Archive for June, 2009


Sales Management Abundancy, Sales Strategies, Sales With Purpose No Comments »


Dear Managers,

Only on rare occasions do individuals readily accept change. It is human nature to appreciate the status quo, though in many cases the status quo could actually be improved upon. Change is considered the enemy by most individuals, including managers, sales staff and their customers.

In the “new world economy” that we hear about on a daily basis, change becomes a way of life as we now embrace the twenty-first century. Change has become a necessity in order to compete, survive and flourish. Some are on the cutting edge of new technologies and the anticipated wave of change in the marketplace. These individuals will be in the forefront with a subtle smile of satisfaction. Others will absolutely be six feet under (the ultimate change!) before considering a new perspective of doing business. As managers we must embrace change enthusiastically. To do so, we must all have a greater understanding and acceptance of the dynamics of change.

Why, in so many aspects of life, do individuals maintain an aversion to change? The best explanation is that we are each manipulated by our own comfort zones. We have grown up to fear the actual or perceived risk in change. We have been taught that change is hard. The unknown strikes terror into the hearts of many.

At a very young age, confidence was developed through consistency, routine, and familiar surroundings. If these aspects of life are what felt good as a child, they must also feel good today. Understanding their roots will assist us in looking at their dynamics objectively as an adult.

We all know individuals who have held the same job since graduating from high school or college. Many of these same people would admit to having devoted their entire working career to a position defined by nothing more than chance. Why? Over the years, adult responsibilities make it seemingly impossible to justify change. At least the status quo pays the bills. Those who cannot embrace change are destined to their own fate, and that’s all that needs to be said!

Those who have consistently endured change have, in retrospect, gained confidence in the process, and faith in their ability to land on their feet. Change can indeed become a blessing in disguise. It all comes down to the uncertainty that most feel in the process. More often than not, personal victory comes through accepting change … head on.


For example, the change in ownership of a company can create sheer panic and a worst-case mentality from management and staff alike. Regardless of their current circumstances (good or bad), the overwhelming conclusion is that the future is in jeopardy. Some mistakes will inevitably be made. I have personally found, however, that in most cases the new ownership has brought heightened enthusiasm, innovation, and a much stronger sense of opportunity. There were reasons why the previous owner chose this option. New ownership can bring renewed vitality to an organization.

The only individuals who should feel insecure in their positions are those who are incompetent, and I support their insecurity! Competent individuals will rise to the top, retain their positions or secure greater and unforeseen opportunities elsewhere. There are always multiple options for the blue chip staff member! Those who are able to accept the adventure of change will see unlimited possibilities for their life and career.


As salespeople, we must realize that the individuals we sell to are often the least accepting of change. Even the professional buyer may be caught acting like a child. It is critical in the training of new sales staff for managers to address this issue up front. Whenever there is change, many customers will immediately form the following conclusions:

The new sales associate will lack adequate knowledge
• I will not like this individual as well as their predecessor
• I will be expected to purchase products I don’t want
• The new individual will not be as reliable
• I will be greatly inconvenienced by this transition
• My service and product needs will be adversely impacted

Obviously, these conclusions are not a reflection of reality, or a personal statement about the new salesperson. How can they possibly be, as no relationship has yet been established? This is the “worst case” mentality associated with change. By realizing this, salespeople can begin to develop effective strategies to disarm the inherent opposition. To ease the anxieties of change, we must candidly address the customers’ concerns face-to-face. When contacted by phone (by the dreaded “new” salesperson), many customers will suggest a follow-up call … in perhaps six to twelve months! This simply won’t do.

Relationships can only be developed out of mutual need. Customers may be forced to adapt, or choose other less threatening options. As salespeople, the majority of these concerns can be addressed in a brief personal meeting. Express an understanding of the dynamics of change and a wish to live up to – and improve upon – past relationships. Suggest an openness to feedback, and the hope for their assistance in the transition.

This one-on-one commitment to mutual success is absolutely fundamental to maintaining good will and developing the future opportunities needed for growth. Begin with the key relationships in your territories. Be relentless, and at the same time subtle, in counteracting their anxieties.


It is now time to accept, encourage and search out new opportunities available through change. Similar to the seasons of the year, change brings renewal. Change challenges us to excel. All previous comfort zones evaporate. It has the potential to bring out the best in all of us. We all want to improve upon our previous best experience!

When change is thrust upon us, it demands that we give 120% to the effort. In these circumstances, nothing can be taken for granted or accepted at face value. With each day we learn, processing and absorbing our surroundings, tasting all aspects of our new reality. Is this not an approach that would assist all of our endeavors, regardless of current comfort levels or our need for change?

If there is one constant … it is change. Regardless of our belief in this old adage, (which we may have formed at a very young age!), I think it is time for all of us to not only accept but to encourage change in our lives. The option to revert back to former ways is always available to us! How can one possibly understand and evaluate the potential in oneself without embracing the elements only available to us through change?

As a favorite quotation suggests, “Without a strategy and acceptance for change, we are destined for the same result.”

Personal Regards,


INTERPERSONAL© is published by INTERPERSONALBIZ.COM, Keenan Longcor, Editor, ©2009. Duplication of this publication is permitted for both personal and business use. Excerpts may only be quoted with acknowledgment of INTERPERSONAL/INTERPERSONALBIZ.ORG as the source. For re-publication rights, please contact the editor at KEENAN@INTERPERSONALBIZ.COM


Management Rewards, Management Strategies, Sales Management Abundancy, Sales Strategies No Comments »


Dear Manager,

Is there equal opportunity for all, or are some people simply luckier than others? Is there a limited production of silver spoons?!! Have we chosen to accept our lot in life … to deny ourselves the spoils of peak performance? Simply put, has the price become too great?

The fundamental difference between the “Haves” and the “Have-Nots” is a very positive mental attitude combined with the power to believe. Most would agree that these are, indeed, important qualities. Why do so few consistently incorporate these principals into their daily lives? Don’t expound about virtue while complaining about the ways of the world! Is it possible that some individuals cannot hear their own voice? Flipping the switch of positive and negative energy to support one’s current frame of mind simply won’t get the job done.

Over thirty years ago I had the opportunity to read a book that would forever change my outlook on the power of one’s belief system. This book (which is still in print) was given to me by a friend I greatly admired. With his writing of The Magic of Believing in the 1940’s, Claude Bristol was a pioneer in his day, long before Norman Vincent Peale, Tony Robbins, and others. This short book told the story of the author’s life and the profound impact of one’s own belief system in one’s life. With brief chapters he proved, without question, that The Magic of Believing was available in abundance to all of us! How can a story such as this maintain its relevance for nearly eighty years?

One of the foundations of this simple story is the proven fact that the mind does not recognize the difference between thought and deed. In other words, we are precisely what we think about. If we think of ourselves in the most positive terms, we are that. If we think of ourselves in the most negative terms, we are that. Thought becomes reality!

In a simple exercise, Bristol suggests visualizing a successful outcome prior to your next important meeting. Think in very specific terms of the positive energy you feel as you walk through that door. Picture being greeted by smiling individuals who appreciate your time. These individuals will be very receptive to your presentation and more than willing to give you their full consideration. Imagine feeling totally relaxed, confident and prepared for any and all questions.

Can you imagine how relaxed and better prepared you will feel under these conditions? Once again, thought is reality. Our minds cannot tell the difference between having actually accomplished the task and simply having visualized each aspect. Like a dream, it becomes very, very real. Think how much easier your meeting will become knowing it is the second time you have given this exact presentation?! In this instance, reality becomes the result of thought.

Have you ever watched a golfer, high jumper or skater visualize effort prior to their performance? The golfer will stand over his putt “watching” the course of the ball as it falls into the hole. The high jumper will mark every step in his mind, feel the breeze against his face with each stride, and watch his own form crossing the bar. The ice skater will visualize their program from the sidelines. With a bob and weave of their head, they will anticipate every jump and spin. I wouldn’t be surprised if they can even hear the applause of the crowd! Now it’s simply a matter of accomplishing the task, not for the first time in these exact circumstances, but for the second time in these exact circumstances.

In recent years, forty individuals were asked to meet at a gym to test this visualization theory. With little knowledge of the day’s plan, they were split into two groups, one at each end of the floor. Each member of the group was asked to shoot twenty free throws, making as many baskets as they could. The two groups made well below 50% of their shots.

One group was sent home, asked not to practice, but to come back again in two weeks. The second group was also asked to return in two weeks and not to practice shooting the ball. However, the second test group was asked to do one additional thing for the two week period. As they went to bed each night they were asked to visualize standing at the line and bring back the feelings of making their shots. The greater the detail in their thought, the better. They were to imagine feeling the ball in their hands, bouncing the ball at their feet, almost feeling the dampness of their hands. In their imagination, each night they would watch the ball leave their hands, spinning towards the hoop, and swish … 100% success!

After two weeks the test groups returned to make their twenty shots. Little had changed in the first group, but they did improve slightly from their previous effort. Similar to this group, no one in the second group had touched a ball in the two week period. Each member stepped up to the line to make their shots. The accuracy and success rate increased by a full 50% over their first effort, and the efforts of the first test group! Simple mental practice and confidence had provided the second test group with a decided advantage.

Have you ever walked out of a successful meeting so excited you could almost fly? Every aspect of your presentation had gone well, and far beyond all of your expectations! You could hardly contain your exuberance and enthusiasm for your good fortune. You could hardly wait for your second meeting of the day, because nothing could dampen your spirits. As you walked out the door you may have thought to yourself, “Let’s just see how hot I am.”

You very likely found out. The sense of energy and excitement rubbed off throughout the balance of your day. The sense of confidence you portrayed was infectious to all who came into contact with you. You had the walk! Our self-image and how we project ourselves is crucial to peak performance.

In contrast, have you ever anticipated having a successful meeting that very early on simply fell apart? Your preparation turned out all wrong and you left doubting whether the business relationship could even be saved. With your head in your hands, you proceeded to your next meeting. Did you allow your shattered confidence to affect your next appointment?

These examples graphically suggest the value of a positive belief system and how, with practice, we are in absolute control of thought, outcome, and our own destiny. You must learn to develop and maintain “your walk” regardless of the most recent circumstances.

Just like our successful free throw shooters, practice is required on a daily basis. Our belief system is as reliable as we allow it to be. It is not a perfect world, and never will be, yet is there any value in dwelling on something less than a positive outlook?

I am convinced that if individuals objectively listened to both their self-talk and their verbal communications, there would be no doubt which qualities manage their life. Deed and execution are the result of thought, not the reverse! We cannot be defined by what we do, we are purely and simply a reflection of our thought process, period.

The transition of our belief system and attitude can be a slow process or, for those with the desire and discipline to see it through, an exciting and very fulfilling process. Writing down one’s thoughts can be the best way to clarify and define your current thought process. It can also reflect your progress over a period of time. Perfection is an unrealistic dream. Progress can become our new best friend.

Personal Regards,


INTERPERSONAL© is published by INTERPERSONALBIZ.COM, Keenan Longcor, Editor, ©2009. Duplication of this publication is permitted for both personal and business use. Excerpts may only be quoted with acknowledgment of INTERPERSONAL/INTERPERSONALBIZ.ORG as the source. For re-publication rights, please contact the editor at KEENAN@INTERPERSONALBIZ.COM