Are You A Persuasive Presenter?

If you are in a management role, you’ve most likely given presentations at work. In fact, a 2014 survey by presentation software firm Prezi revealed that 70 percent of employed Americans who give presentations agree that presentation skills are critical to their success at work. However, 20 percent of respondents said they would do almost anything to avoid giving a presentation, including pretending to be sick or asking a colleague to give the presentation, even if it means losing respect in the workplace.

Sound familiar? One way to address the fear of presentations is to build confidence in giving presentations that are effective and memorable.

We’ve all heard the basics such as you shouldn’t have too much copy on a slide or that you shouldn’t read from a script. Here are just a few presentation tips from writer Dorie Clark that give you the power to persuade your audience—the ultimate goal of a presenter.

1. What’s the problem you’re solving? Clark says that too often presenters start off by directly providing a solution rather than first acknowledging the problem. If you don’t explain the context and why it matters upfront, you risk them tuning out early on because they’re not sure if your idea is relevant.

2. Why now? Next, you need to explain to your audience why now is the most relevant time to address this problem. You need to create a sense of urgency, a call to action and the cost of not taking action.

3. How has the idea been vetted? Next, according to Clark, you need to explain your credibility in addressing this problem and how you’ve vetted your recommendations. This means highlighting your experience and your competence in addressing this issue. As Clark says, “For instance, it’s worth mentioning that your team interviewed 100 leading researchers to identify the best practices you’re recommending, or that you ran three pilots to test the concept.”

4. Have you simplified the structure? Clark says that the next step is to simplify your idea. Present it in a way that is simple and clear to the audience. Perhaps present your idea in a series of steps or phases. This enables the audience to grasp a complex solution more readily, and inspires more confidence in the path you’re proposing.

5. Have you included a story? Make sure your idea is wrapped in a story, says Clark. Don’t just pepper your presentations with a bunch of factoids and statistics. Instead, build a narrative that helps others visualize what you’re talking about. Facts and stats can serve to emphasize points in the narrative, but make sure there is a story to which the audience can relate.

6. Have you included a call to action? Finally, Clark reminds us to always end with a call to action. Be clear about the key steps you want the audience to take and how they can make a difference.

When you know how to be a persuasive presenter, the idea of giving a presentation becomes a powerful tool instead of dreaded task.

Source: Dorie Clark is a marketing strategist and professional speaker who teaches at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. She is the author of Reinventing You and Stand Out. You can receive her free Stand Out Self-Assessment Workbook.

Five Ways To Get To Know Your Competitors

How well do you know your neighbors? My guess is that some of you know your neighbors very well, while others rarely see your neighbors. The same thing goes for competitors. Some businesses know their competitors very well, while others have very little insight.

Today we share a few tips from business guru Mike Michalowicz’s article “7 Things You Need to Know About Your Competitors” on information you should know about your competitors in order to gain insight into the best ways to position your business.

1. Revenue and threat level. According to Michalowicz, knowing your competitor’s revenue will help you to determine the size of the organization and threat of attracting the same customers. For example, he says that if the competitor is much larger than your business, then you can safely focus on some small accounts the competition may be ignoring. If they’re much smaller than your business, then you’ll know they’re unable to handle the bigger clients you’re targeting. He recommends this simple formula for determining a very rough estimate of revenue: multiply the number of employees by $150,000.

2. Who’s the top salesperson? A simple way to gain information is to interview a salesperson from a competing company. You can learn what drives their business, what barriers their sales team faces and what attracts others to their business. By having this information, you can focus on market positioning that will make your organization more attractive to others.

3. Best customers. In addition to sales, you also want to find out who the competitor considers to be top customers. One of the best ways to determine this is simple: look at the testimonials on a competitor’s website. Businesses are most likely to solicit rave reviews from the clients with whom they have the best relationships. Knowing who your competition is selling to can give you an idea of the scope of their business, and it can also clue you in to clients who aren’t yet being served.

4. New products and offerings. What products are you competing with? Simply find out by going to a trade show. And don’t just observe from afar. Go to their booth. Ask questions. Learn what they say. Or talk to other attendees to determine trends and reputation of your competitors.

5. Level of customer satisfaction and engagement. How successful is your competition on customer satisfaction? You can learn a lot through social media. Today’s disgruntled customers tend to vent on social media channels. You can easily track these mentions through tools such as SocialMention or Google Alerts. As Michalowicz says, a flurry of customer complaints on social media can present you with a great opportunity to win over your competitor’s clients.

It’s important to maintain a pulse on your competition so that you’re not missing out on opportunities to lead the market. Try these tips to gain deep insights.

Source: Mike Michalowicz is an American author, entrepreneur and lecturer. He is the author of the business books Surge (May 2016), Profit First (July 2014), The Pumpkin Plan (July 2012)and The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur (September 2008). He is a former small-business columnist for The Wall Street Journal, and is host of the “Business Rescue” segment for MSNBC’s Your Business.

How To Build Instant Credibility

We’ve all had those moments where a salesperson calls on us and we act just little bit guarded. He will try to sell us something we don’t want. The salesperson is pushy. She doesn’t understand my business or my challenges.
Sound familiar?

Credibility is indispensable for sales. Of course, prospects are more likely to buy from people or companies they deem credible, and your task as a sales professional is to build credibility for yourself to conceal the risk involved. Only when concrete credibility is created can you start digging for customer information, get answers to tough questions and make yourself useful.

1. Show up at the right time. One of the best ways to build instant credibility is by serving as a helpful advisor. Prospects do not like to be sold, but they are more receptive to sales reps if they feel that you are sincerely there to help them out. Reach out to prospects when they are going through a painful situation. Always remember that their painful situations are your opportunities. One way to identify this is the presence of a new leader or decision-maker within the company. Often new decision-makers allocate the most dollars in their first 90 days on the job.

2. Get a referral. When initiating your conversation to your prospects, it’s beneficial if you mention mutual connections. See if you have any connections in LinkedIn that are respected by your prospect. Even mentioning that you have done business with them will help you in fast-tracking your credibility. Sales reps can always rely on industry connections to build instant credibility.

3. Build interpersonal trust. Building interpersonal trust is a sure-shot way to build instant credibility, and there is no better way to do it than mirroring your prospect. Most people trust people who are like themselves. This induces a subconscious connection.

4. Offer customer testimonials and convincing industry statistics. Testimonials are the most influential piece of information that can establish credibility. Offering testimonials from renowned customers can boost prospects’ confidence in you. Stating some relevant industry statistic can really help in demonstrating that you are well aware of your prospects’ business processes.

5. Plead ignorance. One of the most powerful ways to earn credibility is by admitting that you don’t know everything. This may sound nonsensical, but admitting that you do not know everything makes what you do know more believable. Your prospect will start trusting everything you say. And if you ignore this and start making mistakes, when your prospects find out, which they eventually will, they might never trust you again.

Source: Francis Cyriac is a content marketer at Ameyo and InsideSalesBox. His passion for helping businesses in all aspects of customer engagement and sales acceleration flows through in the expert industry coverage he provides.

Seven Steps To Selling Anything

We’ve all heard this phrase in business—”Everyone is in sales.” It’s through selling that we help others buy in on our project and help each other reach our goals. That’s because, regardless of what you’re looking to achieve, you’re going to have to sell someone on at least some portion of it at some point. You might as well learn how to sell effectively.

Here, we share insights into a sales methodology known as Track Selling. Using these seven steps, you’ll achieve agreement throughout so both the seller and the buyer are comfortable and always get their needs met. Once you learn the steps, you’ll know exactly what to do in any situation whether you’re selling yourself, a product, a service or an idea.

1. Approach: A prospect’s first impression of you is critical. Is she comfortable with you? Do you seem to have her best interests at heart? People buy from you because they like you. Reinforce this feeling with friendliness and sincerity to open the sale and begin the relationship in a positive way.

2. Qualification: This is the information-gathering period. You will decide if the prospect is right for your product, service or idea by asking open-ended questions to uncover her needs or any potential problems or concerns she may have. By listening, you will show her that you respect her, are honest and are interested in the things that are important to her.

3. Agreement on need: Next, you will summarize the information you gathered in the previous steps to clarify the facts and demonstrate your understanding of her unique needs. Showing that you understand is critical because people will buy from you not because they understand what you’re selling but because you understand them.

4. Sell the company: Whether you’re representing a company or yourself, in order to build trust in your sales relationship, your prospect should be well aware of your history and your track record. Remind her of your past successes so she can feel safe and confident about buying from you.

5. Fill the need: Present evidence that shows the effectiveness of your product, service or idea by showing your prospect how it fills her needs. Understand that this person’s most pressing question is: “What will it do for me?”

6. Act of commitment: Once you’ve eliminated all doubt, this is the time to ask for a commitment. Don’t apply pressure—just remind her of the things you discussed such as: She likes and trusts you, she has certain problems that your idea/product/service solves, and you have a solid performance history so you are a trustworthy individual. Finally, the wording for your close is simple: “If I can deliver the idea/product/service we discussed in the time frame (state the delivery date) and at the price (restate the price) we agreed on, can you think of any reason why we shouldn’t move forward with this?”

7. Cement the sale: In this final step you’ll “cement” in your prospect’s mind the logical reason for her purchase, such as how ideally it fits her needs. You never want a prospect or client to regret that she trusted you, so this is also the point at which you should commit to a time to follow up. Always keep her updated on your progress and delivery schedule. Ongoing communication is the key to keeping your new sale sold.

As long as you use the steps in order, you can be creative, using them in any situation, with any type of person. Most importantly, each step allows you to focus on creating a win-win situation for both you and your prospect, using persuasion, not pressure.

Source: Roy Chitwood is an author, trainer and consultant in sales and sales management, and is president of Max Sacks International, Seattle.

Compiled by Cassandra Johnson

Get Real With Yourself About Sales

People get into sales for different reasons. Some people relate well to others, are outgoing and good at making connections. Others are goal driven and always ready to tackle the next quota challenge. Still others are in it for the potential to make big money. However, only a small percentage of the people who enter the sales profession truly make it big—depending on their goal.

Check out the following ways to be a success at sales through one critical step: getting real with yourself.

Discovery. Honesty is the “Magic Bullet.” Most top salespeople are totally honest in their work. They’re honest with their prospects and customers, and they’re honest with themselves.

Numbers Don’t Lie. You’ve often heard that “sales is a numbers game.” One of the big differences between the top salespeople and the other 99 percent is they know their numbers. Top salespeople keep records of their sales activities every day, and they analyze their statistics every day.

Don’t Lie To Yourself. The biggest barrier to success for most salespeople is that they don’t know their numbers, and they don’t want to know. That makes it easy to lie to themselves. Except for the few top salespeople, almost all salespeople think and really believe that their closing rates are at least twice as high as they actually are.

Know Yourself. Most salespeople don’t know how to sell very well, but they think they do. If they knew their numbers, they would have to face the truth about their skills. They would have to change what they’re doing. Change can be very uncomfortable. It’s more comfortable to lie to yourself than to change what you do every day. That’s why most salespeople fail, and those who survive continue to struggle to make a good living.

False Prospects. Most salespeople spend most of their time with prospects that “have great potential,” but seldom buy from them. The average salesperson goes through all of the motions that look like selling, but fails to bring in much business. Average salespeople seldom truly qualify their prospects. They rarely disqualify their prospects, either. If they did, they would need to find new prospects—but they don’t know how to prospect effectively, efficiently and enjoyably.

Real Relationships. Real Selling. We know what top salespeople do when they’re selling. We know what works and what doesn’t work. We know what top salespeople do to eliminate the rejection most salespeople have to live with and suffer with every day. We know how they eliminate objections so they don’t have to “overcome objections.” We know how they close dozens of times during each sales visit without any pressure on their prospects or themselves. Top salespeople develop relationships of mutual trust and respect with most of their prospects—without any phony “rapport building.”

Do you have what it takes to be in the top one percent—to make it big in sales? We think so!

Source: Jacques Werth, president and founder of High Probability Selling, discovered his passion for selling early in life, and has enjoyed success in his chosen profession for more than 40 years. After four decades in the “sales game,” Werth has earned, and deserves, a comfortable retirement. But he continues to develop High Probability Selling to revolutionize the sales process.

The Science Of Success

What defines success? Is it reaching the top of the ladder? Is it having a certain dollar amount in your bank account? For many, success is an elusive goal. They feel powerless and resort to blaming their circumstances for the condition of their lives. But success is more scientific than you think. When you look at it this way, you can take concrete steps to ensure you practice the science of success and create an experiment of excellence in your very own life.

The Function Of Followership: Contrary to popular belief, the job doesn’t make you; you make the job. The more engaged, authentic and proactive you are, the greater your rewards. Every time you engage in effective followership, you exponentially increase your chances of success.

You may feel that your organization doesn’t value your active followership. This may be true. It takes an authentic leader and a collaborative culture to value active and engaged followers; however, the type of follower you are today determines the type of leader you’ll be tomorrow. They are two sides of the same coin.

The Exposure To Experience: You truly grow under adverse circumstances. Trials are not noble; they are character-building. Pressures forge and solidify our core, and a mind stretched can never go back to its previous form. Remember, a diamond was once a lump of coal, and a pearl was a grain of sand.

The quickest way to success is to cram 50 years of failure into 15. Every experience, good, bad or ugly, adds a key to unlocking a future door.

The Momentum Of Motivation: Do you feel stuck? The reason could be the Law of Inertia, which states that all objects tend to “keep on doing what they’re doing.” Each one of us generates our own motivation. This is why people with the same opportunities experience different outcomes. Force equals mass times acceleration; therefore, if you want a greater force to “get you off your mass” you have to apply a higher degree of acceleration. When you dial into your internal cheerleader, you will be a body in motion that stays in perpetual motion.

The added benefit of motivation is that it is has a highly transferable quality. Thus, the more of it you generate, the more it multiplies. People also refer to this as “atmosphere.” Atmosphere doesn’t just come out of nowhere; someone has to generate it. You can be a thermometer that merely reflects what’s going on around you, or you can be a thermostat and set the temperature in your organization.

The Vector Of Vision: Vision is simply seeing what needs to be done and doing it. Often people fool themselves into thinking vision is some type of mystical prophecy only a genius can see, when in reality the great visionaries are people who took action and got things accomplished when no one else would or could. Vision is what directs your everyday path and decision. Vision also has a moral quality that aligns with your values and convictions.

The Physics Of Failure: The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that an effect can never be greater than the cause. The universe tends toward an increasing state of disorder, and that includes you. To defeat the forces of natural chaos, you must implement a series of internal transformations. These include healthier eating, becoming a better thinker and increasing your positivity. A robust body, mind and soul are foundational to a successful life.

Many people think that life gets better by chance when, in fact, it only gets better through change. Ralph Waldo Emerson stated that cause and effect are two sides of one fact. You cannot create a different outcome, nor even maintain the status quo, without injecting your life with some empowering forces. There’s no smoke without fire. If you do what you always did, you’ll get what you always got. So if you want to escape the black hole of failure, drill down to that root cause, commence countdown and launch yourself out.

Obey these laws of success and increase your choices in life. If you want success to be a factor in your life, remember: it’s not luck, chance or fortune … it’s science.

Source: Tracey C. Jones is a U.S. Air Force veteran, entrepreneur, speaker and publisher. She speaks to audiences across the nation on leadership, accountability, business success and other topics. Her latest book is Beyond Tremendous: Raising the Bar on Life.

Five Deadly Words That Kill Presentations

Whether you’re in sales, operations, marketing or another key organizational function, there’s most likely a time when you’ve had to give a presentation to peers or customers. When you begin your presentation, how do you capture the audience’s attention? Those first five seconds are the most critical seconds of your entire presentation.

Communications consultant and author Bill McGowan points out five deadly words that many of us use to start business presentations. He says these words that cause more damage than any other because they only serve to sap the presenter’s conviction, undermine their authority and apologize for taking up the audience’s time.

If you are preparing for an upcoming presentation, be sure you don’t begin with “So… I just thought I’d kind of quickly walk you through…” We explain why.

So: The word “so” is the ultimate in empty calories. It serves absolutely no purpose, and yet many of us fall into the bad habit of starting virtually every sentence with it. The only thing worse than “so” is when the speaker elongates the “so” to “sooooo” or when “so” is accompanied by its trusty companion “um,” as in “So, um …”

Just: This implies you’re about to give the audience a half-hearted effort, as in, “I’m just going to give this a quick glance.” By using this word, you’re already setting limitations on what you are presenting and signaling to the listener that he or she shouldn’t expect too much.

Thought: I “thought” or “I think” has wormed its way into our hearts and communication styles. It’s another lazy word that implies “just good enough.” It doesn’t show conviction; instead it implies “unless I can think of something better …”

Kind of: Are you going to “kind of” give the audience your report or are you really going to give it to them? “This is kind of where we’re going with this year’s strategy” also implies lack of strategic intention.

Quickly: Here’s the deadly apology word. Telling your audience you’re going to be quick implies that you don’t deserve to have the floor. It’s saying to your audience, “I know you’re likely to be bored by what I’m saying, so if I do this really quickly, you’ll be bored for less time.” Remember, it’s often the speakers who take their time with the material and feel comfortable pausing who project the most confidence and authority.

What could be a simple alternative to the deadliest of opening lines? Try, “This morning I want to share with you our strategy for the rest of the year.” It’s a simple fix that helps you project more gravitas and boosts your executive presence, and in business, that is of vital importance.

Source: Bill McGowan is CEO of Clarity Media Group Inc. Communications Consulting and author of Pitch Perfect: How to Say it Right the First Time. He is also is a two-time Emmy Award-winning journalist who has reported more than 700 nationally televised stories.

Selling Ice To An Eskimo

We recently described a very persuasive colleague to my boss as someone who could sell ice to an Eskimo. Now we all know that Eskimos are surrounded by ice. It would take a lot of motivation to sell them ice … unless you’re exceptionally good at listening to your customer.

Today, blogger Garrett Hollander shares a story about someone who actually did sell ice … well maybe not ice, exactly, but a similar item … to an Eskimo. Read on to learn how he did it.

Hollander’s post talks about a Westinghouse salesman who sold freezers to Aleutian Eskimos in Alaska. These were deep freezers and refrigerators and the salesman’s prospects lived in some of the most treacherously cold regions in the world.

You might ask, “Why don’t Eskimos just put their food in some sort of outdoor storage? It’s free and it’s sub-freezing year round.” The challenge for the Eskimos was that their food was actually freezing too cold. If left outside, the food would be frozen at a temperature far below that of a freezer. It became hard as a rock and took too long to thaw for use.

So, as it turns out, the Eskimos purchased freezers to keep their food warmer than outside temperatures.

For salespeople, there are two important lessons in this story, as Hollander explains. First, people may not use your products in the way you think they might. It might be worth a little time to put together a thought experiment on how the most unlikely of prospects might benefit from your products or services.

Next, the core focus of selling should be on the prospect’s needs and not your products. Rather than explaining all the benefits of a freezer in the traditional way (it keeps perishable food frozen), this salesman sought to first understand why the Eskimos needed freezers.

In The Practice of Management, Peter Drucker wrote about this type of sale. He said, “To sell the Eskimos a refrigerator to keep food cold, is finding a new market; to sell a refrigerator to keep food from getting too cold is actually creating a new product.”

As you reflect on this story, think of your own customers. Could they use your products or services in ways that you have not yet thought of?

Source: Garrett Hollander serves as the director of content strategy for SalesStaff, an appointment-setting service for B2B sales. In that role, he serves the sales and marketing community with premium content, posts and ideas around various topics related to B2B sales. In addition, he manages SalesStaff’s social media presence, building a strong community of like-minded sales and marketing professionals.

Are You An Entrepreneur Or Innovator?

You have your own business. Sales are growing and you have lots of ideas on where the business should grow next. So, are you an innovator or an entrepreneur?

The world is full of innovators. In the words of Nolan Bushnell, who founded both Atari, Inc., and Chuck E. Cheese, “Everyone who has ever taken a shower has had an idea. It’s the person who gets out of the shower, dries off and does something about it that makes a difference.”

Those people are entrepreneurs. They’re the people who make things happen. You see, it takes a lot to move a concept from the idea stage to a real, viable product or business. It takes focus. It takes diligence. It takes flexibility. It takes a willingness to persevere against obstacles, refusing to give up long after others would have become distracted or lost hope. That process requires a certain kind of personality. Not every innovator has what it takes, which is why many of the world’s greatest ideas remain just that. Ideas.

Entrepreneurs don’t always have the best ideas. It’s a big misconception among innovators that in order to be an entrepreneur, you have to have the very best idea out there. There are a ton of mediocre ideas that people have turned into real, live, operational and sometimes even profitable businesses. It really, really isn’t about who has the best idea, or who did the most market research or tested the best in a focus group. The only difference between an innovator and an entrepreneur is the wherewithal to continue marching forward long after everyone else has lost sight of the goal.

Entrepreneurs aren’t always original. Do you want to be an entrepreneur, but don’t have an idea? That’s okay! Just go find an innovator and offer to make their idea happen. Now, tread lightly here. Intellectual property is a real thing, and stealing other people’s protected business ideas, product plans or brand elements is against the law. That’s what trademarks and patents are for. But there’s a difference between exactly copying another entrepreneur’s business idea and creating something that solves the same problem in a different or better way. You’re not going to invent the wheel. It’s already been invented. But if you try, you might improve upon what other innovators have already done by turning your idea into action.

So, as an entrepreneur, stop worrying whether your idea is the best, or if there’s something else already out there that is similar. Just make it happen.

Entrepreneurs aren’t afraid of risk. But what if it doesn’t work? What if it’s too hard? What if we can’t break even? Yes, all of those things are possibilities. The unfortunate truth is that while you can endure many bumps in the road, the possibility does exist of reaching a deal-breaking, insurmountable challenge. That’s a reality that entrepreneurs have to face every day. The difference is that the kind of folks who make things happen are excited by those risks. They see potential risks as challenges, as adventures on the pathway to success. Instead of being held back by the risk of failure, they are motivated and inspired to try even harder.

Based on these definitions, are you an entrepreneur?

Source: Meredith Wood is the editor-in-chief at Fundera, an online marketplace for small business loans that matches business owners with the best funding providers for their business. Prior to Fundera, Wood was the CCO at Funding Gates. She is a resident finance advisor on American Express OPEN Forum and an avid business writer. Her advice consistently appears on such sites as Yahoo!, Fox Business, Amex OPEN, AllBusiness, and many more. She is also the senior financial and B2B correspondent for AlleyWire.

How A Sense Of Urgency Separates Winners From Losers

Sometimes, three little words—the saying, the adopting, the believing—can make all the difference in the world. I’m not talking about the classic “I love you,” or any variations thereof. Today we are sharing three important words that will boost your business: sense of urgency.

Those three words tend to define the difference between winning and losing. In a nutshell, winners have the sense of urgency; losers do not. When you’re analyzing your own performance or that of your salespeople, ask yourself, “Do they display a sense of urgency about their jobs – or not?”

One might think that tighter economic times would provoke a greater sense of urgency on the part of those whose responsibility it is to make things happen. Often, however, the result is the opposite, because urgency’s enemy—fear—sets in. Salespeople who would otherwise be highly motivated to make calls get nervous and apprehensive about “the economy,” and thus calls go unmade (“I’d rather call them when the news is better”). Of course, since “the economy” is simply the cumulative effect of individual decisions to do or not to do business, every such postponement actually makes the economy a little worse.

Lack of urgency will affect business growth in multiple ways. Here’s how:

The salesperson: I see a lack of urgency in many different parts of the sales process. As an example, recently an out-of-town company prospected me to purchase a fairly innovative marketing program. Coincidentally, a local company contacted me the very next day, offering a similar service. I know and like the owner of the local company, and I am a buy-local guy when it makes sense. So, I met with them and discussed some possibilities. I then waited for a proposal. And waited. And waited. Meanwhile, the out-of-town company was calling me to follow up. When I finally received a proposal from the local company (after not one but two calls asking if they wanted my business or not), it was less targeted to my needs than the one I’d received earlier from the out-of town company. Reasoning that if the local outfit didn’t have a sense of urgency about winning the business, they were unlikely to have one when it came to servicing the business, I went with the out-of-town company. I’m pleased with my decision but if the local company had followed up aggressively, they’d have won the deal.

The sales manager: The most common way for urgency to get lost at the sales management level is when changes are desired by ownership, but the sales manager is lackadaisical about pushing that message to the reps and making sure that the right things happen. The biggest way the sales manager can reflect a lack of urgency, however, is simply by not making certain that the reps are maximizing their 40 hours per week. I call these sales managers “coast and collect” managers, and they’re not a help to you or your company.

The business owner: Business owners can be the best and worst at having a sense of urgency. Sometimes, they’re the best such as constructing a new building or adding a product line. Sometimes, they can be the worst. One example that I see all the time is the business owner who waits for the perfect time to do work to develop his/her personnel. “Well, I’d like to get the next person hired” becomes “We’re kind of busy right now” becomes “We’re not very busy right now so we’re keeping an eye on cash” becomes “I just had two people leave.” This rhetoric becomes a never-ending cycle. Not coincidentally, the companies owned by these business owners seldom grow.

Having a sense of urgency means maximizing every lead, every call, every proposal and every hour. If you’re doing it, great! If not, remember those three little words.

Source: Troy Harrison is the author of Sell Like You Mean It! and president of SalesForce Solutions, a sales training, consulting and recruiting firm.