Jordan works for one of the world's largest companies as a District Sales Manager. His territory covers 4 states and he's on the road 3 weeks out of each month.
He was a participant in a workshop I ran for him and 5 of his colleagues, and that's how I had an opportunity to get to know him a little.
During one conversation I had with him we were talking about values, and in particular what each of us valued the most. Jordan said that his family - he's married with 2 children - was the most important thing in his life.
I asked Jordan how he felt about being away from his family so much, and his exact words to me were: "I hate it! But right now I have no choice. We're carrying a mortgage, and although my wife and I both earn more than enough to live comfortably, we both have car loans as well as significant amounts of credit card debt. It seems like we can never get ahead, like we're always swimming upstream."
Without going into all of the details of this conversation, suffice it to say that Jordan was not a very happy person.
And how could he be?
His lifestyle was completely out of alignment with his values.
His family was the most important thing in his life, but he was spending 3 weeks of every month away from his wife and children.
Jordan was experiencing the punishment for the greatest crime in America in the past 50 years.
We're living in a society that is obsessed with material things and the constant pursuit of more. Regardless of how much people already have they want more. Enough is never enough. This lack of contentment and constant hustling to up our game is literally making people sick - physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
Here's a question to ask yourself: If you suddenly became very rich, what would you do?
Many people who become wealthy don't do any of those things. Instead, they devote the rest of their lives to either paying off the debts they've incurred or to making more money so they can become "richer."
"A lover of silver will never be satisfied with silver, nor a lover of wealth with income. This too is futility." Ecclesiastes 5:10
What do you think happens to people when they obsess over results, measured by most in terms of dollars, social acceptance, or prestige?
They often become completely self-absorbed, while other human beings become instruments for their own advancement.
In the end I trust that Jordan is going to make the changes necessary so that he can live his life in alignment with his values.
Because if he doesn't get that worked out, he'll continue to suffer the punishment of not doing so, which is not a satisfying and fulfilling way to live.
How much of your life and values have you sacrificed to the culture of the market and to consumerism?
When is enough enough? What do you think? Please leave your comment below because your viewpoint is valuable.
And have a great day.
If you're a sales leader in the healthcare/pharmaceutical industry and you want loyal customers then you're going to need to shift your focus.
What do I mean by that? Before answering the question, here's a direct quote from a pharma rep when I asked him what his biggest current challenge was?
"...a challenge I face pretty frequently is getting access to some of my doctors. Some don't see reps anymore, or only during a lunch, etc."
The fact is that a lot of doctors are simply tired of having too many sales representatives fighting with each other to get through their doors.
I personally had a cardiologist tell me that he didn't need nor want sales reps to visit him. From his perspective, sales reps were simply wasting his time, as everything he needed to know about any drug he might prescribe can be found on the Internet.
He's right, and that's why...
As a sales leader in the healthcare/pharmaceutical industry you must completely change your mindset and your focus if you're going to differentiate yourself from the competition and even differentiate yourself from the Internet.
I mean think about it.
If your customers can find everything they need to know about your products on the Internet and...
...during your visits you're not teaching them anything of significantly greater value than a simple Google search will yield them...
...then why are you wasting their time and yours?
And that's why you've gotta shift your focus from that of simply detailing your products FABs, to providing your customers with unique insights that help them be more effective at what they do.
What insights do you and your sales teams have that can help your customers treat their patients more effectively?
What new information do you and your sales teams have that can help your customers to significantly improve the quality of life for their patients, their families and other caregivers?
Can you see how differentiating yourself requires a change in your and your sales team's focus?
Instead of focusing on the FABs of your product/service, and even on just the needs of your customer, you've got to look beyond those things and consider the needs, challenges, and concerns of the patients being treated by your customers.
And that requires insights that many of your doctors and other healthcare providers may not actually be aware of.
Shift your focus by providing valuable insights for your customers and you'll differentiate yourself from everyone else.
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Narrow your small business niche to make more money might seem counter - intuitive. After all, as an entrepreneur you're driven to make as much money as possible. It's almost instinctual.
And yet, where many of us fall short is in positioning our business to be all things to all people. This leaves us feeling not only burned out, but often unsuccessful as we attempt to fulfil unrealistic expectations. Want more money? Narrow your small business niche. It’s true and here’s why:
While many fear that if they narrow their niche they will lose business, the opposite is actually true. Being all things to all people gets you lost in the shuffle and puts you in a position to set unrealistic expectations by attempting to be all things to all people. Not to mention the lack of work-life balance and unhappiness as you ignore your passion. In the end, it’s simple. Want more money? Narrow your Small Business Niche.
Lisa Wozniak is a senior marketing consultant with Woz Marketing. She's focused on helping private practice owners enrol more clients through online marketing strategies. For more information on how Lisa can help you with your marketing, please visit her site at: http://wozmarketing.com or you can also connect with Lisa on Facebook.
Ensure training transfer!
Companies that are investing resources in training for sales staff and companies that are providing the training should be focused on ensuring training transfer.
I'm almost stunned into silence to discover that after doing a Google search of the term "how to ensure training transfer," the top 3 articles on the subject DO NOT even mention the word coaching.
Now that I've shaken myself out of my "stunned" state, I'm going to be very blunt and say this:
The organizations or individuals who wrote those articles on how to ensure training transfer should not be trying to appear as experts on such an important subject when they left out coaching as a key to implementing training.
Wise SFE and L&D directors and managers know that ensuring learning transfer from the sales training venue to the real workplace is directly related to sales managers regularly coaching their sales people on the skills learned in the workshop.
Yet, I don't know how many times L&D and Training Managers or SFE managers and directors have asked me "how can we be sure that the sales training we're planning to run is going to work?"
The answer to that question is really quite simple, so let's address it now.
Having your sales managers regularly coaching their salespeople for performance improvement is key to ensuring the transfer of sales training to your salespeople and, by extension, to your customers.
"Although trainers provide learning opportunities and support, what managers do after training influences behaviour far more than what trainers do in the classroom." (Dennis E. Coates)
Clearly, the sales trainer has a lot of influence during the workshop. But that influence is very limited or may even be nil once the training is completed. And that's where the sales manager comes into play.
We have been working with two clients in implementing a global program designed to significantly improve the selling skills of their sales teams.
Both clients are very large companies. I'll call them company A and B. Company A is an American firm, in the top 50 on the Fortune 100, and we have been working with one of their commercial teams in the medical devices sector.
Company B is a very well-known German firm and we've been working with their commercial teams in the pharmaceutical sector.
The Sales Force Effectiveness teams for both of these companies have done the following in order to ensure learning transfer.
1) Prior to putting all salespeople through sales training, both companies put all of their sales managers through a coaching workshop so they could learn and practice the methods employed by world-class coaches.
2) After the managers had been put through the coaching program, the sales training followed with all sales managers also present. This provided an opportunity for the sales managers and their teams to learn the new selling skills and mindset together.
It also gave the managers an opportunity to use their new coaching skills during the selling skills workshop as they engaged in exercises and activities with their sales teams.
Additionally, the facilitators of the coaching and selling skills workshops were able to provide guidance, assistance, and feedback for both the managers and their teams during the selling skills workshops because they were all together.
3) During the sales workshop, each sales rep chooses one of her or his customers to develop a Model Sales Call around.
As they reps go through the training, they record exactly how they will approach that customer based on each step of the selling model and the skills they learn and practice during the workshop.
They are then given time to practice each step of their Model Sales Call as those steps are covered by the facilitator. Finally, they practice the entire call on the afternoon of the final day of training. Because their managers are present also, the salespeople can receive coaching and feedback at that time.
4) The sales reps are required to make their Model Sales Call with their sales managers within two to four weeks of completing the sales training.
Because the mangers were present during the training and are also present when the reps actually make the call they prepared during the workshop, there is a lot of enthusiasm for both of them to make that call and use the skills learned.
5) Company A also took advantage of our Carpe Diem coaching program where we provide four weeks of follow-up telephone coaching for their sales managers. In this case, we conduct two coaching calls each week, 20 minutes for each call, to work with the sales managers on the specific coaching skills they want to improve.
So, you're probably wondering what the result of all of this has been, right?
I can tell you that Company B's commercial team in Mexico saw an ROI of 1 million Euros within just 15 weeks of completing their coaching and selling workshops based on the format I've outlined above.
And this is not an anomaly. I can assure you that supporting your sales training with a robust, management-led coaching program, is what is needed and is what will ensure the transfer of your sales training from the workshop to the workplace.
It's what smart companies do to ensure the transfer of sales training!
I will help you and your company design and implement a training program that will get you the results you need. Some of the companies I have worked with: Johnson and Johnson Vision Care, Bayer, Merck, Essilor, Under Armour, HSBC, Mattel, Mölnlycke.
Contact me: email@example.com or through LinkedIn or call me direct at +1 (204) 806 2977.