Who are the Stars on Your Team? The 20/70/10 rule of Differentiation

miami big three
Who is your favorite star player? Is it LeBron James in basketball? Peyton Manning in Football, or Derek Jeter in baseball? Regardless of which star you pick, management knows that this star is the “duck who lays the golden eggs” and they treat him with respect and shower him with dollars. On the same team, suiting up in the same uniform, playing the same number of games, going to the same amount of meetings and practice workouts; you can have the star making 10 million per year and his team member making the minimum $300,000 per year. What exactly is the message management is trying to convey with this disparity in salary? The message is “you are the best, you are important to this team winning, we value you and your skills, we don’t want another team to be able to steal you away by offering you more money.” The other members of the team don’t grumble at the water cooler about the unfairness of pay. Instead they are happy to play in the presence of greatness and they are hoping that some of his skills will rub off on them.

Let’s bring this scenario to your sales team. How are you letting the stars on your team know that you value their contributions? Do you reward them with praise publicly and personally? Do their bonuses reflect their value? I have been on teams where the top sales representative overachieves by 150% to revenue goal and the Sales Manager offers no public or personal congratulations. No fanfare! On top of that accounting tries to not pay by recalculating and cutting the amounts of bonuses.

The 20/70/10 rule of differentiation states that 20% of your team are your star players and should be showered with incentives to continue to perform at this high level. The next 70 percent are average or mediocre team members and management should offer them coaching to improve their confidence and skills sets.

rolondo Mcclain

Take the case study of Rolando McClain. He was the #1 draft pick for the Oakland Raiders in 2010. That means that he was one of the best coming out of college; but once in the NFL, he didn’t live up to his potential and he was released first by Oakland Raiders. He was then picked up by the Baltimore Ravens and later released as well. Then when the Cowboys were looking for a linebacker, McClain came under their radar and they decided to check him out. They called his old college coach Nick Sabin and asked him what made McClain good in college. With this information the Cowboys received from Coach Sabin, they called McClain in for a tryout and made him an offer. The story goes that the exchange with the Ravens cost the Cowboys a bag of donuts! Jason Garrett the head coach of the Cowboys and his coaching staff worked with McClain, improved his confidence, and moved him from the bottom 10%, to the top 20%. McClain now starts every game and he and the Cowboys had an awesome year.

The job of a Sales Manager is to move his mediocre players up through the ranks with effective coaching. Sometimes an outside coach works best, because the employee can be honest. Beating them over the head with the numbers on the report is not the way to do it.

Please call me for a free consultation if you are interested in improving the players on your team.

The last number is the bottom 10%. These team members should be moved out to other roles. If on a sales team and selling is not their forte, they could be moved to a supporting role, for example.

What Are They Biting On? 5 Ways To Improve Your Bait

young_boy_going_fishing

I recently watched the movie “A River runs through it”. I should confess that anything with Brad Pitt I watch with a big smile on my face! Anyway, in the movie Brad and his brother were fishing in this river. Brad’s brother was catching a whole lot of fish and Brad had not caught one. After some time of being a spectator in this fishing expedition, he shouted to his brother, “What are they biting on?” His brother shouted back, “Pimento Bugs”. Strangest bait I ever saw, these bugs had wings! But sure enough, when Brad changed his bait he caught the biggest fish ever!

In sales, you are the Bait!

Everything you heard is true! People buy from people they like, people they feel a connection to or with people who are like them!


Here are 5 Ways you can Improve your Bait:

teeshirt dress

No tee-shirts and tattoos

1: Your Attire
Again, I will start with an Old Cliché “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” If you are going for an interview or meeting with a customer for the first time; look the part, and that is your best.
I went for an interview once at Apple retail Store and I was very confused. Apple, Google and Facebook CEO’s have all made famous the tea shirt and running shoes mode of dress. So I was not sure how to dress; but I decided on a suit. No tee-shirt and runners for me! Better to be overdressed than not get a job because you showed up in tea shirt and tennis shoes. In the movie “the Pursuit of Happyness”, Will Smith was sleeping in bathrooms and homeless; but he made sure he had one suit that always looked good. That is all you need, one good outfit. It is suggested that for the man the color should be blue, black or grey for a suit. For the ladies a pant suit or an A-line dress works wonders.

2: Your Profile
Your profile picture is what everyone sees. Just a picture of your head and face, and they from that they form a judgement, whether consciously or not. In a recent LinkedIn training class, the presenter told a story about how he was about to hire someone for a service, then he noticed that their picture was dark and blurred. He said he decided not do business with them. He formed a judgement that if they could not spend $50 to get a good profile picture, then they could not be successful. You might say that he was too judgemental; but you never know what is costing you business. It is best to button it up.
I personally would never connect with anyone who didn’t have a profile picture because I made the judgement that they were either not active or not serious. Now I connect because I can offer my consulting services because they need Help! Spend the money to get a professional profile picture and it will pay dividends.

suit and shoes

3: The entire package
I could never understand the “shoe shine” concept. Why did men favor going to get their shoes professionally shined until it became a mirror and they could see their faces in their shoes?
Now I understand, those men understood the value of “the entire package”. You can’t show up in an expensive suit, and your shoes are not shined! You can’t show up in an expensive suit and your hair looks like a hippie; you can’t show up in an expensive suit and your car looks like you bought it from the scrapyard. People form the wrong impression and then you have to work doubly hard for them to hear what is “coming out of your mouth”.

For men, pay attention to the suit, shirt, tie, hair style, shoes.

For women, pay attention to your dress, your hair, your shoes and your pocket book! Yes, people now pay attention to what handbag you are putting your lipstick into!

4: Your Business card, your Website, and your Printed Materials

If you want to convey success, then you have to look the part.

Has anyone ever handed you a business card that was printed at home on cheap paper? What was your reaction? Did you want to run out and purchase their product? I am sure you didn’t. Or you ask someone who has a service you are interested in for a business card, and they tell you they don’t have one.
I should even add a pen to this scenario. In the movie “the Pursuit of Happyness”, there is a scene in which a salesperson bent over backwards to get a contract with Will Smith to produce his story. He called him several times, he made him an irresistible offer, he tracked him down at the airport and when Will was about to sign the contract and he asked him for a pen, he did not have one! Will cancelled the deal. He felt that a salesperson should always have a business card and a pen if he is worth anything!

5: Your Speech
I don’t know if you have noticed, but most of the leading roles for movies and television commercials are going to actors who sound English! It is like a “cool breeze” to listen to someone with a pleasant voice. You don’t have to have an English accent; but your volume should be right and your pace should be right. As a Toastmaster, when we are speaking, we are gonged when we add fillers to our speech. Fillers are so, umm, ahh, etc. if you are doing a presentation and you have too many fillers, your audience doesn’t regard you as a subject matter expert.

Your Bait is you! Once you make a good impression and the fish are biting; then you can get on with the business that you came to do, and that is to sell your product or service.

You want to catch some fish!

Find out some other ways to Create Influence
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Can you recognize your failure symptoms?

types of failure
How often have you said “life is short”? Well It is! We are here on earth for a limited time to fulfill a purpose. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could go to the doctor and tell him our life symptoms and he would give us a diagnosis of success or failure? For example if you go to the doctor today with itchy bumps and a fever, he would look at you and without running any tests diagnose you with the chicken pox.

Recognizing your failure symptoms early in life before you get to your 5th or 6th decade is the only way to take action to modify your behaviors. As we head into 2015, I would like to offer you the gift of consciousness. Do you have any of the symptoms below? If you do, call me for a free coaching session. Take control of your life and get a step closer to success.

Here are 5 symptoms of failure.

1. Sleeping too much.
sleep tired

Do you sleep more than 6 hours per night or day? Thomas Edison took only 2 hour naps on his desk while he was working on his inventions. He didn’t want to sleep because he was so invested in his work. He called sleep a waste of time.

I read Donald Trump’s biography and he said that he hated going to sleep because he was so excited about his business and he didn’t want to miss anything.

Donald Trump credits only sleeping for three or four hours with staying ahead of his competition. “How does somebody who’s sleeping 8 and 10 hours a day compete with someone that’s sleeping three or four?” he’s said.

Political leaders across the globe run their countries on short spurts of shuteye. President Obama has said he can get by on a four-hour doze. Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher ran the U.K. for a decade, on four hours a night.

The saying “the early bird catches the worm” is meant to tell you that rising early is best if you want to catch the opportunities. If you go to bed early and sleep late, that is a failure symptom that you will not be successful.

2. Are you an Introvert?
introvert extrovert

A shy kid might look longingly at other kids playing in the schoolyard, afraid and unsure about how to approach them, but an introvert is perfectly content on her own.
Laurie Helgoe

Introverts are sometimes called the “walking sleepers”. Introverts usually allow activity to pass by them without participation, indulge in time killing pursuits, taking only the most minor role or unconstructive parts. Introverts are also the solitaire players, the pathological bookworms, the endless crossword puzzlers, the couch potatoes. In order to succeed in business or life, you need to have the ability to sell yourself, you need social skills. You don’t have to be the life of the party but you must be able to be comfortable at the party.

3. Are you drinking more than 2 drinks daily?
Drinking heavily brings on a waking sleep. Drinking affects your ability to think straight and handicaps the drinker. You will not be able to contribute fully in staff meetings, argue sensibly, plan or be proactive if you are under the influence of alcohol.

4. Extreme extroverts

“I always thought I was an extrovert until I became a theatre major. Then I realized I just didn’t like silence.”
― Cora Carmack, Losing It

Do you count the day lost if you did not attend a dinner party, go to a movie theatre, dancing at a club or hanging out with friends? To be successful you need time alone to plan, to be creative and to ponder your next move.

5. Having no goals

vission mission

Dr William Menninger says “a fellow must know where he wants to go, if he is going to get anywhere”

No goals are bad enough but low goals are worst. Is your goal to just keep your job and make just enough money to pay your bills? Is it to live to retirement and then collect social security? Or is it to be the top player in the “candy crush” video game?
The bible says “people without a vision will perish”. Not necessarily physical death, but spiritual death. It is exhilarating to work towards a goal. Happiness is defined as working towards a goal.

“We are at our very best, and we are happiest, when we are fully engaged in work we enjoy on the journey toward the goal we’ve established for ourselves.”

The great leaders and legends of our time, all had goals, vision, mission and as they achieved one goal, they started on the next.

Join me for a Free webinar on how to set and achieve clear goals, how to create vision and mission statements, how to motivate your staff to excel and how to create influence.

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How to care for your “thought seed”

As a CEO, it doesn’t matter whether your company is only “you” or you have a staff of one thousand. If you are the CEO, you are the visionary. You are all your company has, and your company will rise or fall depending on what you do with your “thought seed” or vision.
You are the lid!

thought seed

Limits, like fear, is often an illusion.
Michael Jordan

What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts build our life of tomorrow: Our life is the creation of our mind.
Buddha (563 BC-483 BC) Founder of Buddhism


Let’s say you are a Law student at Harvard University; but your passion is writing software. You spend most of your time in the computer lab writing code. One day your friend and fellow computer enthusiast show you an edition of Popular Electronics magazine, featuring a kit to build one of the first mini computers, the “Altair 8800”. You think to yourself, this new computer needs software to run. I can write the code for the software to run this computer!. So you call the company and tell them that you have already written software that would run on this new computer. Not true, you don’t even have a model! But you get them to agree to give you a meeting to demonstrate. You bust your ass to deliver; and you meet the deadline. Your code worked perfectly. The company gives you the contract. You quit Harvard and go full time into your own company; you call it Micro-soft!

Where is reality in this story? How many CEO’s operate in this space of total confidence, vision and action? The ordinary would have said, “We would need to get an Altair computer and understand the Bios before we can write code.” The ordinary would wait for the right time to make the call. You know the end of the story. Bill Gates and Paul Allen started Microsoft after that. At 23 years old, Bill had 25 employees and his company was grossing over 2 million annually. This was before IBM and MS-DOS. Today he is the richest man in the world with a personal fortune in the billions.

seeds of thought

Care for your “thought seeds”. Ideas that are in alignment with your purpose will light you up and make you feel good. Most of us, you and me, when we get “thought seeds”, we filter them through our reality filter. We ask the question “does this make sense”.

“Dare to be unrealistic. Saying this is not realistic is the most commonly travelled road to mediocrity”
Will smith

What do you do with your “thoughts seeds“? Are you like the farmer from the scriptures? Do you sow some of them on rocks? Where the winds of negativity or your friends and family discourage you and tell you it would never work?

“A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9 Whoever has ears, let them hear.”………Mathew 13:4-9

Learn discernment. You have to know you. You have to know when the thought seed is a vision or it is just noise. You can tell this by paying attention to how your body reacts to the thought. Think about how your body reacted when you first saw your spouse or when you first thought about marrying him or her. I am guessing that the thought made you happy and “lighted” you up. I recently saw a theatre production of the Buddy Holly story; apparently Buddy Holly proposed to his wife after meeting her for 5 hours; He must have been burning up!

So, when you have a “thought seed” or a vision that excites you; you plant it in the ground, you cover it up, you water it and it WILL become a tree.

I started off talking about CEO’s but each and every one of us wants to grow up to be something.

Michael Jordon wanted to be the best at basketball. So he hired a coach and every summer he practiced and mastered one skill.

Coaching helps you take stock of where you are now in all aspects of your life, and how that compares to where you would like to be.
Elaine MacDonald

Join me for my new webinar workshop entitled “The Leader Within”. I am offering to HELP you either water the “thought seeds” already planted or plant new “seeds” to realize your vision. This webinar will be absolutely FREE!. Its purpose is to help you discover where you are today and plant the “seed” of where you want to be.

So if you want to be something tomorrow you are not today then:
REGISTER FOR FREE!!

The First date will be Thursday December 11/2014. Stay tuned for the times.

How to Develop Your Employees Potential with Feedback.

Feedback is the breakfast of champions.

~~Ken Blanchard

As a sales manager, you have a team of 10 sales persons: Two are overachievers and the other eight are happy being average. You know they have the potential to do so so much more… What do you do?
• How do you find out what really motivates them?
• How do you offer feedback that inspires instead of deflates?

sandwich
The Sandwich Model of Giving Feedback

Think of your favorite sandwich… It has bread on top, lots of juicy meat and condiments in the middle and bread at the bottom again.

In the Sandwich Model of giving feedback, the top of the bun represents the good things you see your salesperson doing.

Eg “Patty you did an awesome job on that PowerPoint presentation. You kept your audience interested, you listed facts and supported them, your tonality was awesome and you had good volume. Excellent job; BUT….”

Now you get to the middle of the sandwich, the meat. This is where you offer feedback on what Patty could have done better to close the sale. Phycologist’s reports that people are more receptive to hear negative feedback after you make them feel good with a positive comment.

The reason men in bars lead with flattery!

feedback

However, Your feedback is not going to get the desired result if you are not genuine with your praise, the same way if you use a tired overused line at the bar! You get nowhere and the party feels insulted. So dig deep and find something genuinely good to lead off the feedback. In our case study, Patty gave an awesome presentation, but she did not get the sale. So we pick up at:

Excellent job Patty but; the customer said that they needed to check out other suppliers before they made their decision. It might be a good idea to ask your salesperson what she feels she did wrong. If she says that she felt the customer needed to compare before they bought, you can tell her that they would have made a decision if she had SOLD them on the product by offering a solution to satisfy their real need behind the want.

feedback breakthrough

The meat: Excellent Job with the presentation Patty but the customer did not buy. I believe the reason is because you did not identify and therefore could not offer a solution to the real need. The customer told you they needed to purchase a new computer system because their old system does not give them enough storage capacity. Your presentation focused on listing our product with features highlighting our iCloud storage. If you had qualified the customer more thoroughly and understood why they needed more storage, you could have tailored your presentation to highlight the unique features of our product to satisfy the real need and eliminated our competitors. I have a suggestion, for the next month, when you meet with customers for the first time, I want you to really understand their needs behind the want. Ask questions like “I understand your need to have more storage. What would more storage really give you?” The customer may say, something like “We would be able to look back at data for 5 years and understand our customer’s buying history. We also would be able to really identify trends and analyze what worked and what did not work.”

encouragement

No sandwich is complete without the bread at the bottom. So you end with encouragement. To finish off your feedback you could say something like “You can become the star on this team, you just need to tweak your qualifying questions to understand the customer’s needs and you will see your close rate shoot through the roof.”

This sandwich model is the best way to give feedback to your subordinates. It motivates instead of deflates!