales ninja “peer group”

From left to right: Dave Brown- The world’s best cold calling salesman of all time! (at the Southwestern Company he had 23 customers in one-day selling books door to door!), Kyah Hillis (formerly Kyah Grady)- shattered the Southwestern Company record not once but twice! (Making her #1 out of over 250,000 salespeople who have come through the Southwestern Company over the past 154 years), me, Henry Bedford- All around badass and CEO/ chairman of the board of all 17+ of the Southwestern Companies. Bill Zizzy- Former Southwestern Company sales record holder, Dave Rosen- Former Southwestern Company sales record holder. Although I never formally had a professional relationship with Bill or Dave they were still in my Southwestern Company sales ninja “peer group”. I applied “the mimic effect” with them through listening to their advanced sales CD’s over and over and over and over again in my car during the summers and drinking from their wealth of knowledge.

Here is a member of my Southwestern Consulting professional sales coaching “peer group”:

SSN! crew on stage with Matthew Ferry SSN! crew on stage with Matthew Ferry

Matthew Ferry- Life coach extraordinaire! (Author of “Amplifying Your Money Magnetism”)

So if you really want to take your business/life to the next level put “the mimic effect” to work for you.
Know what you want.
Know who you want to be like.
Find those people and spend time with them.
Then let “the mimic effect” do the rest!

For additional information and help with designing a “peer group” and applying “the mimic effect” go to

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Lead Generation Tips: The Golden Ten

Posted in Prospecting Tips, Sales Coaching, Sales Tips, Selling Techniques with tags , , , on October 12, 2009 by Dustin Hillis

The “Golden Ten” – how to Generate Leads and Turn Contacts into Clients!

One of the most important things you need to ensure sales success is a solid resource of leads…but that means you will have to get out there and generate those leads!  The good news is that lead generation doesn’t have to be intimidating and if you use the right techniques, it can actually be both productive and fun!  Because this is such a common sales question, we’ve put together the “Golden Ten” tips for generating leads.

So, without further adieu, “The Golden Ten”: 

The Golden Ten

The Golden Ten

1)      Use your networking resources!  Exchange URL links with companies or business that share your target audience but do not represent a direct competitor.  When any member of that target audience visits your “partner’s” web page, he or she will have direct access to YOU!  Increasing web traffic is a MUST in lead generation; more people use the Web as a shopping forum than another other available source. For example and shares web traffic to help increase web traffic from the Southwestern Company to Southwestern Consulting.

2)      Give your patrons a chance to hear from you.  Put your ‘opt in’ on every page of your web site. As a patron browses your site, he or she may not be immediately inclined to provide you with contact information – but providing them with more opportunities may prove enticing.  The more opportunities you take to generate leads – the better.  This option is convenient and is not overly pushy.    For example check out the Southwestern Company seminar website at

3)      Use a newsletter as a way to advertise your business.  No matter what’s going on with your company, customers will respond to a newsletter option.  Giving potential patrons an option to sign up for a monthly business update or newsletter is a great way to spark interest even over a long period of time.  Statistically, customers who don’t purchase immediately will make a purchase within the subsequent 12 months!  A newsletter will allow you to stay in view during this window.

4)      Using a website to advertise your service is one of the best ways to stay out in front of the sales wave, especially since so much of business is virtual these days.  Using an auto responder to automate your website is great way to keep your web page current without taking up scads of time.  Auto responders can be set up to send out a periodic update or email reminding your customers of sales, new products, etc.  Check out the Southwestern Company website at

5)      Be personable! Send thank you notes to let your clients know that you truly appreciate their business.  After any successful transaction, issue a thank you – either in the form of a greeting card or an e-postcard.  This thank you note will help you stand out and is very well received in client circles.  People appreciate acknowledgment.  You can use this technique in all areas of business – not just sales.

6)      Potential customers like to hear what other customers are saying.  Ask your clients for testimonials that can be published on your web page or your sales copy, pamphlets, etc.  This is a great way to show your customers that other “real” people are truly happy with your services.  Video testimonials work great check out the Southwestern Company student testimonial video

7)      Use your social networking circles.  Social networking is the wave of the sales future!  If you haven’t yet explored the option of using social networking as part of your sales strategy, today is the day to do so!  Spend some time looking into this powerful tool and don’t let the wave of the future pass you buy!  Check out the Southwestern Company Facebook site at!/Southwestern?ref=ts.

8)      Publish press releases for new products or services.  Believe it or not, people respond to the press in a way that most other advertising falls short.  Use the power of the press release to get your services and your name out anytime a new opportunity comes up.  You’ll be surprised at the response you get.

9)      Followup, Followup, Followup!  Did you know that most people have to see or hear a message 7 times before it is installed in the “memory bank”?  That means that a followup system that get’s your message in front of potential customers at least 7 times is ideal.  Using varying options for this followup should be easy: an email, a postcard, a letter, a phone call, a newsletter…get creative and have fun with it!

10)   Market yourself with events!  Promote events, teleclasses, seminars, and other industry related paraphernalia.  Speak publicly as often as possible and use YOU as a resource.  Marketing yourself will be just as important as marketing your business.  Plus, getting out there and showing what you’ve got and what you can do will draw customers like moths to a flame!

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