5 Ways Great Salespeople Get Buyers to Tell Their Most Important Stories

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This series is dedicated to helping you tell better sales stories. But your first objective in a sales call shouldn’t be to tell any of your stories. It should be to get the buyer to tell you their stories. If you don’t hear their stories first, how will you know which of your stories to [read more]

Forest Fires, Missing the Boat, and Sleeping in Our Clothes: 11 Life Skills Learned Through Our Mediterranean Vacation Disaster

I’m writing these words from a tiny, hot, and unglamorous airport hotel room at the Charles De Gaulle airport outside Paris with no luggage, no change of clothes, and no air conditioning. I should be home in Ohio right now. But instead, I’m hunkered down with my family at the end of a 10-day vacation [read more]

How to Earn Trust on Day One

In July of 1999, the New York Times and CBS conducted an interesting survey. They asked, “Of people in general, how many do you think are trustworthy?” The average answer was 30 percent. Then it asked, “Of people you know personally, how many do you think are trustworthy?” The average answer shot up to 70 [read more]

Sales Story #4: How to Relax and Take the Stress Out of a Sales Call

[This is the 4th in a series of the 25 most useful sales stories salespeople should have in their repertoire.] In conducting my research on storytelling in the sales space, I read dozens of books and interviewed sales and procurement managers at over 50 companies around the world. One of the more unexpected, and quite frankly, amusing, [read more]

Justice, Conscience, and Backyard Fireworks: An Independence Day Ethical Dilemma

Every culture has a code of conduct by which behavior is measured. Some is written in our laws, and we often learn of those expectations in formal schooling. But much is left for subtler forms of influence. We generally learn those from our own gut reaction and from the reaction our behavior elicits from other [read more]

Two Leadership Lessons from an American Author’s Walk Across Spain

This week my guest is Victor Prince. He’s a leadership trainer and author of the books, Inside the Box and Executive Farm. My last discussion with Victor was about lessons from the 2009 presidential inauguration. And I spoke previously with his co-author, Mike Figliuolo, about their book, Inside the Box. But today, Victor joined me to talk about [read more]

Compensating Behavior: A Leader’s Guide to Finding Problems You Don’t Know You Have

None of your problem-solving skills as a leader will work when the problem you’re facing is a problem you don’t even know you have. Before you can solve problems, of course, you have to identify them. Below I share a simple but highly effective way to do that. And the best way to explain it is [read more]

Showing Up — The First Strategy of Successful People

Woody Allen once said, “80% of success is showing up.” Here’s what that looks like in real life. In this case, the life of a 16-year-old high school student in New York. In most cases when you try to be self-reliant, people around you will encourage you. But it’s not always that way. Sometimes being [read more]

Sales Story #3: Your Personal Motivation Story

(This is the 3rd in a series of the 25 Most Useful Sales Stories salespeople should have in their repertoire.) In 2008, Wharton management professor and social psychologist Adam Grant conducted a very telling study. He and two research assistants went to an outbound call center where a fund-raising organization was raising money for a [read more]

Does Customer Service This Amazing Ever Happen at Your Company? If So, Would You Even Know It?

When Ray Brook’s flight landed at Portland International Airport on Monday morning, he headed straight for National Car Rental where he had a reservation. He had a meeting with a customer in 30 minutes and a full schedule of visits to warehouses and distribution centers for the next four days. But when he tried to [read more]