How to Run Your Sales Meetings like a Quaterback

bilichick trophy

As a Head Coach, Bill Belichick’s greatness comes from the fact that he builds his systems around the strengths and weaknesses of his roster and it led him to 4 Super Bowl Championships. This is good coaching in the purest form; playing to the strengths of one’s personnel.

It may not be something that often crosses your mind, but football coaches and small business owners have a lot in common. Both professions require leadership, dedication, commitment and a strong work ethic in order to succeed.

There is an old saying about the strength of the wolf is the pack, and I think there is a lot of truth to that. On a football team, it’s not the strength of the individual players, but it is the strength of the unit and how they all function together.” — Bill Belichick

Just like football coaches, as a small business owner or a Sales Manager; you must take on many roles to ensure everybody is working together as a team to achieve important goals and for operations to run smoothly. Here are a few other ways football coaches and small business owners play a similar game.

brady
Pre-game

To prepare for a football game, coaches research opponents, develop game plans and determine the best lineup of players who will help the team win. Similarly, when starting a small business, entrepreneurs conduct market research to understand the competition and the key economic conditions and indicators. Entrepreneurs also build a business plan, which sets the strategic framework for the organization and maps out the path forward. In addition, small business owners find top talent who will help them execute the plan and beat the competition.

During the game

Over the course of a game, head coaches make adjustments regularly, shifting tactics to put their team in position to score and win. They consult with assistant coaches to get advice on what plays they should run. Entrepreneurs and Sales Managers also make strategic moves and adjust to constantly changing market forces and customer demands.

Halftime

Coaches typically deliver inspiring halftime speeches that motivate players to give their all and function as a team. Entrepreneurs and Managers should also motivate their employees by providing benefit programs and encouraging their career growth through coaching and motivational curriculum, that helps to strengthen their teams’ skills. Having a motivational speaker at your monthly or quarterly sales meetings also adds a charge to your team, similar to the Half Time inspirational speeches of great coaches.

wolf of wall street

Post-game

Following a game, coaches review footage to analyze which plays and strategies did or did not work and what improvements the team can make to defeat the next opponent. At the end of each day or period of performance, entrepreneurs crunch numbers to determine how well the business performed and identify ways to boost profits, cut costs and improve customer service.

At your Monday Morning sales meetings, Sales Managers should be doing the same thing. They should be analyzing which plays resulted in closed sales and which plays didn’t. They should develop strategies and best practices from reviewing the week’s plays. Only then can they become the Tom Brady of management. They will know the strengths and weaknesses of not only their team members but of the competition. They will know if the competition has a tendency to lead with price or service. They could then quarterback their team to run plays that would leave the competition behind or looking in the wrong direction.

Confidence directly impacts results, here is how to get it.

russel wilson

You are down by 16 points with 3 mins to go in the 4 quarter. You have played the worst game of your life. You have thrown 4 interceptions. Not only that, but the world is looking on and judging you. What do you do? Do you fold up like a flower without sunshine? Or do you dig deep and remember the last time you were down 16 to nothing and you came away with the victory? Quarterback Russell Wilson did just that on Sunday to win the AFC Championship game against the Green Bay Packers. With 3 mins to go in the 4 quarter, Wilson was having his worst game to date; he had thrown 4 interceptions. The commentators were saying they had never seen Wilson play this bad. I started to route for them. I was routing for the underdogs, the Packers, because the Seahawks were the Super Bowl champions; but I hate to see a team embarrassed in front of millions. I have heard of quarterbacks who were tagged as not being able to win the big games. But this is where confidence separates the true champions. Confidence and the spirit of never giving up. Even though Wilson had already thrown 4 interceptions to Kearse, he had confidence in him to give him another chance and he caught that winning touchdown and held on to that ball like his life depended on it. If you allow the facts like you just threw 4 interceptions, and you let negative thoughts snap your positive energy; you will loose. But like Wilson tearfully declared after pulling off a stunning overtime victory, he had the confidence in himself and in his team that they could win.

confidence

I saw this same scenario play out on a sales team that I was a part of. We were a team of about 40 outbound reps in a call center. The top sales persons on the team were selling about 40 units per day. Then a new girl was hired. She started banging out 40 units by noon!. Management thought she was cheating and started to check her sales to make sure she was not sandbagging leads. She calmly declared that she was not cheating; but that she was confident. She said when she picked up the phone, she had confidence that she was going to close the sale, and she usually did. I started paying attention to what she was doing, and I too started selling 40 units by lunchtime!.

confidence steps

Confidence is usually the result of prior successes. As a sales manager, confidence should be the first skill you coach to. If your team is not confident, that they cannot win. You have to exhume past victories to give energy to present day activities. Why did Wilson feel that he could win?; because he won before. He knew that if there was time on the clock, his team had a chance.

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.

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.