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Selling Systems: Self-Management Systems

Posted in southwestern company, Southwestern Consulting, time management with tags , , , , , , on February 13, 2013 by Dustin Hillis

Selling Systems

Today I was doing field training with one of our Southwestern Consulting Market Managers (Neal Anderson) in Raleigh, NC.  Our first meeting was with a personal coaching client of mine whom I’ve been coaching for over 3 years named Bob Watral.  Bob is a former VP at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney and has been in the financial planning industry for over 20 years and is one of the most coachable people I know.  Our next meeting was at one of the top real estate offices in Raleigh, and Neal signed up the managing broker of the office for the Manager’s Edge coaching.  Then our next meeting was at a New York Life office where Neal was already coaching the manager and ended up signing up another producer for the Top Producer’s Edge coaching program.  Upon reflecting on the day’s activities, I feel that all 4 of the people we met with today who are enrolled in our program have one thing in common that they need help with. Although they work at different companies in different industries and have different levels of experience, the common denominator is they all need help creating and maintaining more effective and efficient Selling Systems.

The Southwestern Family of Companies is comprised of Southwestern Investments Group (the #1 Raymond James financial planning firm in the world), Great American (the largest school fundraising company in the world), SBR Recruiting (the #1 recruiting company in the state of Tennessee), Southwestern Advantage (one of the oldest direct sales businesses in the United States), Family Heritage (a large supplemental insurance company), Tom James (the world’s largest custom clothier), Wildtree (one of the fastest growing party planning businesses in the United States), a handful of other various businesses ranging from the music industry, time shares, international work and travel documents, and an award-winning publishing company.   People often ask me “how is Southwestern involved in so many different industries?  What’s the common thread?”  The answer to that question is why Southwestern Consulting exists.  All of the Southwestern companies have one thing in common – Selling Systems.

Selling Systems are the foundation of all the Southwestern companies…and they’re the foundation of almost every successful company, manager and top producer.

What are “Selling Systems”?   There are 3 key Selling Systems that Southwestern has perfected over the past 155 plus years that we help instill in our coaching clients.

Selling System #1:  Self-Management Systems

Out of the hundreds of people we coach every year, Time Management is the #1 area of improvement most people need help creating systems around.  A lot of people are working a lot of hours… they’re just not maximizing the time during the hours they work.

Here are the top 3 systems you can create for yourself to help manage your time better:

1. Schedule Tool – A schedule tool is a spreadsheet that has every day of your week broken down hour-by-hour.  How you use the Schedule Tool is you open it up every Sunday and take an hour to literally plan out every hour of your week, every phone call, every meeting, prospecting time, email time, lunch, paperwork time… but beyond that you have to schedule your personal life also!  What time you’re going to wake up, read books, workout, date night, and personal development training.

Here is an example of one of my coaching clients Schedule Tool:

Schedule Tool

Schedule Tool for Time Management

2. Goal Card – A Goal Card is one of the cornerstone tools that Southwestern has used to ensure success over the past century.  One of the keys to a Goal Card is that it breaks down your day into working “goal periods”.  A “goal period” is a 2 hour block of your day where you have specific activity goals to achieve.  You should break your whole day down into “goal periods” and have activity goals for each “goal period”.  Separating your day out to 2 hour increments will help you get more done in 2 focused hours than what most people do all day.

Click Here To Download Your Selling Systems Goal Card

Selling Systems

Selling Systems

3. Critical Success Factor Tracker – “You cannot expect unless you inspect.”  It’s hard to know how to improve your performance unless you track what you’re doing all day long and then measure the activity against the daily activity goal.  In the Southwestern ConsultingTM sales performance coaching program, we have designed a software program that makes this an easy process that takes 2 minutes at the end of the day to tally up your daily activity statistics off of your Goal Card and enter them onto your CSF report.

Here is an example of the Southwestern Consulting Critical Success Factors tracking tool all of our coaching clients use everyday and review with their coach:

Critical Success Factors

Critical Success Factors Activity Tracking Tool

  • Once you have several months of CSF data, you can start self-managing yourself and comparing your ratios to the previous month and make sure your daily activity numbers are always improving.

If you are reading this and think “this is the kind of stuff I need in my business”, we can help!  We have a team of experts that help implement these types of systems in companies across America every day.  For more information:

… stay tuned for the other two Selling Systems.

What You Are Someday Going To Be You Are Now Becoming

Posted in Leadership Coaching, Motivational, southwestern company truth with tags , , , on November 8, 2011 by Dustin Hillis

Other than the Bible this writing is the single most powerful truth I’ve ever read.  Enjoy!

WHAT YOU ARE SOMEDAY GOING TO BE YOU ARE NOW BECOMING: BY JIM MCEACHERN

ONE OF THE MOST SOBERING THOUGHTS I HAVE EVER BEEN CONFRONTED WITH IS THIS. “WHAT YOU ARE SOMEDAY GOING TO BE YOU ARE NOW BECOMING.” YOU ARE NOW, THIS MOMENT, EXACTLY WHAT YOU HAVE BEEN IN THE PROCESS OF BECOMING ALL YOUR LIFE.

ARE YOU NOW THE PERSON YOU DREAMED ABOUT BECOMING? IF YOU HAD WRITTEN DOWN SEVERAL YEARS AGO EXACTLY THE TYPE OF PERSON YOU WANTED TO BE NOW, WHAT KIND OF PERSON WOULD YOU HAVE DESCRIBED? HOW CLOSE ARE YOU TO BECOMING THAT PERSON?

WHAT KIND OF PERSON DO YOU WANT TO BE A YEAR FROM NOW? OR TWO YEARS FROM NOW? OR FIVE YEARS FROM NOW? OR 10? OR 20?

RIGHT NOW YOU ARE IN THE PROCESS OF BECOMING THE PERSON YOU WILL BE IN A YEAR, OR TWO, OR FIVE, OR 10 OR 20 YEARS FROM NOW. THE HABITS YOU HAVE NOW WILL DETERMINE THE KIND OF PERSON YOU WILL BECOME UNLESS YOU CHANGE THOSE HABITS NOW.

WHAT ATTITUDE WOULD YOU LIKE TO HAVE SOMEDAY? THE ATTITUDE YOU HAVE NOW IS A GOOD INDICATION OF THE ATTITUDE YOU WILL HAVE SOMEDAY, UNLESS RIGHT NOW YOU BEGIN TO DEVELOP A NEW KIND OF ATTITUDE.

IF YOU ARE NOT NOW DOING THOSE THINGS YOU NEED TO DO TO BECOME WHAT YOU WANT TO BECOME, WHAT MAKES YOU BELIEVE THAT YOU EVER WILL?

DO YOU HAVE SITUATIONS OR CIRCUMSTANCES THAT ARE PREVENTING YOU FROM BECOMING WHAT YOU WANT TO BECOME? THOSE SITUATIONS AND CIRCUMSTANCES WILL PASS BUT THEY WILL BE REPLACED BY NEW SITUATIONS OR NEW CIRCUMSTANCES. IF YOU WANT TO BECOME A BETTER (OR DIFFERENT) KIND OF PERSON, YOU BETTER GET STARTED NOW. YOU CANNOT WAIT FOR SITUATIONS OR CIRCUMSTANCES THAT ARE JUST RIGHT.

HAVE YOU EVER TOLD YOURSELF. “SOMEDAY I AM GOING TO BEGIN TO SAVE SOME MONEY ON A REGULAR BASIS?” ARE YOU SAVING NOW? IF YOU ARE NOT NOW, YOU PROBABLY WON’T EVER—UNLESS YOU BEGIN NOW. IT WILL NEVER BE ANY EASIER, EVEN IF YOUR INCOME DOUBLES OR TRIPLES. IT WILL NEVER BE ANY EASIER, EVEN IF YOU SOMEDAY EARN TEN TIMES AS MUCH AS YOU DO NOW; SAVING/MONEY REGULARLY HAS LITTLE TO DO WITH INCOME. IT RELATES TO THE DECISIONS YOU MAKE. IF YOU WANT TO DEVELOP A GOOD SAVINGS ACCOUNT, YOU BETTER BEGIN NOW. IN ALL PROBABILITY, IT IS NOW OR NEVER.

DO YOU PLAN TO HAVE GOOD “WORK HABITS” SOMEDAY? DO YOU NOW HAVE GOOD “WORK HABITS?” IF NOT, YOU PROBABLY NEVER WILL, UNLESS YOU ARE WILLING TO BEGIN TO DEVELOP THEM RIGHT NOW. WHAT YOU ARE SOMEDAY GOING TO BE, YOU ARE NOW BECOMING. MAYBE YOU HAVE SAID, “SOMEDAY, I AM GOING TO SET ASIDE TIME TO READ THE BIBLE AND PRAY EVERY DAY.” WHY SOMEDAY? IF YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO SET ASIDE TIME NOW, YOU PROBABLY WON’T DO IT SOMEDAY. IF YOU PLAN TO EVER BEGIN, YOU BETTER START FORMING THE HABIT TODAY.

MANY YEARS AGO SPENCER HAYS ASKED ME, “JIM, WHAT KIND OF PERSON DO YOU WANT TO BE IN FIVE YEARS? WHAT KIND OF HUSBAND DO YOU WANT TO BE? WHAT KIND OF FATHER DO YOU WANT TO BE?” I ANSWERED SPENCER BY TELLING HIM THE KIND OF PERSON I WANTED TO BECOME. I TOLD HIM WHAT I WANTED TO BECOME AS A HUSBAND AND AS A FATHER. SPENCER THEN TOLD ME ONE OF THE MOST FRIGHTENING THINGS I HAVE EVER HEARD. HE SAID, “WHAT YOU ARE SOMEDAY GOING TO BE YOU ARE NOW BECOMING.” THEN HE ASKED ME, “IF YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO DO THOSE THINGS NOW, WHAT MAKES YOU THINK YOU EVER WILL?” I RESOLVED THEN TO BEGIN DOING THOSE THINGS WHICH WOULD ENABLE ME TO BECOME THE PERSON, THE HUSBAND AND THE FATHER I WANTED TO BECOME.

WE ARE FACED WITH A CHOICE. WE CAN EITHER BEGIN TO DO THOSE THINGS THAT WILL ENABLE US TO BECOME WHAT WE SOMEDAY WANT TO BECOME—OR WE CAN LEARN TO LIVE WITH REGRET. I WOULD PREFER TO DO EVEN THOSE VERY DIFFICULT TASKS THAT WILL ENABLE ME TO BECOME WHAT I WANT TO BECOME THAN TO LIVE WITH REGRET. EVERY TIME YOU DO THOSE THINGS YOU KNOW YOU OUGHT TO DO, YOU FEEL GOOD ABOUT YOURSELF. WHEN YOU DO NOT DO WHAT YOU OUGHT TO DO, YOU FEEL BAD ABOUT YOURSELF.

EITHER WAY YOU ARE IN THE PROCESS OF BECOMING WHAT YOU ARE SOMEDAY GOING TO BE.
ALBERT GRAY SAID, “THE SECRET OF SUCCESS OF EVERY MAN WHO HAS EVER BEEN SUCCESSFUL LIES IN THE FACT THAT HE FORMED THE HABIT OF DOING THINGS FAILURES DON’T LIKE TO DO.” TO BECOME WHAT WE WANT TO BECOME REQUIRES FORMING THE HABIT OF DOING THE RIGHT THINGS, THE THINGS FAILURES DON’T LIKE TO DO. THE BEST TIME TO BEGIN FORMING A GOOD HABIT IS RIGHT NOW.

WE ARE NOW, DELIBERATELY AND CONSCIOUSLY, CHOOSING TO BECOME WHAT WE WANT TO SOMEDAY BE, OR WE ARE UNCONSCIOUSLY MAKING THE CHOICE. EITHER WAY WE ARE IN THE PROCESS OF BECOMING WHAT WE ARE SOMEDAY GOING TO BE. KING DAVID IN THE OLD TESTAMENT DELIBERATELY SOUGHT GOD’S WILL IN MOST FACETS OF HIS LIFE AND BECOME A GREAT MAN. HE APPARENTLY DID NOT CONSCIOUSLY DECIDE WHAT KIND OF FATHER HE WOULD BECOME. AS A RESULT, HIS CHILDREN WERE THE CAUSE OF MUCH SORROW. ONE OF HIS SONS GATHERED AN ARMY TO OVERTHROW HIM. ANOTHER SON RAPED HIS OWN SISTER. THE SON WHO COMMITTED THE RAPE WAS MURDERED BY ANOTHER OF DAVID’S SONS. YOU ARE NOW IN THE PROCESS OF BECOMING THE PERSON YOU’RE SOMEDAY GOING TO BE.

I’VE HAD THE PRIVILEGE OF HEARING MANY OUTSTANDING SUCCESS STORIES. THE ACHIEVERS OF THOSE SUCCESSES INVARIABLY STATED. “I DECIDED TO.” IMMEDIATELY AFTER DECIDING THEY TOOK ACTION THAT ENABLED THEM TO BEGIN ACHIEVING THAT WHICH THEY DECIDED TO DO. IT IS THROUGH ACTION THAT WE BECOME.

THIS WORLD IS LITTERED WITH FAILURES. THESE PEOPLE DID NOT INTEND TO BECOME WHAT THEY ARE; THEY INTENDED TO ACHIEVE GREAT THINGS. THEY INTENDED TO BECOME MUCH MORE THAN AVERAGE, BUT THEY WAITED FOR THE RIGHT SET OF CIRCUMSTANCES.
WHAT ARE PEOPLE WAITING FOR? CHILDREN ARE WAITING UNTIL THEY FINISH SCHOOL. ADULTS ARE WAITING UNTIL THEY GET PROMOTED.    MIDDLE-AGED PEOPLE ARE WAITING UNTIL THEY CAN RETIRE. MANY ARE WAITING FOR CIRCUMSTANCES TO BE “NORMAL.” IN THE PROCESS OF WAITING THEY ARE BECOMING WHAT THEY ARE SOMEDAY GOING TO BE, EVEN THOUGH THAT IS NOT WHAT THEY INTEND TO BECOME. LIFE DOESN’T WAIT. YOU’RE, RIGHT NOW,

BECOMING WHAT YOU ARE SOMEDAY GOING TO BE. WHAT ARE YOU DOING RIGHT NOW TO BECOME WHAT YOU WANT TO SOMEDAY BECOME?

LOSERS DON’T INTEND TO BECOME LOSERS. THEY BECOME LOSERS WHILE WAITING FOR CIRCUMSTANCES TO GET RIGHT. WINNERS DON’T WAIT. THEY DO WHAT IT TAKES TO BECOME WHAT THEY WANT TO BECOME. THEY DO IT NOW.
-JIM MCEACHERN (1930-2011)

For information about the Southwestern Company Leadership Coaching:

Top 5 Things To Look For In A Job

Posted in Southwestern Consulting with tags , , , , , on November 24, 2010 by Dustin Hillis

Southwestern ConsultingTM has been helping people reach their potential in over 35 cities across the world from London to Los Angeles by training, motivating, coaching, and consulting top sales professionals from every different arena. We have trained the #1 Remax broker in the nation and the #1 Keller Williams agent in the nation. We have coached the top 1% of producers and managers from companies such as Northwestern Mutual, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, Yellow Pages, Wells Fargo, Verizon, Toyota, Bankers Life, State Farm, and many more.

What we have found is that the cream of the crop in every industry has 5 common reasons why they choose to work with their company. We have also found that those same 5 reasons are why great entrepreneurs and team builders attract top talent to work with them. More importantly, we’ve found that these same 5 reasons are why people stay with a company for more than 1-2 years, and are why people build 30 year long careers with a company.

Debunking the myths
If we were to survey a room of managers and ask them what are the top 5 things people are looking for in a job? Most would reply with the following:

1. Money
2. Security
3. Contribution
4. Co-workers they like
5. Creativity

The problem with this thinking is it comes from a very short-term perspective. I recently saw a job advertisement that was promoting a job where the top money earner made over $300,000. That’s a great ad for hiring someone who is hungry for money in the short term to go work somewhere that they possibly aren’t passionate about. Yet they could still go to work there because of the opportunity to earn big bucks. However, we have found that the best of the best people who are satisfied in their jobs do not always go to the opportunity where the employers are throwing money at a certain job. Don’t get me wrong. Making a lot of money is a great thing as long as you are making it in an area about which you are passionate.

The other day I was on a coaching call with a woman who has been working in her job for less than a year. She was explaining to me how she isn’t motivated. Here were the 6 reasons she was miserable.

1. Her boss was “arrogant”. – Any time a company is “personality-driven” the people working for that personality will feel less than the ego-driven owner. Look for companies that are “principle-driven”, rather than “personality-driven”.
2. Each time she came up with an idea her manager took credit for it. – True leaders will give credit to the team and others for the great ideas, and the true leader also will take the blame when things go wrong.
3. She felt like her opinion didn’t count. – If your opinion doesn’t count, why have one? Why should you care if the company succeeds if they don’t care about your opinion?
4. She knows that the management team did not care about her as a person. – You are not a number. A good leader should be interested in your passions, family and life.
5. The office environment was negative. – Your attitude will always be a reflection of the people around you. I once heard a fallacy that you don’t have to be positive to be successful. I would define being successful as being positive all the time regardless of the circumstances.
6. No one appreciated her for any extra effort she was putting in. – Appreciation is the fuel for enthusiastic effort.

She didn’t mention one word about how much money she was making or the security of her job.

When it comes right down to it, there are few people who are motivated by money alone. If you’re one of those people, more power to you. For the rest of us, here are the top 5 things we have found that successful people look for in a job that they actually enjoy.
1. Co-workers that you respect and truly enjoy being with – When you work with friends, your job becomes a hobby.
2. Contribution – Make sure that your company understands where the best ideas come from…the people actually doing the work!
3. Creativity – If you do not have the flexibility to create your own style and adapt the system given to you, then you might feel like a robot working for the man.
4. Money – Make sure that you have the opportunity to earn what you need to make the proper investments to live the life of your dreams.
5. Security – I have rarely seen a company that would terminate someone who was productive, positive, contributing, and believed in the mission of the company.

For everyone who is currently on the job hunt or anyone who is unhappy with their current job, here are 2 questions to ask yourself when making one of the biggest decisions of your life.

1. Would I want to spend time with my boss outside of work?
Do you think your potential boss is full of integrity and will do what he/she says he/she will do? Do you see characteristics in your boss that you want to emulate?

2. Am I passionate about the service this job provides the world?
Is the product/ service something you believe in and would buy for yourself? You can be successful at anything you believe in and are passionate about!

Take an educated risk
Step 1. Identify what you are passionate about. (i.e., cars, travel, fashion, helping other people succeed, etc.)
Step 2. Make a list of the characteristics you want to see in the people you work with. (i.e., humble, innovative, honest, caring, hard working, kind, etc.)
Step 3. Break down how much money you need to get started and then figure out how much money you will need to make to invest and live the life of your dreams. (Many times the best opportunities do not come with a guaranteed amount of income. However, great companies will provide you with the support and structure to blow past any guarantee with a small commission. Most of my personal coaching clients who earn over $500,000 per year started with a small draw or straight commission or started their own business and went in debt for several years before building their momentum in what they were passionate about and living the life of their dreams.)

Don’t waste your life chasing a buck. Go after what you are passionate about with all your might, and when the dust settles you will be on top!

For more info on job opportunities click HERE.

3 Universal Success Truths

Posted in southwestern company truth with tags , , , , , on April 6, 2010 by Dustin Hillis

Spencer Hays- Southwestern Company 3 Success Truth

Spencer Hays- Southwestern Company 3 Success Truth


Spencer Hays the majority share holder of the Southwestern Company (who was featured in Forbes Magazine) was meeting with a key leader of a new Southwestern Company sister company. When asked what does it take to build a company from the ground floor to over $100 million in annual revenue (as Hays has done several times), his reply was brilliant yet simple. Mr. Hays looked at the young business leader and said “When I met with Jim McEachern to help start Tom James (the world’s largest custom clothier) our game plan was simple, we followed 3 universal success truths: 1. Set high goals. 2. Have great self talk. 3. Hold yourself accountable.

Tom James

Jim McEachern- Founder of Tom James/ Southwestern Company Alumni

Setting high goals is no stranger to Spencer Hays who is the business artist that shaped the culture of all the Southwestern Companies. Spencer began his sales career selling books door-to-door with virtually nothing to start with and now is has a portfolio of companies that range from selling books door-to-door, to real estate, custom clothing, fine art, consulting, sales seminars, head hunting, insurance, publishing, school fund raising, sports magazines, and more!

Walking through the halls of the Southwestern Company one might run into Mr. Hays and ask him how he is doing. The 1956 Southwestern Company book salesman will respond “I’m fit, fine, and fantastic. I’m ripen, roaring, and raring to go. How are you?” No one has better self talk than Spencer Hays.

The Southwestern Company and Spencer Hays family of companies are the best at holding themselves accountable. The mission statement of Southwestern is “we build people, and those people build great companies”. Giving people the ability to hold themselves accountable is one of his keys to creating a self managed team. Spencer always make sure people are focused on the activity it takes to be successful not the results.

Spencer Hays has proven that any business can be successful by following these 3 universal success truth.

For more information about Spencer Hays and his success truth go to www.southwesternconsulting.com.

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