Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Why Communication is Key

Clear Communication is paramount to meaningful business relationships. If you cannot clearly communicate with the other person you will never be able to serve them in a way they feel positively about and they won’t come back to you for help. Whether you are a boss with an employee, a service provider with a customer, a sales rep with a client, or building your brand online, you must communicate clearly.

I hear you asking, “what does that even mean Sean?” Look. It’s more than just not mumbling or being articulate. The key to clear communication is making the other person feel listened to, valued, and understood. When you can do that it makes the other person feel important and special which deepens the relationship and allows you the opportunity to also be understood. first to understand in order to be understood.
Clear communication also sets the expectation for the interaction. When you can set an expectation, an outcome, or a desired result only then can you truly exceed the expectation. You will never exceed an expectation you do not set and in the absence of setting an expectation for the other person, they will set their own. You will never exceed that one. So set it for them AFTER you have heard what they need.

Do this:
1. Ask questions to learn what the best outcome for the other person is. Maybe they just need you to listen. Maybe they want options and alternatives. Maybe they need to buy the solution to their problem you are selling. Regardless, you need to ask questions to determine how to best serve. When you do that you show you care, you really connect with them (deepening the relationship), and you learn how to close the opportunity to benefit them at the highest level.
2. Set an expectation for what you will do next to serve them. You can promise to follow up and check in, provide a service, paint a picture of how you will execute and solve their problem, or explain what they can expect from you next. Clearly communicating in this way allows you to show you get it, understand their needs, and that you have been listening. It also tells the other person what to expect next and gives them a way to see you over delivering for them.

If you do those two things well inside the business relationships you have you will enjoy rich connections with the people around you and will be rewarded handsomely for your efforts. The one who exceeds expectations regularly is the one who receives the biggest rewards.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

How To Connect In Every Business Relationship

Business is personal. There is nothing more personal to your business than the relationships you have with your clients. The secret to great relationships is real connection. 

The quality of your relationships is equal to the quality of your connection. You know this to be true. Every really good relationship you have is based on a powerful connection. Your lover, spouse, BFF, sibling, shit even you and your dog have an amazing connection. What is it about the great connection that is the secret to business success? Caring. 

You have to truly care about your client. Not just because they will eventually buy from you but because you really give a shit about them as a person. You care about the improvement of their lives. You want to see them succeed. Any time you have really cared about someone else’s best...the connection has been strong. 

The same is true in business. When you only care as a means to an end the other person feels it. Doesn’t matter if you are talking to your EA, an employee in your office, a customer on the sales floor, or a connection online. When it’s only about the will be the END for you.

My biggest failures in my work have come when I put the end (payment or the deal) ahead of the connection. In fact, I recently lost a client because he felt like a paycheck rather than someone I truly gave a crap about. That is flatly untrue but I made him feel that way. So it was true for him. Major fail on my part. 

I know you’re probably thinking it’s easy for you to say Sean. You don’t know what it’s like to run my business, to get paid on commission, to deal with the crap my people give me on a daily basis, or even maybe...but I don’t get the luxury of choosing who I connect with in business. I hear you.  But even if you are paid on commission, have a staff that drive you crazy, deal exclusively with the public on a daily basis, or have your hands tied you can and must care. 

These are people you are dealing with. Not numbers and not paychecks. The quicker you can look at others for the people they are; with desires, needs, wants, hopes, dreams, and real problems the quicker you will be able to empathize, understand, and maybe help solve their problems which will lead you to bigger and bigger rewards. 

Look! Do enough to understand the other person. This creates relationship. You need to understand the other person in order to be able to deliver value in their life. What do they covet? What do they need? You need to know how to impact them in a way that makes them feel special in order to create that high level of trust that deepens connection.

Business is personal. Get personal with your business relationships by truly connecting with them. Start by caring.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The REAL Reason Paula Deen Was Canned!

Paula Deen wasn’t fired because she’s racist. She was fired because she’s a liar.

Deen carefully sculpted her image; a down home, southern, motherly type. The kind of matronly auntie you greet with a big hug. The kind of real woman who makes everything better, “sugar”.


Deen was fired and is only now remorseful because she acted like a self centered, arrogant, lying, male. She was inauthentic to her brand. She sold the matronly persona well. To a “T”. But it all unraveled when she was asked to truly be that real woman she was selling.

How convenient for her to keep her diabetes a secret until she could find an endorsement deal to profit from. That’s not being a real woman. That’s being a selfish opportunist.

Now is she crying and apologizing for her “behavior” AFTER being sued by a former 5 year employee who is claiming a shocking pattern of alleged racism, including the use of the ‘N word’, sexual harassment and infliction of emotional distress and assault while working at Deen’s Uncle Bubba’s Oyster House. Oh, and loosing all her business deals and endorsements. 

That’s not being a real woman Paula Deen. The kind of matronly woman I look to as safe and comforting. The kind of woman you sold me on being. In fact, it’s you exhibiting the worst kinds of male typical behavior of ‘avoid and deny’ until everything starts crumbling and THEN begging for forgiveness. You never cared, you never truly connected, you never communicated clear truth. Now all that business you closed is running from you. You never acted like the real woman you portrayed.

Paula Deen got fired for being completely inauthentic to her brand. She exhibits the worst of the male-centric traits I see from businessmen all the time. Self-centered, arrogant, profit first, say whatever needs to be said to sell the product and close the deal. 

I’m sick of it.  

Business and sales are about relationships today. Growing those relationships through real care, true connection, and clear communication allows the close of the deal to happen confidently and on a frequent basis. When you do business with these elements of relationship building at the forefront of what you do, you will become wildly successful.

Paula Deen faked the real womanly attributes of care, connection, communication and closed tons of business as a result. She’s out on her ass now because it was simply that...a fake.  

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Do you REALLY care?

To be THE MAN in sales you gotta ACT like a WOMAN.

Acting like a woman means you care about your client. You care deeply about them. So much so, that you are willing to tell them what no one else will. You must tell them the brutal truth. This is called communicating clearly.

I was speaking with a client of mine today and she was telling me how she didn’t close a real estate listing appointment.

She hated the client’s house. She said it was ugly, in poor repair, and smelled like wet dog. I asked, “did you tell them?” “NOOOOOOO!” she replied. “I didn’t want to offend them.” I said, “The only thing offensive about that is that you don’t care enough about them or their home sale for you to tell them why their home isn’t going to sell. That’s also the reason they didn’t hire you.”

I understand how hard it is to tell the brutal truth to people. Shit...I lie to myself all the time. But to be THE MAN you have to care deeply about the positive outcome for your client. Enough to tell them what no one else will. Acting like a woman is about telling that brutal truth with empathy, understanding, grace, pointed truth, and clear desire to help them solve the problem once it’s on the table.

Do this:

  1. Look them strait in the eye. This will give them the non verbal clues needed for them to know you are not hiding anything from them.
  2. Be honest about how hard it is to tell them what you need to say. “I hate to be the one to say this to you because I know how much you love your home. But...your home smells like wet dog.” 
  3. Relate to them. “I know it’s hard to hear but this is going to stop your home from selling it.”
  4. Give them hope. “I love dogs. You love dogs. A lot of people love dogs. This is easily looked after. We can make the animal friendliness of your home a real plus once the smell is gone.”
  5. Provide a solution. “I will bring in a deodorizer, a carpet cleaner, a maid service, and I will have the walls painted with fresh paint and it will look after everything. Sound good?”

You have to call out the elephant in the room with huge levels of care. In fact, the reason you call these elephants out is because you care so much about your client and want to serve them in a way they never have been served before. Having the confidence to communicate clearly with care and courage is what acting like a woman is all about. It makes you THE MAN.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Bipolar Roller Coaster

You have to wonder about those people who never seem to have an off day.

I was told today I was one of those people. I'm not.

Someone said to me today, "'re never down. You are never off. So many people look to you for inspiration and you're always there. How do you do it?"
It set me back on my heels. The truth is I'm not always up. I have many down days. I'm not the positive affirming guy in a suit with all the answers. I have given you the wrong impression and for that I am sorry. Frankly, I'm bipolar. I'm up and down like an emotional roller coaster. AND owning my own business just makes it that much more difficult. The highs of my business are so high and the lows seems devastating. Couple that with my own emotion struggles and it is friggin brutal.

You struggle with this too. You have days that feel so high they are incredible and others where you can barely get out of bed. I get it. I understand. It's not glamourous, fun, or anything you want to talk about when people ask you "how's it going?"

What I have learned and I want you to know is being strategic in the highs and the lows is the best formula to counteract the "bipolar roller coaster". Whether your bipolarity is business based or mental health based.

Having a rock solid go to strategy will save you from the manic highs that keep your mind racing and have you taking on more than you can complete. It will also save you from the 27 storey crash that comes from in the down times.

Here are the 5 things I've learned to do:

1. Admit the state you're in. Up or down, you must be honest about where you are and how you are feeling about it. The key to strategizing is being honest about where your at.
2. Keep a journal of all of the things I am grateful for daily. This will allow you to focus in your highs and be reminded of what is great in your life when you're down.
3. Take time you quiet yourself when things are going "amazing". You must settle and calm yourself in the manic crazy times. You will feel like this is a waste but if you can settle your mind you will internalize more of the good that's happening and sustain your high feeling longer.
4. When you are down take the time you need. You beat yourself up about where you are and how horrible you are when you're down. I do too. This only drives me further down and it takes longer to recover. Take a break. 15 mins, an hour, a half day, a day, whatever it takes and do something else. Physical activity is best.
5. Read your journal to a confidant. When you are feeling down you must read your gratefulness journal and its good to read it to someone close to you. NOT YOUR SPOUSE. Someone removed from the situation who can listen and be there for you. It will remind you of what is good AND will remind you that there is someone who loves you.

The fact is I struggle big time keeping everything in check. In my business life and emotionally. The me you sometimes see is the veneered me. The me I have to present to get thru the day but the reality is I ride the bipolar roller coaster every day. You do too. What has helped me cope and stay in the game is focusing on strategy rather than riding the roller coaster. Riding the coaster has cost me so much and has literally almost cost me my life. If you feel like me I want you to promise me you will use the 5 steps I use and let me know how I can help you not only survive, but to thrive. 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Are You Showing The Love?

The acquisition of new business is the most important thing to any company.

In fact, it is so vital, if you do not cultivate new opportunities for your business you will quickly be out of business.

As a salesman and business owner, I spend a lot of time in the acquisition of new clients. It’s mission critical for my business. 

I’m a sales trainer, speaker, and mentor. If I don’t find new clients to teach, audiences to share with, and professionals who want to take their businesses to higher levels...I’m dead. 

I have developed a new way to sell which connects with buyers on a level every buyer wants to connect on. I’m on a mission to change the world of selling and I must gain as many new opportunities to serve that mission as I can. Daily. I use social media as the way to connect with all the prospects I could ever want to access. And I take massive action in the wooing, courting, building relationships, and winning clients to my side. I close regularly and often. It’s essential. 

Today I learned a critical lesson that will appropriately shift my focus. I must always deliver after sales service with the level of intensity, wooing, courting, and relationship building I did before the sale was completed. And so must you.

You know this is right. It makes sense. But the knowledge of it and practice of it are two different things. There are lots of times you do everything in your power, and then some, to win a client. Good for you. If you don’t continue in the relationship, after the close, with the same passion and intensity you did when the deal was landed - your client feels it. They start questioning your intention. Your true desire to work for them. If they made the right decision to work with you. 

Think about the last time you were sold something big. When the level of effort displayed for you after the sale was not equal to or greater than the level displayed prior to the sale, how did you feel? Let down? Ripped off? Pissed off? Disappointed? Exactly! And so do your clients. So do my clients. This is not acceptable.

Sales people are fighting to gain new clients and in the same breath complaining about how customer loyalty is dead and how clients only care about the price. Because as sales people we make them disloyal and only concerned about price. Show clients the same level of love after they say yes and you’ll find loyalty and a price won’t be the main event.

You know this is true because it has happened to you. I know it’s true because it happened to me. Today. And it’s hugely disappointing. I want to believe in my sales person/service provider. I want to believe in the vision they sold me. I want to believe in the picture they painted. I feel foolish when the actions behind their words don’t match. So do you. Your clients deserve more than that. So do mine.   

Friday, March 1, 2013

Size Matters!

Size Matters!

No really, size matters. Ask anyone. If they tell you it doesn’t...they’re lying.

Women get their boobs, noses, and tummies done. Men get their heads, chests, and wallets done. Size matters to banks, families, people, businesses, and governments. Size matters to you. Size matters to me.

The size of your Twitter account matters too. If you’re saying it doesn’’re lying.

You judge the validity of a Twitter account by the number of followers attached. Yes you do! And so do I. I’ve worked at adding numbers to my account daily and growing my feed through content, connection, being a thought leader, and promotion. Yes promotion.

I’ve been where you are. I know how you’re feeling. I sat stuck at 657 followers too, trying everything to get people to connect with me and follow me and I had no idea how to change it. Just like you are. There were people who had millions of followers and they were successful. I decided I would get millions of followers and be successful too. 

Here is the dirty little secret to growing a strong Twitter following that NO ONE ELSE will tell you. You must promote your Twitter account to grow it. Everyone who has a large following promotes their account. Just like the augmentation and enhancement I use on my wrinkles, hair, and body, I use the right promotions to increase the size of my following. 

Growing your following is essential. I am going to give you the 5 fastest ways, some of them are a tad nutty and may not be right for you (or me ie: sex tapes), but in all of them there is a real truth. GET ATTENTION! Use what makes you special to get attention and take risks:

Make a sex tape with a celebrity. Any level of infamy will grow your twitter following. Look at Paris, Kim, any of the Tiger 19, and Ashley Dupree who was banging Elliot Spitzer. They all gained HUGE Twitter followings and some of them even turned their 15 minutes of infamy into massive global success. This is NOT an option I advocate for.

Become a celebrity. If you have the one in a million talent to become a celebrity, can win American Idol, or the ability to write a book and tour your content you can grow your following that way. Here is the secret; even celebrities promote their accounts. I know dozens of celebrities who you would never think promote their accounts who do. They know size matters too. 

Buy your following from Twitter. Twitter will sell you what they call “advertising” for your account. For a large fee (approximately $1.00/follower) they will highlight and promote your account through their database and make suggestions to people who would be interested in your account, products, or services. $15000 will get you 15000 new followers. If you have THAT kind of should already have more followers. However, it is a great option.

Buy VampireZombieLifeSucking Robots. You can actually find thousands of robotic, spammer laden, blood suckers who will, for a very very low price, sell you a specific number of followers and have them in your account in no time flat. There are 2 problems with this: 1) They aren’t real people. They are real accounts being run by robots and do not engage, interact, or care who and what you are. They pump your numbers but do nothing else. 2) The VampireZombieLifeSuckingRobot SLAYERS at Twitter wipe out robotic accounts on a daily basis. They monitor accounts constantly and purge their database on a quarterly basis. You may have number for a while but eventually you will have no followers, no money, no interaction, and no sales! BAD CHOICE.

Promote Your Account Through an Organic Promotion Company. There are a few good Twitter promoters on-line who will promote your account, for a fee, to their database of real, authentic Twitter users and will guarantee the results. Sites like or offer different promotional products and services, organically, which will produce results for your follower count. A strong, authentic, follower count allows access to countless sales and business opportunities and adds credibility to your on-line presence.

Size matters. The larger your following the greater your opportunity to sell your products and services. You want the largest possible audience interacting with you and your message, regardless if you’re a bricks and mortar operation, online business, or service provider. Stop banging your head against the glass ceiling of onezie, twozie follows and promote your account through Twitter or an organic promotion company. Do NOT make the terrible decision to go “zombie style”. And hey, if all else fails...find a celebrity.