Book Mike Now for Your 2019 Sales Kickoff!

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Looking for a dynamic speaker for your sales kickoff event? Book Mike Brooks, Mr. Inside Sales, early to ensure your 2019 sales kickoff gives your team both the motivation and the sales skills they need to make next year your best year yet!

Click here to watch the video and forward to those in your company who are planning your 2019 sales kickoff or convention!

Description: If you’re looking for a sales speaker who will deliver not only a motivational sales keynote session (or breakout session), but will also give your team actionable, and effective sales techniques they can use the moment they get back to their office, then consider booking Mike Brooks, Mr. Inside Sales.

I customize all keynotes and kick-off sessions so they resonate with your sales team. They will receive proven scripts and effective responses to the sales objections and situations they get into over and over again. Here are just some of the topics I can cover for your team:

  • Proven prospecting tips
  • Building rapport with decision makers (so you don’t sound like a sales person calling)
  • Qualifying without interrogating
  • Setting appointment calls that actually show up!

And for closing sales:

  • How to open the presentation call the right way
  • The importance of building a “Yes” momentum
  • The proper use of trial closes
  • How to ask for the sales–multiple times
  • Overcoming common objections with confidence

The American Association of Inside Sales Professionals has had me out to speak at their largest convention of the year: The Leadership Summit, two years in a row. The AA-ISP has also awarded our company the “Service Provider of the Year Award”.

Visit the links below to learn more about me and to see interviews with me:

Interview: http://mrinsidesales.com/script-playbooks/

Home: http://mrinsidesales.com/

Sales Philosophy: http://mrinsidesales.com/blog/

Interested? Reach out to us here: (919) 267-4202 or email me to set up an appointment to speak: info@mrinsidesales.com.

I look forward to speaking with you and helping make your sales kickoff event the best yet!

Mike Brooks

Mr. Inside Sales

Do You Have What it Takes?

I remember my first sales job out of college. It was working for a company that sold investments – limited and general partnerships – to high net worth individuals around the country. My job was to make 150 cold calls a day, identify prospects, and then send out a brochure that I would follow up on a few days later to pitch and try to close. It was hard going, lots of resistance and lots of hang ups. Frankly, I wasn’t very good at it. Soon I began to long for the care-free days of college life.

One thing that always intrigued me, though, was that out of an office of 25 sales reps, there were always three top producers who seemed to easily make triple to quadruple the amount of sales that I was making. At the end of each month, these were the same reps who won the bonuses, and at the end of each quarter, they were the ones winning the trips, and making the president’s club. They were the ones who drove the Porches and Mercedes, and they were the ones who were buying nice houses. As I watched them easily excel at the same work I was doing, I wondered what I was missing. I began to ask myself whether I had what it took to perform like that.

The answer to that question began with a different question that was about to change my life. It was asked by my boss, who was a very forward thinking man, constantly on the lookout for tools, training, and technologies that would allow himself, and his company, to succeed. He had found a program that he was using in his own life to set personal goals and to help grow his company, and he decided he would mentor me and share this information with me. Each day, we got together in the mornings and he taught me the system that was not only changing his life, but that would change mine as well. And he started by asking me this question:

“Mike, can you run a marathon?”

I didn’t need to think about that because the answer was clearly “No.” I had a lot of evidence to back that up. Ever since I was a kid, I was never very athletic. I didn’t participate in team sports in school, and in P.E., I was the last kid picked on any team. I still remember the horrors of Junior High School when we were all forced to run four laps around the field. Four! After the first one I wanted to die, and by the third, I didn’t care if I got an F – I was through. I grew to dread P.E. more than any other class. So my answer was easy and clear: “No, I can’t.”

I can still remember the sly smile that crept over my boss’s face as he told me something that was forever to change the way I viewed my life and my ability to do things. He said, “Mike, you actually ‘can’ run a marathon – if you choose to – because ‘can’ actually refers to your ability to do something, your potential and capacity to do it, not whether you are doing it now.” That made no sense to me, so he explained.

He told me that I had the ability to run a marathon because of all the people, who are far worse off than I am physically, who run marathons now. He told me stories people who were born without feet and without legs who nonetheless train for and run marathons. He told me people with physical disabilities like M.S., and people who have had heart transplants, and people who are in their nineties and yet run marathons. He challenged me to do some research (and there are plenty of examples on the Internet right now), and to learn more about people with far less potential than I, that nonetheless had made decisions to train and now regularly run marathons. And then he said something that caused my first shift.

He said: “Mike, even though you may not run marathons now, what’s important for you to acknowledge is that, if you choose to, you can run a marathon. In fact, if I offered you a million dollars cash if you completed a marathon six months from now, could you do it?”

“Absolutely!” was my immediate response. When I looked at it that way, I realized that if I was going to be given one million dollars in six months for completing a marathon, I’d stop off at the nearest running store on the way home from work, and I’d buy the best shoes, work out pants, etc., and I’d start with jogging around the block that very night. In six months, I’d be ready and I would definitely complete a marathon. No problem. Maybe not at the best time, but I would!

And that’s when he explained this concept again. He told me that I have a lot more ability and potential than I use. And the word ‘can’ is just a measure of that untapped ability – and a measure of my attitude towards it. He told me that I should begin shifting my awareness and opening up to the true potential in my life. And he said that it would all start if I began answering any “Can you?” question with an immediate Yes. Because again, “can you” simply asks whether you have the ability or potential to do something, not whether you are doing it now.

My sister, for example, likes to play the game of Mahjong. Once I was over her house and one of her friends asked me if I could play Mahjong and, to my sister’s surprise, I said Yes! The friend than said they needed another player and invited me to sit down with them. And that’s when I said, “I can, but I haven’t learned how yet…”

They looked at me oddly, and I explained: “I can play Mahjong – in other words, I have the ability to play the game – but I haven’t learned how yet. But I ‘can’!” And that’s when another little shift occurred for me. I then told them that I had chosen not to learn because I wasn’t into games like that. But I could, if I wanted to. That change of awareness was huge for me because it gave me the power to acknowledge my true potential – to look beyond the limits I had set on myself – and it gave me the power of choice over my life.

My boss then explained the concept of potential to me. He said that we all have much more potential than we’re using. He defined potential as the sum of our natural ability – which we all have a lot of, though different amounts in different ways – and our training and knowledge. Another component to using or maximizing our potential, and one that many people think as the regulator or driver of potential, is our level of desire or motivation. We’ll examine these other components in a moment, but for right now, it’s important to recognize that we all have vast amounts of potential and ability that we don’t use.

And one of the big reasons we don’t use it is because of the beliefs and words we use. The “I cant’s” which simply aren’t true and that severely limit our natural ability and our – what some would say unlimited – potential. And these self-imposed limitations also limit our results in each and every area of our lives.

After we went through this first lesson, my boss asked me whether or not I had what it took to be a top producer at his company. As I waivered and began coming up with excuses for why I couldn’t, he quickly asked me, “If these other reps can do it, can you – if you choose to do it – can you become a top sales rep, too?”

He was asking if I had the ability to do it if I decided to. I immediately realized that I did. In fact, I made up my mind right then and developed the mantra, “If they can do it, I can do it better.” And in that instant, I decided I was going to outwork, outlearn, and do any and everything I needed to to become a top producer at that company. I didn’t know how I was going to do it, but I was committed to learning how.

My boss told me we would next examine that second component of potential – training and knowledge – and that I might be surprised by what I’d learn. I couldn’t wait. In the meantime, he gave me a challenge that I’ll give to you. He told me to start examining all the areas in my life where I had more ability than I was using. He challenged me to shift my thoughts from, “Oh, I can’t do that,” to “I could if I choose to.” He told me to begin measuring the difference this made in my attitude towards my life and the potential I had to make my life the way I might dream for it to be. He asked me:

“Can you speak French?”

“Can you live at the beach?”

“Can you have the ideal relationship?”

“Can you make as much money as you’d like to make?”

“Can you achieve the goals that truly inspire your heart?”

And on and on. This was an interesting exercise because it put me face to face with my limiting and negative attitudes, my self-image, and my old habits of thinking which, I was to learn, were the keys to either releasing or suppressing my ability and potential. I was to learn that I had many, many limits on my ability that were mostly self-imposed and unconsciously held, put there through previous conditioning and false beliefs.

I was to find that my success in using more of my potential, and achieving and enjoying a more fulfilling life, would be determined by how effective I was in transcending these limitations and developing empowering beliefs which would be more in alignment with the ability and potential I truly had.

And I would like to challenge you today to begin examining the “can’s and “can’ts’ in your own life. In fact, begin making a list of what you believe you can and can’t do and start asking yourself a different question: “If you choose to, what can you do in your life?”

Make a list this week of the things you’d really like to do, the things you’ve dreamed about doing, and the things you’ve been afraid of even attempting. And then ask yourself, “Can you” do them? And listen carefully to your automatic, internal response.

Then shift your thoughts and your question to, “Do you have the ability and potential to do them, if you choose to?” If you’re honest, you’ll see your entire life begin to open up for you. And with this first shift in your awareness, and in this process, that can and will change your life for the better.

It is the first step in releasing the enormous and untapped potential you truly have.

The Missing Ingredient to Top Performance in Sales

Have you ever wondered why some people excel in sales, while others don’t?

Have you ever questioned – if most other things are equal, like if you all have access to the same leads, the same sales training, the same number of hours in the day, etc. – why are there always top producers who hit or exceed their goals, while the rest of the team members struggle to varying degrees?

How about yourself? Are you a top producer at your company?

If you aren’t, then have you ever wondered what is keeping you from being in that elite group? (And if you are, have you ever asked yourself what is keeping you from earning even more?) And if you’ve struggled with consistency – perhaps one month you do well, then a couple of months you fall off, wouldn’t it be great to have the key to consistent performance?

I used to have all those thoughts. I watched with amazement the top sales producers win the bonuses and the trips over and over again. I used to think that I just didn’t have “it” and that I was probably better suited for a different career. Then something happened for me…

Years ago, I was introduced to a way of thinking that helped me understand how my current levels of belief, and my consistent ways of thinking and feeling were limiting my results – not only in sales – but in every other area of my life as well. At first I was highly skeptical, but I was also pretty fed up with how things were going for me. So I was willing to use these new tools to see if it could make a difference in my life.

Some of you who know my story know that after 90 days of following this new way of thinking, affirming and imaging, I literally doubled my income. And nine months later, I was the number one sales rep out of five branch offices.

What you may not know, though, is that I changed other areas of my life as well. I lost a tremendous amount of weight and took my fitness level to a place I had never achieved before. I used this program to achieve a deep level of happiness and purpose in my life. And I was able to do it all easily, without struggling.

And that was huge. I didn’t have to resist eating “yummy” but unhealthy foods or force myself to go to the gym, etc. Suddenly, with the use of this program, these and other things came to me naturally and became a “want to,” rather than a “have to.” I had found a remarkably effective way to easily make changes in my life.

I have been using and teaching this program for living for over 30 years, and it is still the most important ingredient to my success today. Today, when I set goals for achievement, and implement this proven approach, things automatically “happen” for me. Resources appear, opportunities show up, and it’s as if the entire Universe has conspired to help me achieve my goals.

And you know? I believe it has…

What I have decided to do is to share this program with all of you over the coming months through my blog. Each week, I am going to explain, little by little, how this approach works, why it works, and I’m going to give you specific, actionable steps you can take each week to begin implementing this into your life.

I know it works because it’s not only worked for me, but it’s worked for the thousands of business leaders, professional sales reps, and personal friends I’ve coached and shared it with as well. And it will work for you, too.

I’m excited, and you should be, too. So stay tuned and be on the lookout for the first installment here next week.

Your life is about to get a whole lot better.

From Hero to Zero

Being in sales is kind of like being a professional football player…

In football, each result can either be celebrated (or not) for a very short time. If you win the game, you get about a day to enjoy the victory, and then it’s on to the next game where you need to win and prove yourself all over again.

Same in sales. Each month you shoot for a victory (making your numbers), and, if you hit them – great….for about a day. Because suddenly it’s a new month, and you have a new quota. What you did last month (or last game, if it’s football), doesn’t matter this month (or this week).

You may have been the top producer last month, a hero, but now you’re at zero again.

Years ago when I was struggling, this used to wear me out. Each month I’d barely do enough to keep my job – like a team going 8-8 – and then I’d be at zero again and have to climb back up the hill.

What happened for me – and what I wish for everyone that I work with – is that I made a commitment one day to get out of this constant struggle and learn how to perform like the top producers in my company.

Each month, the same three reps would win all the awards for being the top producers, and each time the new month would begin, they would already have deals on the board. Everyone in the company expected them to win, and win they did.

Kind of like the New England Patriots…

So if you are sick and tired of acting like Sisyphus (look it up if you don’t remember your Greek mythology), then make a commitment this year to do the things that other top producers do.

And that is really what it starts with: A commitment. The question you have to ask yourself this January is: Are you ready to do what it takes to finally change your career and your life?

I love what Bear Bryant (football coach) once said: “It’s not the will to win that matters – everyone has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that matters.”

If you are willing to do the prep work it takes to succeed, then you can change your career.

If you’re not sure what (“prep work”) means, then pick up a copy of my book: Power Phone Scripts. In it, I list the “Ten Characteristics of Top Sales Performers.” Read that first section and commit to doing that work.

If you do, then soon you’ll find the fastest way to go from Zero back to Hero again – month after month!

And wouldn’t that make your 2018 better?

Avoid this “Ghost” of Christmas Future

When was the last time you read the classic book: “A Christmas Carol,” by Charles Dickens? If it’s been a while, I highly recommend it. Dickens is a superb story teller, and there is a reason this is a “classic.”

While reading this, it reminded me of an encounter I had that was a chilling reminder of the bad “Ghost of Christmas Future” I narrowly avoided all those years ago. Here’s what happened:

I was on my way to work with a new client one day when I stopped at my local Starbucks for a cup of coffee.

As I stood in line, I saw a city bus stop and a bunch of people get off. One guy – mid 40’s, tall and lanky – started walking towards the Starbucks, and there was something about the way he was walking that was familiar to me.

When he entered the store, I recognized him from many years before when we were both struggling inside sales reps trying to sell investments over the phone.

His name was John. After I got my coffee, and he got his, he came up to me and said, “You’re Mike Brooks, right?” “Yes” I said. “Hey, we used to work together!” he said. “I remember,” I said.

He asked me what I was up to these days, and I told him I had become a consultant in inside sales, and that I was off to work with a new client. I asked him what he was up to and this is when the chill hit me.

He said he was starting a new sales job today, and then he rolled his eyes as if to say, “And this one will suck, too.”

We walked out of the store together, and said goodbye and went our separate ways. He went to wait at the next bus bench, and I got into my Mercedes and drove away.

As I sipped my coffee and listened to the tunes in my plush car, I thought about how different our lives had turned out and wondered what happened to make them so different. As I did, I knew exactly what it was.

During our time together, the owners of the company brought in a sales trainer to motivate us. He spoke to us for an hour about what makes the difference between the top money earners in sales versus all the other sales reps.

He said that you have a choice to either commit to learning and using proven scripts and sales techniques that would double or triple your income, or you could just keep doing what you were doing (ad-libbing), and then you’d just keep getting what you had been getting.

He said: “If you are willing to do what most sales reps aren’t willing to do, then soon you’ll be able to enjoy the things, the lifestyle, and the future that most sales reps will never be able to enjoy.”

I was sold. John wasn’t.

I invested in this sales trainer’s cassette series, “Double Your Income Selling Over the Phone.” I committed to learning, practicing, and doing what he suggested.

Soon afterwards, my sales and income soared.

John thought what the trainer taught was just a bunch of old sales techniques that wouldn’t work for him.

John thought he knew better.

John didn’t believe in using scripts.

“I’ll sound like a telemarkerter,” he said. “I have to go with the flow because each prospect is different,” he persisted.

John didn’t believe in putting in the time, energy, or money to get better.

So he didn’t.

Fast forward to our Starbucks encounter. Over 20 years had passed between that sales trainer’s talk, and I realized, that seminar was the moment I made the decision to change my life.

When John showed up that day, he was the Ghost of Christmas Past that could have become my Ghost of Christmas Future.

My life has changed because of other sales trainer’s material, my commitment to investing in other sales material, and then learning and using all of it diligently.

My life is infinitely better because I did, and I have no doubt that had I not invested, learned, and used proven selling techniques, it would have been me that was taking a bus to my next, new job.

It sends shivers down my spine just thinking about it.

The moral here is that you, too, can avoid the Ghost of Christmas Past from becoming your future. There are a lot of great sales training books, CD’s, and courses you and your team can take advantage of to get better.

One of the best (in my humble opinion) is my new book “Power Phone Scripts.” Over 500 word-for-word phrases, questions, and scripts that will make you better in just about any situation you find yourself in.

So why not give yourself a gift this season?

Get it here

If you don’t want to invest in my material, no problem. Find someone else you respect and invest in theirs.

Make this best holiday season you’ve ever had, and give yourself a gift that will repay you for the rest of your career.

How to Get into the Holiday Spirit

Not feeling it this year yet?

Regardless of what’s going on, I’ve got a sure way to help you get into the holiday spirit. I call it:  “Get into Gratitude.”

This is a sure way to get into the holiday mood in just ten minutes! All you have to do is take just a few minutes to follow this suggestion, then regardless of how you feel about the holidays, a transformation will take place for you. After you complete a gratitude list, you will find yourself in the Holiday Spirit.

Here’s how it works:

Whenever you’re not feeling particularly in the holiday mood, or if you’re in fear (any kind of fear – financial, emotional, professional, etc.), all you have to do is make a list of 25 things you’re grateful for. You can use a notebook, or you can just take a walk around your office building and make the list mentally.

The point, however, is to come up with a minimum of 25 things you are grateful for today.

Your gratitude list can contain many different kinds of items. Here are some of the things you may be grateful for:

Having a loving family

Having a job

Making money today, or yesterday or last month

Having your health

Having access to fresh water

Being in a position to help others through your work

Going on a vacation or just coming back from one

Being able to spend time with your kids

Having your kids be healthy

Living in the 21st Century! – With all the cool things like cell phones, the Internet, etc.

Your ability to be able to read a good book

Working for a company that creates or sells a great product that helps so many people

Being able to walk without pain

Being able to sleep in a comfortable and warm bed

Having a home to go to

Having access to over 200 channels of entertainment

Being able to enjoy the sport of your choice

Having faith in God

Being blessed with good friends

Living in a country where you can do and become anything you want

Having options to completely change your life

Having access to great books, CD’s and other material to help you accomplish your goals

Having money in the bank today

Being able to listen to wonderful music whenever you want to

Being free to act, think and do as you please

And so many more things. I’m sure you could add some really great things to be grateful for in your life, couldn’t you?

By acknowledging all the things you DO have, rather than the things you DON’T have – or are afraid you’re not going to get – you’ll realize that you are already blessed. In fact, the biggest blessing you have is that you’re alive.

If you are healthy, alive, and able to write a gratitude list, then the sky is the limit as far as what you can accomplish. And that in itself is something to be grateful for.

And if you’re not healthy right now, or if you’re in fear about something, or if some situation isn’t to your liking, just remember that it will change. Just try and think back to something you were worried about last year, or five years ago. What does that thing mean to you now?

The quickest way to get into the Holiday Spirit, or to develop a positive attitude about anything, is to write a Gratitude List.  Start yours now and watch your attitude transform in just ten minutes…

Happy Holidays!

Doctor or Salesperson – Which Would You Rather Be?

Saw these average salaries quoted in USA Today last week:

Physicians are the highest paid salaried employees in the U.S.: $187,876 a year.

Pharmacy managers are second at $149,064 per year.

Third are patent attorneys at $139,272.

Fourth are medical science liaisons at $132,842.

When I was growing up, my parents wanted me to be a doctor – or a lawyer. They argued that I’d make lots of money, have job security, and would have a highly respectable career.

When I was in college, I was working towards my doctorate in psychology. After I received my B.A., however, something happened – I took a summer job in sales. I intended to go back to school, because I thought “sales” was beneath me. I still wanted to be a doctor like my parents wanted me to be.

But something else happened that summer: I made almost $47,000 in commissions (it was a commission only position), and suddenly the thought of going back to school for six more years, incurring hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loans, and then working 80 hours+ as an intern wasn’t so appealing.

In fact, as I looked around at the top sales reps in the company I worked for (a financial services firm with 25, full time, commission only sales reps), I saw that the top performers were driving Porsches, owned beautiful homes, and were already saving for retirement. And they were in their twenties….

And here’s another thing: most of them had never even been to college.

To be clear – at the time, I wasn’t a top producer, and like most of the other sales reps at the company I soon became stuck in just getting by. It was at this point that I had to make a decision:

I could put in three to six months of studiously learning and perfecting the craft of sales – and this included working harder than I ever had, rigorously follow my scripts (rewrite and personalize them when and where needed), record and listen to myself daily, and commit to doing everything I could, each day (weekends included!) to get better – or I could quit, apply for loans, and hope I got into graduate school.

One path would lead me to top production in sales where I could make literally hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, take vacations whenever and wherever I wanted, and give me complete job security (I could work for whomever I chose once I became a top producer), and the other path, well, consider:

If I chose to become a doctor, I would be looking at years of rigorous and demanding school work. More years as an intern and then resident (at a city that might need new doctors), and hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, before I made a dime.

In addition, If I became a surgeon, I would work crazy hours most of my career, be on call at all hours of the night and weekends, be completely responsible to my patients and those working in my office, and I likely wouldn’t be getting my Porsche for many years.

For me, that choice was easy to make. I choose a career in sales. But not just an average career, I made a commitment to becoming a top selling professional.

And because I was willing to commit the time, energy, and money needed to excel, I became a top producer in that company in 90 days. Nine months later, I was the top rep out of five branch offices, and 16 months later I was promoted to sales manager.

And please don’t mistake this story as me trying to impress you. Instead, I’m trying to impress upon you that if I could do it, you can do it, too.

Sales have been a great choice, and I’m forever thankful I made it. But the decision that allowed me to be so successful was to commit to learning the craft of sales. It’s something I teach every week when training, and I write about it in my new book, “Power Phone Scripts.” It’s in the first chapter on the “Ten Characteristics of Top Sales Producers.”

If you have decided that you’re probably not going to become a doctor, but you’d like to live like one (with less stress, by the way), then make a commitment to your craft. Start by investing in my new book and then do what I recommend.

Believe me, if you do, this will become one of the wisest decision you’ve ever made.

The 5 Secrets of Motivating Your Sales Team

Having trouble motivating your team? You’re not alone.

Every member of your team has different skill levels, interest levels, and different ways of learning. Because of this, not everyone will respond the same way to your methods of managing and motivating, and that means you need different ways of motivating, mentoring, counseling, or even some babysitting.  Sound familiar?

Let’s face it: true motivation comes from within. In some way, each member of your team is already motivated. The secret (or five secrets) is to build on each team member’s internal motivation and learn to maximize it.

Here are five things you can do today to get the most out of your team —

#1) Make your monthly revenue goal, and each rep’s part of that goal, crystal clear. I’m sure you have a monthly revenue goal, but does each member of your sales team know what their specific part of that goal is? (Hint — it’s not all equal). Recognize that some reps will produce much more of the overall goal than others, but also make sure each person is clear on what their part of that overall goal is. And then coach to that.

#2) Make bonuses or prizes specific to each team member. The problem with most bonus programs is that as soon as they are released, over half of the sales team knows they can’t win so they are more discouraged than encouraged to produce. Instead, spend some time learning what each person would really want, and then customize each rep’s bonus and tie it to their individual production goal.

If a rep hits their goal, then they win something that is meaningful to them. This also makes each rep responsible for hitting their own goal.

#3) Get out of your own comfort zone and close some deals. Most managers are way too busy in meetings, or reporting, or just plain hiding out to be really effective. Remember one thing — as the manager, you are the leader. And leaders lead by example.

Want to motivate your team, make your numbers, and create real value for yourself? Go onto the floor and close business for some of your sales reps and help them make their revenue goals. This is the most important thing you can do not only for your bottom line, but for your team’s motivation as well.

#4) Invest $100 in a couple of trophies. This will be the best money you’ll ever spend — make one a “Week’s most improved,” or “Best effort,” and hand it out each Monday morning.

Each winner gets to keep it on their desk that week. The other trophy can be either “Most deals,” or “Most new clients.” or whatever other category everyone has a chance to win (as long as it is revenue related). Again, hand it out in your Monday morning sales meeting and each week the winner gets to keep it on their desk.

Remember rule #1 in motivating: recognition among peers is almost always more important than money.

#5) Have some fun! Go to a toy store and buy one of those beanbag tosses, and after lunch on Friday make some teams and have some fun playing as a team. Tack on $50 for good measure and watch the competition and fun build your team and dissolve stress.  This works – try it!

So there you have it. Inexpensive, proven techniques to build morale, motivate and make more money.

Want a bonus? Invest in and give each member of your team a copy of my new book: Power Phone Scripts.” See it here. In it, they’ll find scripts, techniques, email templates, voice mail scripts, and so much more that they can use to help motivate themselves.

Invest in them to help them invest in themselves. Now there’s a proven way to motivate your sales team!

First We Form Habits, Then They Form Us

“First we form habits, 

then they form us.”

–Bob Moawad, Edge Learning Institute

I just worked with a great inside sales team in Louisville, KY (hi Kathy, Darryl and the team!), and this week they begin working with a new, best practice approach that is going to make them much more successful. I’m excited for them! At the close of each day of training, I told them that the biggest challenge isn’t going to be learning the new scripted approach (although that will definitely take some effort), but rather it will be in unlearning their old habits.

Now don’t get me wrong, habits are a good thing and without them we couldn’t get much done. In fact, the great thing about forming a habit is that once you do, you can rely on it almost unconsciously and so devote your time and energy to other things. Just think about driving your car. Once you learn how, you no longer have to take the time to learn how to pull out into traffic, change lanes, or learn how to parallel park. You just get in and your habit of driving takes over!

When you come to think about it, our lives are made up of a series of habits: habits of eating and exercise, of communicating with other people, family members, etc., and hundreds of other routines of living (think about brushing your teeth – do you floss?). Just imagine how much more difficult life would be if you had to learn all these things over every day!

So habits are a wonderful thing – if they are good ones. Unfortunately, we also can develop bad habits. Once, when I was working onsite for a few months many years ago, I got in the habit of visiting the food truck at the 10:00 A.M. break. They had the most delicious French Fries with a tangy salt, and I developed the habit of having them every day. Well, after three months I had put on almost five pounds.

That’s when I remembered today’s quote. What I found was that the French Fries habit I had formed was suddenly forming me! And when you think about it, all habits work the same way. And this is especially true in sales. If we develop poor prospecting habits, then we create unqualified prospects and appointments. This leads to a low closing percentage. If we develop an aversion to asking for the order, then we tend to create a lot of call backs.

Because many sales teams have developed bad selling habits, the first thing they need to do is unlearn the bad habits before they can learn newer, better ones. Here are three tips for doing just that:

  • The first thing you want to do is make sure it is easy for you to adopt the new habit of a better approach. In the case of learning a new scripted sales approach, I always like to use the Adele example. How many of you know the words to the song, “Hello”? Lots of you, right? That’s because you’ve heard it a hundred times!

The best way to learn a new script is to record yourself practicing it into a recording device (all smart phones have one), and then commit to listening to your recording 30 to 40 times. If you do that, then using them will become an easier habit for you.

  • Record yourself. Because habits are mostly unconscious, we often don’t even know when we’re using them! By recording yourself, and then listening to your recordings daily, you will become aware of what you’re saying, and you’ll have the ability to change that.
  • Reward yourself when you use the new scripted approach. When you catch yourself using the new scripts, give yourself some positive reinforcement. Hit a “That was easy” Staples button (get one for your desk), or use positive affirmations to support yourself. I used to say to myself, “See, I knew I could do it. And watch this, I’m going to do it again!”

Just know that the good news is that once you displace an old habit with a more effective one, the new one will take on a life of its own as well. That’s why top sales producers remain top sales producers regardless of what company they work for or what product or service they are selling.

So commit to learning a better practice approach in your sales environment, and then commit to developing it into a habit. When you do, you’ll find that your new habit will soon be forming a more successful and productive you!

Your Comfort Zone and Your Success

“Everything you want in the world is just right outside

your comfort zone. Everything you could possibly want!”

– Jennifer Aniston, actress

I once heard a joke that goes like this: “The only reason there are matinee movies in large metropolitan cities is for commission sales reps who have hit their comfort zone income early in the month.”

I remember my thoughts when I first heard this. I remember thinking that when I got near the production I needed to make my expenses for the month, I let my foot off the pedal. Once I knew I was covered, I just wanted to relax.

I remember how it was in the early part of my career, I was more interested in getting by than in succeeding. I didn’t have any goals, and I certainly didn’t see myself advancing in my career. Inside I was secretly hoping to go back to school and get my doctorate in psychology. I was just sort of hanging out in my job until the time was right.

What always interested me though, were the top producers. There were three people in my company who made considerably more money than me and it showed. They drove beautiful cars, and owned homes, and won all the bonuses. I had no idea how they did it, and it wasn’t until I heard about the concept of a comfort zone that I put it all together.

What I learned is that the only difference between my production and those of the top 20% was what we expected of ourselves, and how hard we were willing to work to get it. I learned that if I wanted to achieve more, in my job or even back in school, then I had to be willing to examine and step outside my comfort zone.

If I wanted more from my job, I had to get to work earlier, use a scripted, best practice approach, record myself daily, etc. That was the “try harder” part. But it also meant that I needed to expect more. I had to be willing to step outside of my comfort zone and think bigger.

This was the hardest part because it meant I needed to believe I could have and I could achieve more. It was hard to change my expectations and my beliefs, but I did it incrementally by setting small goals and achieving those first. It was then easier to raise my goals a little more. By doing this over time, I raised my comfort zone.

In my experience, everything and anything is possible if I’m willing to believe it is. I like to say that if anyone else has something or has done something, then I can do it, too. And so can you – as long as you are willing to get out of your comfort zone and put in the work.