Ask Your "A" Players This 1 Key Question

This Seth Godin truth grenade I read this morning is too good not to share.

When one person doesn't contribute, the entire system loses impact.

Every time an "A" player has to cajole a "B" or "C" player into doing their job, you are unnecessarily taxing your top talent.

There's a cost when we're stretched too thin to lead, train and motivate new colleagues or veterans. 

This friction causes fatigue and frustration, sure.

But most critically for most businesses, the tax on “A” players is why they believe they’re at capacity and can’t imagine being able to sustainably lead more clients. 

If you’re in a leadership role, consider sharing Seth’s quote with a few “A” players as a conversation starter and see what you learn.

Often people hold back thinking helping is being a team player and they don't want to be viewed as complaining. If you really want the truth of how much this issue is slowing your team's growth, try this.

"I...

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You're busy. But not thinking.

Uncategorized Feb 19, 2021

You're busy, but not spending enough time thinking.

Don't forget to check your TTFR.

Need a refresher?

Your TTFR is your Thinking To Formatting Ratio.

It's out of alignment when you've spent more time discussing the format of a presentation than you've spent thinking and fully leveraging your expertise to develop recommendations.

In chaotic times, this can be an issue everywhere:

  • Sales (all stages of prospecting)
  • Client Service (financial reporting, strategy, and renewals)
  • Executives (business cases for internal resources to build your practice)
  • And so on. And so on.

It's difficult to juggle competing priorities and find uninterrupted time to think and develop recommendations.

This week I've been experimenting with clients on scheduled 30-minute sprints with some great results.

I schedule 45-minute Zoom meetings.  After a brief chat in which everyone commits to the project we're tackling, we go on mute and get to work with some background music playing.

I...

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Avoid this mistake when introducing your team to a prospect

sales Dec 04, 2020
 

Over the last several weeks, I have seen producers and sales leaders making similar subtle, yet critical, errors when they're prospecting. I'd like you to avoid that issue. So hear me out.

It's not uncommon as you progress through the sale cycle up through and at the finalist meeting that you have the need to introduce team members (your colleagues) to the prospective customer. It might be one other person. It might be an entire team.

It's not uncommon that you, as a salesperson or sales leader, want to convey to the prospect that you're not going to disappear. You'll be available in any follow up on an ongoing basis, and you're committed to their success. There's nothing wrong with that sentiment, but often the way it is said can have an unintended consequence of undermining their confidence in your team.

And then there's the next problem.

You're a producer, salesperson, sales leader, wondering why the new customer won't let you go about your business and why they keep "pulling you...

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But would they use Zoom?

growth sales service Nov 12, 2020
 

I nearly made a huge mistake in my 2020 business plan that I'd like you to avoid as you craft your 2021 strategy.

What was in your business plan for 2020?
Do you even remember how you thought this year would unfold?

Despite being convinced of the business need, do you know why I almost didn't launch the Account Executive Academy last year?

I wasn't sure everyone would/could embrace Zoom. ‍

My thoughts on the ridiculousness of this near miss and how it might impact your 2021 planning are in this 3-minute video.

Friends, think of this as a game.

The only thing I know for sure is that we'll "lose" if we can't let go of our desire for certainty.

Join me at guessing for 2021.

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Goals and Roles

sales service Oct 20, 2020
 

You're responsible for understanding 2 things at EVERY prospect or client meeting.

Even if you didn't schedule it.

The goal of the meeting
Your role in the team's success

If you can't clarify the goal or explain someone's role, then you shouldn't waste their time, even if it's "only" a virtual meeting.

If someone has invited you to a meeting without info on "goals and roles"...then you own asking them to clarify & verify.

I created a flow chart to figure out why this gets off track so often!

Link to it here

No need to enter your email to access it, btw. If it's helpful, you can buy me a margarita someday if I ever get out of my dining room!

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Nobody wants your wheel ... 🙄

 

Sales & Client Service PSA

Companies don't start (and continue) working with you because you offer THINGS. They believe you’ll solve their problem.

That is why I need to get a little sassy about something.

Your wheel.

In your sales AND annual strategic planning process, make sure you showcase results and share your expertise and point of view. These are the things that may come from using "the wheel"... That's what the customer really cares about.

Any of the following words appear in your pitch?

People
Process
Framework
Proprietary

If yes, then you may want to download the case study and watch my workshop on creating contrast. LINK HERE.

I'm now referring to this content as the "dining room series" since I've been sitting here for so many months and won't be on the move for the foreseeable future.

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Step Away From The Drama

My former colleague (and good friend) Nancy always told us to "keep our eyes on our own paper" when there was drama. I thought of her when responding to a question in the Account Executive Academy recently.

I've included a screenshot so you can see my new favorite tool in action, PreziVideo. And also a funny face because of too many months in a dining room.

Client service is a team sport and how colleagues are showing up (or not) is adding an extra dash of fun to 2020. Resist efforts to steal your time and drain your energy by anyone who just wants to complain.

Repeat after me. Not my circus. Not my monkeys.

When there's an issue between "Colleague A" and "Colleague B" as there was here, be the voice of reason to determine if the problem was an event or part of a pattern.

The goal? If someone slipped up then we should extend the patience and grace we'd want when (not if) we fall short at some point.

If it's part of a pattern of shortcomings, then energy should be focused...

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Want a response? Keep it simple.

Uncategorized Sep 09, 2020

Wondering why someone hasn't responded to your email?

Annoyed even?

Imagine they read it on their phone.

  • Was it 2+ swipes or scrolls?
  • Long, bulky paragraphs?
  • Information buried in an attachment?
  • No deadline for the next steps?

They're not the problem. You are.

Make it easy for people (prospects, clients, colleagues) to work with you.

Check your sent folder and consider revising anything that's complicated.

One thing that may surprise you is how often you've been tapping your toes waiting for a response when you never asked a question. I learned this with my 17-year-old son over years of texting him and getting no reply. Usually, when I'd get annoyed that he didn't respond, he would point out that I hadn't asked anything.

Keep in mind, as well, that "pushing out" information to someone doesn't obligate the recipient to respond.

Make it ok for them to tell you that they aren't interested in a further discussion (at least now) by using my friend Tom Batchelder's...

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Um, that was painful.

Uncategorized Sep 01, 2020

This morning I was the keynote speaker at UBA’s annual fall conference. I had the pleasure of kicking off the conversation about adapting to maximize growth in these "interesting" times.

I was asked to monitor the chat session while my prerecorded session was played. There was no way to avoid listening to myself for 45 minutes.

I’m proud of the content and loved how Prezi Video made it more engaging than simply sharing a PowerPoint.

And yet...

It was painful to critique myself while hundreds of people were watching with me. 

It’s good nobody had to do a shot every time I said “um” because it would’ve been virtual conferences gone wild at 9 am. Good grief.

I need to pause and take a breath without unnecessary filler words. I knew I had this habit, but there’s no escaping it now that I’ve seen this session.

Do you record your virtual meetings? Do you and your team watch them? 

 Something fun to do on the next Zoom...

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6 Lessons From Sending Weekly Emails

Uncategorized Aug 19, 2020

It's so much easier to dish out advice than to take it...which is why I'm really proud of this anniversary.

My weekly email anniversary

A year ago I committed to consistently writing to my email subscribers every week. And while I toggled between Tuesdays and Thursdays, I did it EVERY SINGLE WEEK since last August.

Even when I was on vacation (thanks to automation) and when I had shingles (thanks to medication)...PSA: Get the Shingles vaccine if you're 50+. 

Now, if I could just get my a** on my Peloton and exercise for a year.

I consult with teams on creating contrast in their firm's offer. As important, however, is how they individually stand out and create a memorable impression.

Over the year, this process has provided me a platform to practice what I ask clients to do, including:

Be consistent & reliable. Keep showing up literally and figuratively.

Get started. The first email went to 24 people and half were friends & family. You...

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