How To Boost Your Sales With 2 Simple Tricks

The day you realize that almost all interaction is sales you are at the brink of something great. To open this insight slightly up: we sell our ideas, ideologies, views, and even feelings hundreds of times per day – even to ourselves. In business sales skills are the ones which often raise a mediocre expert or a leader above others. And by sales skills I don’t mean the plain ability to sell snow to Eskimos, but rather the understanding that everything has value, this value is concentrated energy and this energy has the ability to convert into miraculous things. This insight is something so big and profound, that I recommend to stop and think about it for a while now:

Sales generate value = value is energy = energy converts to miraculous things

Sales = energy = miraculous things

Sales generate miraculous things

To get into more of a concrete level and to give you some tools, it is good to know that the basic mechanics behind one-to-one sales are not that complicated. All you basically need to have is:

  • a proper product, service or opinion,
  • nice personality, and
  • some knowledge of the way the human mind in average works.

In this blog post I scratch the surface of the 3rd bullet, I.e. tell you about the two most important moments when doing a sales contact.

The Peak-End Rule

Daniel Kahneman and Barbara Fredrickson studied the human mind in the 90’s and came up with the concept of Peak-end rule. Wikipedia’s definition is the following:

“The peak–end rule is a psychological heuristic in which people judge an experience largely based on how they felt at its peak (i.e., its most intense point) and at its end, rather than based on the total sum or average of every moment of the experience.”

In sales this means that we should be focusing on two parts of the sales process: the beginning and the end.

The Peak

The beginning of a sales contact is crucial and you should try to make it as your peak moment. According to brain studies we humans scan threats in our environment 5 times a second. If we feel threatened we are cautious, and our brains are in run-or-fight mode which usually is bad for the business. So the beginning should be all about making sure that the person you are selling to is not feeling threatened. Try to avoid a situation where you are identified as a “telemarketer” – rather try to brand yourself as a friend or a helper. After you have been able to assure that you are not a threat of any kind, you can do the easy part I.e. ask questions and share your expertise. And while talking, it is important to remember that in the end it is never about you, it is always all about the customer!

The End

When it is time to end the sales meeting the second important phase starts. According to The Peak-End Rule people judge the overall experience by the last moments of the meeting. This is where you should again use all of your charm to make the customer feel good. If in doubt, it is safe rather to be too nice than not nice enough. Studies show that even if people notice that your compliments are “sales talk”, the talk still works. Weird indeed, but as a tribal species we are pretty needy for acceptance, and don’t mind too much about how we get it. Also, if possible, end the meeting with a warm handshake or if possible, with a hug. That will greatly increase the bonding between individuals because of the oxytocin released.

“All’s Well that Ends Well.”

In short, people love happy endings, and this most people know to be true by the nature. With this in your mind I assure that you are able to boost your sales to the new maximum. Just focus on creating happy endings!

There are tons of great sales tips and tricks to boost your results, but we’ll get to those more in depth in the future postings. I hope that this post gave you some tools and ideas to boost your sales, and you will be able to pursuit your dreams in the future ever better!

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How To Build A Roadmap for Success

Roadmaps are great. They can help us to implement long and difficult strategies to the ground level operations, make our team’s goals more achievable, and also are a fun way to get to know yourself. I personally recommend doing a roadmap for any goal that feels even a bit challenging to reach. It can be done for yourself, for your team, or why not even for the family?

How a roadmap should look like?

Don’t worry that much about the form or look of the roadmap. Most of all it is a way to communicate what to do and when. For sure it can be a piece of visually stunning art, but a list written in a napkin can also do the job. In short, the best roadmap is the one you are able to carry either in your mind or in your pocket.

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How to fill the roadmap?

  1. First make sure that you know where we are now. Which are your strengths, aspirations and ambitions?
  2. Get a clear vision of your goal. Where do you want to go? Why do you want to go there? What happens when you get there? How does it feel when you reach your destination? Images can help you visualize your goal. Let’s say you want to get a raise in order to buy a new car. So google the image and use it to get a good grip of what you are working for.
  3. What skills, elements, investments you need to make to get started. These are most likely the first steps on your trip.
  4. Now you have done the beginning and the end. Draw a path between them and start building the steps one by one.
  5. For some people it can be a tremendous help if you think about it as playing a board game and building the path from a to b, c to d and so on.
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  6. Prefer using as concrete tasks as possible.
  7. Avoid placing goals that are not achievable. It is important to have big plans, but it is as important to know your limits in order to not get too badly hurt. Being successful is a delicate mix of being ambitious as well as rational and realistic.
  8. Remember to update your roadmap as you are working your way on it. Sometimes in life things happen overnight, and sometimes there can be obstacles that require you to take a detour.
  9. Also remember to reward yourself when reaching mid-goals and goals. That will help you to reach your goals better in the future. Find out how the positive reinforcement works – even for yourself. 😉
  10. Make sure you make your goals and roadmaps public, it will increase the possibility of completing them. At least if you want your organization to know where they should be heading to. But you can also consider communicating your own growth plan, as by doing so you might find friends who share the same goal, and you can help each other. Good leaders also want to help their employees to grow, so it can be that by sharing your roadmap, you are able to help your boss to do their job better.

Here is the example I made for the 2017

It is good to know, that as this is an upper level roadmap, each box will require its own roadmap. But alas; this will help me to remember the big picture I am building for the 2017, and I wish that it would help you to build your own roadmap to be an ever better leader!

 

 

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Protip: The Secret of Success

The secret of success is to create a tribe that unifies people against a shared enemy. This is how marketing, propaganda, religion and populism work. Given this power, use it wisely!

#marketing #everbetterleadership #leadership #enemy #propaganda #religion #politics

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CREDIT – How to make the change

It is almost always possible to do the change for the better. A change is a process like any other transformation.

You can start by asking: “What is the most important thing we/I need to do to perform better?”

In order to make the change, be it personal or organizational, I have simplified the process to the abbreviation “CREDIT” – which as a word means:

“praise, approval, or honour” – Cambridge’s dictionary

Besides of the many other meanings the word holds, these verbs perfectly describe the essence of the change. So let’s see what the C.R.E.D.I.T. is made of!

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The Six Elements of Making a Change

1. Communicate…

…the goal, the direction, why the change is needed and what is the one thing that needs to be reached. Make it simple – find the core of the idea and explain why this is the most important task.

It is crucial for the change to succeed so that people understand WHY and HOW the change is done.

2. Respect

People go the extra mile only if they respect you or they fear you. Respect is generated by respecting. Choose your side.

3. Educate

It is the leader whose duty is to coach and motivate employees. Sometimes this requires extra attention, and always good communication: what is expected and why. Just make sure that the person who is being educated is motivated to learn. If in doubt, please check my earlier post http://jukkaniittymaa.com/2017/01/14/how-to-keep-people-happy-and-motivated/

4. Discuss

It is always smart to let people participate as much as possible. That is done the best by discussing one to one. In those discussions it is better to listen more than to speak. That is the reason why we have two ears and one mouth. Well not really, but still a nice proverb. 🙂

But don’t try to roll the final responsibility on other people’s shoulders – as a leader you are in charge and also the one who ultimately needs to be able to do the decisions. Even hard ones.

5. Inspire

People love the change if it feels good and is beneficial to them. Inspiration can be more motivational I.e. getting praised by a manager or a monetary incentive I.e. giving a bonus for a good work. Very often the best plan is a combination of many ways.

6. Track

Make sure you know and remember your own goal. And keep steering the ship accordingly. If it looks like nothing is happening amplify the CREDIT process: communicate more, keep respecting, educate those who need and seek guidance, discuss until there is nothing more to discuss and make sure people get rewarded fairly for a good work.

I hope that this simple roadmap helps you to make the change for the better. Also please feel free to comment this post in the comment section below or in the social media. I would love to hear your thoughts. :3

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Protip: 2 Super Easy Ways To Be More Productive

On average it takes 23 minutes and 15 seconds to refocus after an interruption. Most often we are interrupted by ourselves (40% of times) and by an email or other external message (23%). *

“we have become social media junkies.”

My interpretation is that the interruption we do by ourselves, is mostly because we have become social media junkies. The reason is explained in the infograph below. For the full infograph please visit this link.

So to get more things done do the following:

  1. Make a deal with yourself that no social media fixes during the hours you really want to make things happen.
  2. Turn of the email/application notifications, and check your email only few times a day. People will call you if in a desperate need of your assistance.
  3. Get several hours of productive time per day.
  4. Profit!

For a few more tips and tricks to boost your effectiveness make sure you check my older post: http://jukkaniittymaa.com/2016/12/27/top-5-tips-to-boost-and-increase-effectiveness/

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Inspirational images: Discipline

This awesome quote from Jim Rohn starts the series of inspirational images and quotes. I do these mostly while commuting, and what it means is that there will be quite a lot of quoted wisdoms shared. 🙂

I hope you love these as much as I do – as I think that a great quote can be years of wisdom compressed into single sentence. That sure is a good bang for the buck. Enjoy and stay tuned!

“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.”

#wisdomquote #empowerment #leadership #jimrohn #potential #everbetterleadership

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How to generate trust in organization: 8/8 – Start to trust

This is the last posting from a series of 8 short articles “How to generate trust in an organization”. The topics spring to life from my own experiences as well as from various books and articles I’ve read in the past. The most influential writers have no doubt been John C. Maxwell and Simon Sinek. Both emphasize the importance of high moral driven “people first” leadership.

How to generate trust in organization: 8 – Start to trust

Obviously the last – but not the least – thing to create trust is to trust. If you don’t trust to people, it is very unlikely that they would trust you or the organization you are presenting.

For some people it is really hard to trust people. And no doubt, too often people will break the trust. But becoming cynical just makes leader’s life hard, or at least the leader becomes a bottleneck for growth. When we are trying to lift our team/organization to the level of high performance, it is just crucial to understand:

There is no way you can win big championships alone.

Please feel free to share and discuss this in the comments, LinkedIn or on Twitter. To make sure you get all the 8 ways to generate trust, subscribe to the blog at:

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How to generate trust in organization: 7/8 – Choose your battles

This is the 7th posting from a series of 8 short articles “How to generate trust in an organization”. The topics spring to life from my own experiences as well as from various books and articles I’ve read in the past. The most influential writers have no doubt been John C. Maxwell and Simon Sinek. Both emphasize the importance of high moral driven “people first” leadership.

How to generate trust in organization: 7 – Choose your battles

Positive feedback improves employees’ self esteem and eventually will raise their motivation. And a motivated employee is much more creative, effective and proactive than an unmotivated one. That is why it is often much better to say something nice than to point out what could have been done better. Great leaders are aware that everything can be done better – but it is better to choose the battles that make a real difference.

With time it is possible to raise the standards and coach anyone to be at least a good expert. Being great requires passion, talent and hard work – these elements are not available to all, so make sure you don’t waste too much time with a person who does not aim for excellence.

Please feel free to share and discuss this in the comments, LinkedIn or on Twitter. To make sure you get all the 8 ways to generate trust, subscribe to the blog at:

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How Hormones Shape Our Behavior – Including How We Lead

12.2.2017

I just read the great article from Harvard Business Review about “The Neuroscience of Trust.” The article thoroughly dives into creating trust in a workplace from neuroscience’s point of view. Why this is a particularly interesting topic and also very relevant for every leader is in short:

Compared with people at low-trust companies, people at high-trust companies report: 74% less stress, 106% more energy at work, 50% higher productivity, 13% fewer sick days, 76% more engagement, 29% more satisfaction with their lives, 40% less burnout.

Fascinating timing

The timing of HBR’s article is of course very suitable as I have lately been thinking a lot of the same topic: You might even have noticed that I already have released whole bunch of postings about the topic based on my own experiences. Although my list is not written as to be series of scientific articles, the direction still point’s to the same direction: The trust is generated by trusting and taking each individual as an individual – all people are not the same, but the mechanisms that affect us are quite often the same for everybody.

All people are not the same, but the mechanisms that affect us are quite often the same for everybody.

Oxytocin – the hormone that makes you care and do the extra effort

The brain network that oxytocin activates is evolutionarily old. This means that the trust and sociality that oxytocin enables are deeply embedded in our nature. Yet at work we often get the message that we should focus on completing tasks, not on making friends. Neuroscience experiments by my lab show that when people intentionally build social ties at work, their performance improves. A Google study similarly found that managers who “express interest in and concern for team members’ success and personal well-being” outperform others in the quality and quantity of their work.

In the HBR article the writer Paul J. Zak emphasizes the importance of oxytocin (I.e. the hormone that deepens the relationships between many mammals). That  is something very important to understand. So important, that you should read the article right now, right here: https://hbr.org/2017/01/the-neuroscience-of-trust.

Even by the risk that you might not remember to come back. But that is the risk I am willing to take in order to help you to understand the hormones significance to our behavior both as leaders and persons who are being led.

I am not an endocrinologist, but I can have a look

I am very convinced that hormones are one of the most important factors in determining our behavior in everything we do. As it is quite obvious that I am not an endocrinologist, I still have read quite much about the topic. At least enough so that I know that our actions are guided by few strong hormones including – but not limited to – adrenaline, dopamine, estrogen, oxytocin, serotonin, and testosterone. No human can escape the influence of these hormones and even a slight imbalance usually leads to noticeable health and/or mental issues. Although these problems are not the focus of my blog, I do think that this HBR article is enough to point out that understanding our biological influencers will help us to understand how we should be led, as well as why we work the way we work.

What does this mean?

By understanding some few principles we suddenly are capable to understand better both ourselves as well as our colleagues, bosses, spouses, teenagers, random strangers  and even leaders of nations.  For example did you know that it is the testosterone that helps you to take risks but also makes you lust for power – at the same time reducing empathy.

Because of this it is also worth mentioning that due to this, women are often much better in situations when it boils down to the empathy skills. Actually, the effects of testosterone(s) and estrogen(s) are the big reasons why men differ from women and vice versa – it’s the hormones that shape us to be different, not the gender. To neglect this fact would not be smart thing to do.

But let me make one thing clear: I feel very strongly that all people are equal and should have the same possibilities. Said that, I also think we should be able use our gender strengths when aiming to do winning strategies. It’s like finding your super power and focusing into it:Strenghten your strengths

Human resources protip

I also want to share this scientific founding from Psychology Today – it could be a deal-breaker for many leaders around the world:

In experiments, when status-striving, high-testosterone men are stripped of their status, they become angry, excited, and cognitively impaired. But more surprising, men with low resting-testosterone, without much impetus for status, become angry and impaired when placed in high-status positions they simply do not want.

So as many of you might know, it is very often a mistake to promote experts to work as managers IF they do not show signs of being interested in leadership. Leadership position should never be an accident waiting to happen.

Leadership position should never be an accident waiting to happen.

If you remember 3 things, remember these

  1. The trust should not be left to be generated by an accident, there are several ways to create it
  2. Our behavior is strongly affected by our hormones
  3. All people are not the same, but the mechanisms that affect us are quite often the same for everybody.
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