The 7 Tips to Transform Your Way to the Top

Why do setbacks strike at the moment you are supposed to cross the finish line?

Finding success has a multitude of meanings depending on the person defining it, yet common themes emerge: accomplishment, achievement, sense of purpose, feeling of worth and reaching goals. Peace, happiness and pride. Some successes are fleeting – we win only to return to the field to play again and again. Others recognize a body of work or year in the life. Signs of success can be tangible like a trophy or a physical creation or they can be intangible like the impact and inspiration one can conjure for another.

Many successful people do not deem themselves successful because they are consistently in search of their next goal to achieve. There is absolutely a celebration in each milestone but they are continually in search while racking up the unique triumphs. Far more decide to stop and forego continued pursuit of a goal for a variety of reasons – some very close to the finish line. Regardless of the loftiness of our goals or the tenacity we have for conquering them, adaptation and transformation are imperative to success. There is not a Point A to Point B; there are quite often numerous detours and unexpected twists. How we cope and respond and learn will define the result and the success is not always what we initially envision it to be. The success can be the experience, the survival, the surprising benefits of new skills gleaned along the way.

Paramount to success of any brand are the following:

  1. Define clearly stated goals. What do you want the end result of this experience to be? What do you define success to be, and what do you want to get out of this endeavor?
  2. Define clearly stated process. What steps do you foresee it will take to achieve the success you desire? What failsafes will you employ if commonly known hurdles present themselves? Don’t over-think, but absolutely prepare enough so you have a foundation toward the success.
  3. Execute. There is no way to win the game without putting the ball in play. Whether it is getting outside of your comfort zone or it’s trekking on similar terrain, you have to take the first step(s). The proper process will lead to results, and you have charted that course (unforeseen variables notwithstanding). Often, this step does require silencing inner doubts and simply doing what you know needs to be done.
  4. Focus. Maintain your course and stay focused on goals and process. You identified goals and what it took to get there; like a new workout regimen or diet, it’s quite easy to launch them Day 1 and continue with the initial momentum out of the chute. It’s another issue entirely on Day 10 or 20 or even 50 when you become bored with the routine or want to splurge. So often, this is where people derail and they just stay off the rails… which is why we must…
  5. Adapt. Rarely, if ever, will the path proceed as you initially intended or envisioned. This is also not a bad thing – some of the best relationships and most enriching experiences can come in these moments of taking the road less traveled. They broaden your horizons. Workout routine is stale? Modify it. Add to it. Find others to work with and share ideas with. Diet is too restrictive? Research. Change it up. Recognize that going off the path for one day doesn’t mean you have no chance of redemption. It’s all process, it’s statistics, it’s odds and it’s math. It’s the sum of the parts. A piece of a process breaking down one day doesn’t mean you cannot patch it and address it and tweak it and move forward stronger with more resolve. Adaptation will single-handedly be your most vital attribute in the plight for success. It will be what determines if you stay in the fight after your current approach is failing. It is what will force you to look for different ways to deliver more effective results. It will challenge and change you to become better.
  6. Be consistent. Consistency in results hinges on consistency in process. You can’t start off adhering to the process you acknowledged will give you better results only to face some obstacles and then go back to “comfortable ways of failing or mediocrity.” You made a goal and had legitimate reasons for selecting this process: it gives you better statistical probability for success than the previous methods that were leading to frustration and losses. Life’s all about probability and odds – give yourself the best probability at success by following the process you felt would give you the edge, even if it didn’t result in immediate turnaround or success as quickly as you would like.

7.  Embrace the learning you receive from challenges and stay in the game. Adaptation may be critical, but perseverance is the kicker. You’ve invested in a stock (your own betterment) and need/want it to rise. To date, it’s had its ups and downs. Perhaps, today it’s down. Are you going to bail on your goal? Or are you going to ride the process until the stock reaches its high? It’s tricky, because the odds of things always going according to plan are miniscule if not nonexistent, and it’s tempting to cut bait and go home. You can fold and you lose no further, right? Yet you miss out on any potential gains, and that’s the risk. The people you deem successful – and the successful version of you that you envision – had a risk pay off. It’s why people pay the lottery!…and their probability of success are far less than yours at whatever you are seeking! They are risking a few bucks, though, while you are risking comfortable ways of failing or mediocrity. You are risking failure. But you can’t find success without that risk.

Take each and every decision and challenge and day one at a time while staying focused and true to the big picture and the goal and the process. It sounds too simple, but if you apply this method to everything in your life it makes the lessons easier to swallow and any temporary setbacks make more sense against the ultimate success. Don’t worry so much about decisions you aren’t even facing yet – focus on the matters at hand.

Transforming yourself and your approach to life – one decision and one moment at a time – helps simplify your own process, curbs any overwhelming chasm currently between you and your goal and helps you continue making steps toward them one at a time until you get there no matter what you encounter in between.

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Carson V. Heady has written a book entitled “Birth of a Salesman” and sequels “The Salesman Against the World” and “A Salesman Forever” which take the unique approach of serving as sales/leadership books inside of novels showing proven sales principles designed to birth you into the top producer you were born to be. If you would like to strengthen your sales skills, go to http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ICRVMI2/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_yGXKtb0G

Heady posts for “Consult Carson” serving as the “Dear Abby” of sales and sales leadership. You may post any question that puzzles you regarding sales and sales leadership careers: interviewing, the sales process, advancing and achieving.

Question submissions can be made via LinkedIn to Carson V. Heady, this Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Carson-V-Heady/125078150858064?ref=hl , Twitter via @cvheady007 or e-mail at cvheady007@yahoo.com or you may post an anonymous comment as a reply to my WordPress blog at the bottom of this page: https://carsonvheady.wordpress.com/the-home-of-birth-of-a-salesman-2010-published-by-world-audience-inc-and-the-salesman-against-the-world-2014/

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The Importance of the Business Lunch (Written By Someone Who Formerly Disliked Them)

The business lunch. Some love it, some hate it, but like it or not, it can be a very strategic utilization of time and can lead to more benefits than cons.

  1. We’ve got to eat. Let’s face it, sometimes it’s all we can do to scarf down a quick sandwich or snack during the day – which is not good for getting us the nutrients we need anyway. We may even have a working lunch where we’re eating while progressing through tasks. The business lunch is an effective way to conduct a meeting that will force us to have a meal while still producing needed results.
  2. Our lunch companion has to eat, too. Have a tough time getting time on a prospect’s schedule? Need to have a strategy session with a team member? It’s tough for them to get away, as well. The business lunch allows them to carve out some time where they can enjoy a meal – potentially on your dime, which is an added bonus that clients and employees and co-workers and colleagues enjoy – that is mutually beneficial. You get the meeting, they get any benefits you bring and a break in the action.

3. Meals are more personal. We spend a lot of time having meetings and calls with a specific purpose in mind: closing a sale, coaching or training an employee, making a plan with a colleague, etc. The business lunch allows us to get away from the typical scene of the crime in a potential new restaurant or hotspot, a change of scenery, and a more personal setting where we can enhance the business relationship. Let’s face it: effective business relationships benefit from knowing one another better. When we know one another, it elevates the connection and we want to work together more after finding this common ground and these interests we have in common. It humanizes us.

4. The business lunch takes pressure off. Perhaps it’s the first time you are meeting a potential client or maybe you are strategizing with a team member: sharing a meal brings out a sense of comfort. It’s something traditionally done with family and friends, so when we break bread with our professional contacts it breaks down barriers and forms a type of kinship. You’ve shared a meal, and the only stressful meals are during the holidays. (Ha!)

5. The business lunch is likely to be accepted. You can ask for meetings time and time again, to no avail. But offering to buy lunch for a client – like asking someone on a date – inherently provides little risk for the recipient. Even if the meeting yields no fruit for the person you are treating, they got a meal. The upside is a burgeoning business relationship. But they are often more likely to take that leap when the aforementioned comfort and variables are introduced.

Whether you are a huge proponent of the business lunch or not, balancing them into your schedule can certainly provide a bountiful feast of better business relationships!

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Carson V. Heady has written a book entitled “Birth of a Salesman” and sequels “The Salesman Against the World” and “A Salesman Forever” which take the unique approach of serving as sales/leadership books inside of novels showing proven sales principles designed to birth you into the top producer you were born to be. If you would like to strengthen your sales skills, go to http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ICRVMI2/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_yGXKtb0G

Heady posts for “Consult Carson” serving as the “Dear Abby” of sales and sales leadership. You may post any question that puzzles you regarding sales and sales leadership careers: interviewing, the sales process, advancing and achieving.

Question submissions can be made via LinkedIn to Carson V. Heady, this Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Carson-V-Heady/125078150858064?ref=hl , Twitter via @cvheady007 or e-mail at cvheady007@yahoo.com or you may post an anonymous comment as a reply to my WordPress blog at the bottom of this page: https://carsonvheady.wordpress.com/the-home-of-birth-of-a-salesman-2010-published-by-world-audience-inc-and-the-salesman-against-the-world-2014/

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The Finesse of E-mail Blast Marketing: How Much is Too Much?

From the mailbag: “How often should I blitz e-mail prospects? We have a good prospect list; leadership feels like we should hit them weekly. I say twice a month is the right amount. It took a lot to get a good list, and I don’t want to ruin our reputation or see the messages ignored like spam. What say you?”

Statistics do not lie, and an Internet search for “statistics e-mail marketing” will yield numerous numbers that back up the value of e-mail marketing.

E-mail marketing helps to keep you and your message top of mind, but there is certainly a tipping point of overkill – an e-mail just for the sake of sending an e-mail, redundant messages, or just too much outreach can quell the effectiveness of your approach.

What results are you getting today that will enable you to make a case for less, more optimized e-mail marketing? That’s really what it all comes down to: the side opting toward more marketing feels they will get more results. The side opting for less needs to make for very impactful messaging and find the delicate balance of showing up in inboxes enough to make an impact.

(1) Try to consolidate messages. To make your case that you are reaching out enough, you cannot sacrifice quality messages that your customers should see. However, rather than send a unique “blast” each time you have something to say, try to find a way to include each of them in one message. A way to do this is to provide a summary at the top of the contents, potentially with links to the upcoming segment in the e-mail that contains information pertinent to that topic. The body of the message will detail each individual news item you wish to convey and the summary will ensure your readers see that the e-mail contains multiple pieces of value.

(2) Look for more ways to bring value to your list. Recipients are more receptive to the messaging when there is something in it for them. They are apt to utilize coupons and promotions. There may be creative ways to include them in your business – can you solicit feedback from them on your offerings? Are there ways you can help their business? Is your marketing targeted toward specific verticals and do you change offerings based on the recipients’ demographics? Are there partnership opportunities with your customers? Think about how you can support and service the target list; by engaging them in unique ways that invite their involvement, you can start, build or grow the relationship.

(3) Ask for feedback from your list. Don’t be afraid to ask them of topics they want to see more or less of, ways you can improve messaging or ideas or contributions for future installments. Have a customer who would be interested in writing a recommendation or referral or speak to how they use your product in their environment?  It is a positive referral for you and exposure for them. Think about ways you can make it more personal.

(4) Diversify your portfolio. If leadership wants to touch customers more often than you do, find other effective ways to reach potential customers. Are you utilizing social media? Are you blogging? Do you feature and write up case studies for your website? Dip into these other wells of customers in addition to constantly engaging your e-mail lists. They can yield additional, complementary results.

(5) Be willing to adapt your approach (and this goes for leadership, too). There is no silver bullet when it comes to marketing. Several strong processes and approaches can add up to a healthy pipeline, but you never know which will yield the most returns and you often must modify your approaches to improve the process. Don’t be afraid to tweak it and try new things, and don’t completely jettison what may be good ideas just because you don’t necessarily see immediate or anticipated results.

Those who wish to “blast” more want more results. You can optimize results with less blitzing if you have an impactful subject line, concise and targeted messaging, you are optimized for mobile phones where many customers are reading your messaging, you are engaging and you are adding value to the customer.

The majority of marketing messages are treated as spam regardless; just like setting yourself apart from your competition or from other sellers or marketers, you must offer something unique!  Even when it comes to your marketing message, to receive a different result from the recipient (in this case, they open, consume and act!) you have to stand apart from what everyone else is doing.

The frequency is not more important than the message. Too much marketing can certainly turn off customers, but even if you have an increased frequency, if you apply these aforementioned value adds you can yield a positive result. Work to find a healthy balance of e-mail marketing’s place in your portfolio and ensure that each message that goes out is of value. You’ll find that staying top of mind in your customer’s e-mail will ensure that when a customer realizes they need what you offer or remembers they owe you a response they will be in touch!  E-mail marketing is a very important piece of your strategy – use it wisely and make a case to leadership for why you use it when and how you do.

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Carson V. Heady has written a book entitled “Birth of a Salesman” and sequels “The Salesman Against the World” and “A Salesman Forever” which take the unique approach of serving as sales/leadership books inside of novels showing proven sales principles designed to birth you into the top producer you were born to be. If you would like to strengthen your sales skills, go to http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ICRVMI2/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_yGXKtb0G

Heady posts for “Consult Carson” serving as the “Dear Abby” of sales and sales leadership. You may post any question that puzzles you regarding sales and sales leadership careers: interviewing, the sales process, advancing and achieving.

Question submissions can be made via LinkedIn to Carson V. Heady, this Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Carson-V-Heady/125078150858064?ref=hl , Twitter via @cvheady007 or e-mail at cvheady007@yahoo.com or you may post an anonymous comment as a reply to my WordPress blog at the bottom of this page: https://carsonvheady.wordpress.com/the-home-of-birth-of-a-salesman-2010-published-by-world-audience-inc-and-the-salesman-against-the-world-2014/

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How to Stand Out in the First 5 Minutes of Your Sales Presentation

To stand out in the first minutes you spend with a business buyer, first understand why you must stand out: sales is all about probability, and consider for a moment that the majority of sales presentations prior did not have a happy ending. That said, what will you do differently to garner a positive outcome?

You have likely noticed that the beginning of your relationship with each customer is your audition. Why should they look at you? They may have someone who fills the role you want to fill today or they don’t even realize or believe they need what you have to offer.

The end goal is to uncover enough gaps in their process to show them why they should choose change, but you cannot put the cart before the horse. First, you must stand apart from everyone else who has tried to fill this need.

(1) Strategically contemplate your way in. Do you have a personal connection you can make with the buyer? Mutual contacts or interests? The beauty of this digital era is the body of their work is online for you to see. While I do not advocate over-prepping for the majority of conversations, an Internet search and LinkedIn page will provide you a litany of their passions, their history and contacts you have in common. Were you referred to talk to this person? Is there a natural way in, like reviewing their account or ensuring they are privy to recent changes, incentives or updates? Be real, and integrate in some thought to how you can take those first few minutes further by establishing a connection. Sales presentations die on the table quickly when no connection is established, so give this some thought.

(2) Don’t go where others have gone before. The buyer has a process for handling sales presentations just like you (hopefully) have one for giving them. Your target audience has heard a sales pitch hundreds of time before and most of them failed, so ponder for a moment how yours will not fall in that trap! Knowing that you are up against a deadline to deliver something poignant quickly is helpful, but you should also contemplate what types of pitches they’ve heard and the ones you’ve heard. What do many of them have in common?

Lots of phone sales presentations start of generically with a name, a company, a question around whether or not the buyer has the time. In person, an intro is provided, we thank them for their time and possibly fumble small talk about the weather.

Look to add value as quickly as possible while relating to their current situation. A customer must see almost immediate value in opening their mind to continuing to listen to you. Previous sales sins or sins by your company committed against them will be rightly or wrongly pinned to you. You’re up against all that’s come past so you have to shine.

There are a few schools of thought to the approach, but don’t let nerves make you overcompensate for any discomfort. Be calm, be gracious for their time, but quick to get to the point. They are people after all. “Good morning/afternoon, Mrs./Mr. Prospect – how are you today?” “Great! I’m ______ with XYZ Company; (INSERT YOUR MOST PROFOUND STATEMENT HERE) We are seeing tremendous results with (Competitor Name? Industry vertical? Specific metric or product you know they will care about?) and I’m interested in your feedback on how you tackle that today. You guys stand apart in the industry because of _____ – how are you handling ____ today?” This accomplishes myriad milestones: quickly identify yourself and your purpose, flatter them and ask for their opinion. It diminishes the chance they will dismiss you quickly. It is not impenetrable, but it improves your chances of advancement in the conversation.

Work to find whatever compelling reasons for your presence and line of questioning. The goal is to make it conversational, not clunky. Natural. Certainly, there will be times you get nowhere quickly and when you will cut bait. You stand the best shot at advancing to the close with a solid foundation.

(3) Be ready for inevitable objections. React/ respond quickly. As you gain experience in the selling realm, you learn the common objections – including the initial ones – that you must find ways past. What are the reasons you have failed in those opening five minutes? Analyze your approach and results and evolve your process. Determine and decipher those reasons you are not making a splash in those opening moments and work diligently to address that specific area; the sale is a labyrinth which requires you earn entry to the next area. You cannot reach the point of getting candid answers during fact-finding if your opening is shoddy. You will not reach a point where you can ‘close’ until you have uncovered gaps in the buyer’s existing process that your solution will aid. The evolution of a salesperson is consistency in process but ability to evolve and better each leg. If you are hearing a consistent attempt to shut you down in those opening minutes and it is holding you back, focus first on finding something that will give you better probability at propeling yourself past.

Write down the themes that have thwarted you; what have customers said to stop you? We often overlook obvious ways to improve ourselves: narrow your focus to finding the ways past problem areas. By logging those common objections and taking them into consideration one by one, you come up with a plan of attack against each previous roadblock.

(4) Stay on task and continue to move toward the next step of the selling process at all times. In the beginning, your entire goal is to reach the point when you can listen and gather facts. The customer will not entrust you with this personal information unless you are deemed worthy; to do so, you want to put each “objection” – even the hidden ones that they drop little hints about throughout your interaction – in their proper perspective and continue on with your agenda. Far too many salespeople allow the chat to snag on one point or issue – and it’s dead in the water. Even if something comes up that you do not know how to address, commit to getting a quick answer and follow through. You may have to pause the relationship at times to address these hurdles, but keep your eyes on the prize: for the long-term relationship, there are little quests here and there you must conquer and you must eradicate objections big or small along the way by any means at your disposal. Don’t ignore them, don’t just bat them away – acknowledge the validity of your buyer’s concerns and either address it and move on in the same motion or commit to following up on that item while you swiftly move to the next piece of the agenda. You have to be in control of the conversation; certainly, you want the customer to be talking and feeling in control of their sharing, but you must create a conducive environment for the conversational sharing.

(5) Team efforts. Are you part of a team that can gain access? If a buyer has been barrier to you but they have a good relationship with a mutual contact – specifically one who benefits from the burgeoning business relationship, perhaps you bow out and let them blaze the trail. Sometimes you will be the one who gains entry for your teammate and vice versa, so do not be ashamed of how the common goal is reached. Your turn to add value will come. You do not always have to go alone and there is strength in partnering with someone else who can add value to the equation. If the buyer won’t let you add value today, find someone else who can gain access and bring them value by letting them be part of this quest.

(6) Be energetic and passionate. Boredom is far too often the reason why your buyer’s attention span seems short – if you do not capture their interest quickly with your own confidence and character, they will not even listen to your words. Personality can make even the most dull sales presentation sparkle. People will buy from people they take a liking to. You can very much stand ahead of the sales pack if your personality is powerful – your enthusiasm around the pleasure of meeting the prospect, your product and your purpose make all the difference in the world.

To differentiate yourself from those who have tried and failed requires only a unique, above average approach; focus your time wisely on coming to the table uniquely to add value to your prospective audience and you stand a far better shot at being truly heard.

Stand apart from their expectations based on what came before. Give a gift? Make a personal connection? The nice thing about social media like LinkedIn today is you can see your potential client’s connections and interests before you set foot in their office and they can serve as springboard to talking points in making a personal connection.

Find ways to add value as quickly as you can. Far too many salespeople make a generic, canned intro and then start asking questions, which leads to answers that are hopefully woven into an offer. Be looking for ways to bring them reasons to listen to you where they didn’t listen to others. What differentiates you, your product, your solution for their industry?

Find the answers to these questions, and you can boldly go where most sales presentations have not gone before.

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Carson V. Heady has written a book entitled “Birth of a Salesman” and sequels “The Salesman Against the World” and “A Salesman Forever” which take the unique approach of serving as sales/leadership books inside of novels showing proven sales principles designed to birth you into the top producer you were born to be. If you would like to strengthen your sales skills, go to http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ICRVMI2/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_yGXKtb0G

Heady posts for “Consult Carson” serving as the “Dear Abby” of sales and sales leadership. You may post any question that puzzles you regarding sales and sales leadership careers: interviewing, the sales process, advancing and achieving.

Question submissions can be made via LinkedIn to Carson V. Heady, this Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Carson-V-Heady/125078150858064?ref=hl , Twitter via @cvheady007 or e-mail at cvheady007@yahoo.com or you may post an anonymous comment as a reply to my WordPress blog at the bottom of this page: https://carsonvheady.wordpress.com/the-home-of-birth-of-a-salesman-2010-published-by-world-audience-inc-and-the-salesman-against-the-world-2014/

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How to Transform Failure to Fearlessness

Paramount to success is making the attempt, which requires risk to reap reward. Often, numerous attempts are necessary to equate to a “win” meaning (1) you have to lose to win, (2) the risks will sometimes lead to defeat and (3) the experience you receive and lessons you learn from those defeat will lead to defining response and reaction. I don’t care who you are: you cannot win every single time. Eventually, defeat of some magnitude will come, and learning from it and learning how to move forward will go a long way in determining your flavor of and chance of success.

Reggie Jackson, a.k.a. “Mr. October” is known for his triumphs in Major League Baseball postseason, winning 5 world championships and exhibiting clutch play. While this is what he’s known for, he also struck out more times than any batter in history.

Kobe Bryant, one of the greatest students of the game of basketball, winner of 5 NBA championships, is known for his success in the athletic realm. He missed more shots than anyone in NBA history to get there.

Cy Young, winningest pitcher in baseball history, lost more games than anyone.

Faced with the decision to put these infamous “losers” in the game in their era and arena, no one would think twice. Their names are synonymous with winning in spite of their losses. So how do we overcome life’s losses to come out on top?

(1) Recognize the reason(s) for failure. Ownership of our stake in the reason for the plight going awry is the first step; where exactly in the process did we take the detour? Was there something we should have done differently? Was there a specific step we missed, question we did not ask?

It could be a sales attempt that flat-lined just before signature where we can look back and identify something we left unsaid or unattended to. Perhaps it was a business relationship that crumbled because we did not nurture it, show progress, check in or provide communication. It could be a business venture sparked by a great idea but because of failed execution of vital steps, attention to the right details, accounting for all potential variables… or just sheer dumb luck, it failed to leave the station.

Sometimes the reason for failure is the short end of probability; you can be the best card shark in your circle of friends but there’s no foresight to cure being dealt a poor hand. This is where the failure begets the temperament to best approach the poor hand, patience to wait for the better hand and knowledge of what to do with it to best capitalize. Know your odds and, effectively, like Kenny Rogers said “when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em.”

(2) Make adjustments. Failure is not fun, but it can be a telling teacher. Furthermore, rather than altering your approach by a complete 180 degrees or having a drastic reaction in the face of defeat, examine the ways you could make small tweaks to improve your trajectory.

Think about it this way: too much or too little of any one ingredient can make a monumental difference in your recipe. You don’t have to scrap every ingredient or change the allocation of all of them – you may only need to alter the approach of one facet of your process. Repeated application of your process can help point to the faulty piece; determine where you failed or are failing and address that component. Don’t just change it once, fail again, and go back to the comfortable old way of failure – justify a change based on results and probability and apply a more effective approach consistently over time, all while continuing to self-analyze and hold yourself accountable.

(3) Get back in the game. Don’t dwell on the loss. It happened, it’s over, but you have to move forward past the current fear of history repeating itself lest you’ll never have a chance at what you set out to achieve to begin with. Sure, you may have a day or two where you slink into the shadows and disappear, but you have to emerge rejuvenated and recovered – ready to give it another go.

It’s fear that often prevents us from wanting to try again after falling off. We took a gamble and it did not pay off and sometimes the sting of defeat can make us skittish. The other side of the coin is that the stings hurt less with each encounter; we become a lot more adept at navigating through these setbacks to get to successes.

Everything comes down to probability; there was a reason we pursued the potential outcome we were after in the first place. Don’t let the loss you endured prevent you from going after the new endeavor, starting the new relationship, chasing more sales. You cannot win without playing the game and you will have to play more games than possibly anticipated to get the wins you seek.

(4) Don’t look past the current game. Athletes in interviews will speak to this all the time – when asked about potential future foes based on speculation around contests that haven’t even happened yet, they will deflect and rightfully not look past the current opponent no matter how tempting it is. You cannot weigh too many future possible scenarios in your current mix because they may never occur and they may distract from the current missive.

Experience has a way of evolving our trepidation, our approach and certainly our response to negative outcomes. Simply put, the jitters or butterflies you felt when you stepped into the batters’ box your rookie season will not exist in the fifteenth season of your career as a seasoned professional – even if your game has eroded or you don’t have the pluck and passion you once did.  Experience can forge you into a more durable tool; it will help you weather storms that once made an impact and it makes you shrug off losses that once would have been devastating.

The first break-up’s you had, first time you lost a job, first time something excruciatingly unfair pinned you to the mat, your pain lasted longer and the time to get back up took longer. It took time to get over the disappointment after all the effort you put in. The hurdles you faced then were in the face of pending loss; now you lost, and your only hurdle is compartmentalizing that loss, understanding it and moving forward smarter and stronger. If you face similar decisions again, you can adapt. If you face similar repercussions again, you can heal and rebound quicker.

Fear and failure become fearlessness when you no longer question your motive and process, you can shake off the setbacks and losses and continue on in the face of adversity. When you can acknowledge that losses are part of life – and integral parts at that – and why you lost, adjust your process accordingly and evolve based on variables and factors necessary to success, you’ll find success. Nobody will focus on your loss column if you have the most wins.

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Carson V. Heady has written a book entitled “Birth of a Salesman” and sequels “The Salesman Against the World” and “A Salesman Forever” which take the unique approach of serving as sales/leadership books inside of novels showing proven sales principles designed to birth you into the top producer you were born to be. If you would like to strengthen your sales skills, go to http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ICRVMI2/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_yGXKtb0G

Heady posts for “Consult Carson” serving as the “Dear Abby” of sales and sales leadership. You may post any question that puzzles you regarding sales and sales leadership careers: interviewing, the sales process, advancing and achieving.

Question submissions can be made via LinkedIn to Carson V. Heady, this Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Carson-V-Heady/125078150858064?ref=hl , Twitter via @cvheady007 or e-mail at cvheady007@yahoo.com or you may post an anonymous comment as a reply to my WordPress blog at the bottom of this page: https://carsonvheady.wordpress.com/the-home-of-birth-of-a-salesman-2010-published-by-world-audience-inc-and-the-salesman-against-the-world-2014/

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3 Ways to Get Your Sales Career Up and Running

Whether you have begun a career in sales or you wish to re-ignite the fire, there are fundamentals that must be followed and mastered to truly optimize your selling career. The allure of sales is relationships and money with little schooling required; anybody can be a salesperson. It takes drive and consistency and evolution to be a salesperson.

When you first begin in sales, you’re a blank canvas; it’s an exciting but scary time. Quell any thoughts of doubt in your head and soak up everything around you like a sponge. There are three major facets of “hitting the ground running” as it were, and these are powerful pieces you will want to revisit.

1.) Learn everything you can about the product, the competition, the competitive landscape and the different variables that give you an advantage. Knowledge is power. Knowing how and when to use it makes you powerful. Certainly, you will not want to spend your entire sales call or pitch just spouting off facts and figures, but you will use this knowledge to forge your personalized recommendation and utilize your understanding of these variables when overcoming objections. It helps to know enough about your product to be able to address customer concerns and show them specifically why what you offer is better than their current solution in that regard (or lack thereof). Sales is nothing more or less than persuasively showing the reasons for change. The better you are at showing these reasons and backing them up, the more successful seller you’ll be. The more you know about what you’re talking about, the more credible you’ll be. You’ll command respect, and people are more likely to buy from those they respect.

2.) Find out what the successful people in your field, industry, department and office are doing, take pieces of these and mold them into your own process. You’re rarely inventing any wheels; even in a brand new project, people will quickly strike oil and you can assimilate their tactics. Ask to spend time with those who are succeeding. Take bits and pieces of what they do to proficiently prospect and pitch and use their best practices as you construct your own process. There are two very important principles in selling: constructing and evolving your process and…

3.) Find results and consistency through perfecting process and evolution of approach. Study the game you’re in. Things are going to change – sometimes rapidly – so you will need to adapt your strategy based on these changes. Sometimes your commission structure will change on a monthly basis. Economical factors may alter your customers’ predicament. What won’t change is that you are paid to deliver results and be an ambassador of your business. You will add and subtract components of your sales pitch and you may find new questions that get better answers: be open-minded to taking on these new parts to your arsenal.

You will likely come out of the gates swinging and optimistic, and either have some quick success or take longer to garner results. Either way, it’s a marathon, not a sprint; pace yourself. Don’t be deluded by early wins or discouraged by defeats. Process and probability govern the sales game and you want to find the activities which give you the best chance at converting sales, what best benefits the company and what gets you paid. All of it will change over time.

To vault your sales career with the most success – or even just to recalibrate – visit and revisit these three keys while you plan your go-to-market strategy and put together the process that gives you the best chance to win!

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Carson V. Heady has written a book entitled “Birth of a Salesman” and sequels “The Salesman Against the World” and “A Salesman Forever” which take the unique approach of serving as sales/leadership books inside of novels showing proven sales principles designed to birth you into the top producer you were born to be. If you would like to strengthen your sales skills, go to http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ICRVMI2/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_yGXKtb0G

Heady posts for “Consult Carson” serving as the “Dear Abby” of sales and sales leadership. You may post any question that puzzles you regarding sales and sales leadership careers: interviewing, the sales process, advancing and achieving.

Question submissions can be made via LinkedIn to Carson V. Heady, this Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Carson-V-Heady/125078150858064?ref=hl , Twitter via @cvheady007 or e-mail at cvheady007@yahoo.com or you may post an anonymous comment as a reply to my WordPress blog at the bottom of this page: https://carsonvheady.wordpress.com/the-home-of-birth-of-a-salesman-2010-published-by-world-audience-inc-and-the-salesman-against-the-world-2014/

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The Art of Salesmanship: How to be a Good Sport in the Selling Game

Kids’ sports are so pure: they are played for the fun of the game and everyone goes out of their way to cheer teammates and tell the opponents, “Good game.” It’s too bad some belligerent parents often get in the way.

Sales and career and business are arenas where there can often be “belligerent parents”: there’s jealousy and people are competing for promotions and raises and there are negative outcomes for people sometimes completely out of their control. Poor dynamics with managers or peers can add toxicity to the water. This is what makes it all the more important to control what you can: yourself. Be a good sport in the selling game.

1.) Conduct yourself professionally. Don’t be a distraction. Whether you’re not quite where you want to be on the selling report or you’re at the top, someone’s watching. There is something to be said for being on time to work, dressing appropriately or even with some acceptable flare, and going about your business professionally and efficiently. Don’t stand out for anything bad. Your managers and peers are also there to do a job; managers don’t want headaches or problem children and peers don’t want their feathers ruffled. Be respectful and mindful of everyone else and how you can best co-exist in this shared environment.

2.) Look for ways to better others and contribute to team success. Engage in activities which expand your influence. Yes, your results matter, but you are one piece of the puzzle. In sales, it rarely takes food off your plate to give others assistance and it certainly boosts your level of contribution and reputation. If you are looking to expand your influence or be promoted or get a raise, there’s no better way than adding to your value by doing more to help others win. Perhaps you contribute more in team meetings. Perhaps you offer to spend time with others who are struggling. Maybe you come to the table with ideas to improve the team or office. Whatever it is, salesmanship is embodied by your decision to share and better others rather than keeping your best practices to yourself.

3.) Rise above distractions and the things you cannot change. If you’re the top seller, people will make up rumors – unfounded or not – that you’re cheating. They want to create a reason why they are too lazy to beat you. Accept business policies and procedures you disagree with, specifically after you have expressed concerns and potential solutions in open forum. Remember that you are paid to be an ambassador to the business, so certainly contribute to the conversation but execute and carry out the plan which is passed down.

4.) Engage in friendly competition. No one likes an arrogant show-off, but wallflowers don’t thrive in a selling environment. Certainly, this does not mean you have to be friends with everyone or that you can’t leave your work at work when you depart. But if you bring your “A” game every day, talk it up and get the chatter going with your colleagues, and challenge them on activities and results that enhance the group, your salesmanship can really have an impact. You doing your best and having fun with it can be contagious and can get people who’ve stopped trying or have lost interest to re-engage. What a difference you can make!

5.) Be a part of the solution. Nobody – especially managers – likes the complainers. Absolutely provide diplomatic feedback about misses in process and ways that the team and office and business unit can improve. Consider the recipient of your feedback as well – don’t be known as that person who vents about the job to everyone because that’s a reputation you don’t want and even if the other person acts like they agree, you never know what they say about you afterward. That stigma can drastically impact your perception and prospects. You also don’t want to tell your manager the unfiltered thoughts you have on what’s not working. Take the positive route – state what you have identified could be improved and how it can be achieved. Not everything will be adopted but you can contribute to the overall team process and add positive value by doing so.

Salesmanship – being a good sport in sales – goes a long way to establish your value as not only a contributor but an important part of the bigger picture. Focusing on just your results impacts one result – adding to the collective can positively impact others and make you far more valuable.

Good game!

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Carson V. Heady has written a book entitled “Birth of a Salesman” and sequels “The Salesman Against the World” and “A Salesman Forever” which take the unique approach of serving as sales/leadership books inside of novels showing proven sales principles designed to birth you into the top producer you were born to be. If you would like to strengthen your sales skills, go to http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ICRVMI2/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_yGXKtb0G

Heady posts for “Consult Carson” serving as the “Dear Abby” of sales and sales leadership. You may post any question that puzzles you regarding sales and sales leadership careers: interviewing, the sales process, advancing and achieving.

Question submissions can be made via LinkedIn to Carson V. Heady, this Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Carson-V-Heady/125078150858064?ref=hl , Twitter via @cvheady007 or e-mail at cvheady007@yahoo.com or you may post an anonymous comment as a reply to my WordPress blog at the bottom of this page: https://carsonvheady.wordpress.com/the-home-of-birth-of-a-salesman-2010-published-by-world-audience-inc-and-the-salesman-against-the-world-2014/

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