10 Feb

Atrendia Friday Video 38: Two reasons companies fail and how to avoid them

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinyoutubeby feather

In this TED talk Knut Haanaes aims to explain the difference between “exploiting” thinking and “exploratory” thinking and how you must strike a balance between the two in order to run a successful business. Ending his talk, he lays out four suggestions to have not only a better professional life, but also a better personal one.

Duration: 11:00

Find out more about our Executive Leadership Coaching Program.

Click HERE to watch the video.

Happy Friday!

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmailby feather
27 Jan

Atrendia Friday Video 37: How to start a movement

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinyoutubeby feather

Derek Sivers, in this humorous short TED talk video, aims to explain how movements begin, and especially how leaders should treat and cultivate their first few followers.

Duration: 3:02

Find out more about our Executive Leadership Coaching Program.

Click HERE to watch the video.

Happy Friday!

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmailby feather
13 Jan

Atrendia Friday Video 36: Why good leaders make you feel safe

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinyoutubeby feather

 

Simon-Sinek

In this TED talk video, Simon Sinek tries to connect how military leaders are willing to sacrifice themselves for their subordinates but how ordinary business leaders are not known for this quality. In a compelling way, he explores how leaders should prioritize its people, not the financials.

Duration: 11:59

Find out more about our Executive Leadership Coaching Program.

Click HERE to watch the video.

Happy Friday!

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmailby feather
05 Oct

Inbox480 – My Personal Story – Part I

by Michael Hoffman

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinyoutubeby feather

Inbox480blogpost1It all started with a client.

To begin with, his IT manager had told him that 92% of his incoming email was spam and was filtered out before it ever reached his inbox. So my client never saw more than ninety percent of his incoming volume.

What my client found even more astonishing was that among the things that did reach him, he considered at least eighty percent of it “quasi-spam” — newsletters, articles and press releases, vendors trolling for new projects, social media, etc. — things that vied for his attention but were, more often than not, unwanted and unimportant.

Implications: In his unfiltered mail, out of every 100 messages he was being sent, fewer than two were essential.

So even with a spam filter, on a daily basis my client had to wade through and ultimately delete eighty percent of his email.  That’s a lot of decision-making and clicking for no return. — I asked him:

Why don’t you just unsubscribe from these senders instead of deleting them all the time?

Well, he said, every once in a while a vendor or newsletter — or even a LinkedIn group — has something interesting to say. I don’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater.  

So I said to him: Sounds like you could use a new inbox that only your essential senders could get into.

Exactly, he said.

That got me thinking.  I was pretty sure that others had that same problem, so we commenced work on our latest solution, Inbox480.  The inbox for 80 percent of your mail.

I480

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmailby feather
05 May

Guest Blog: When Should a Seller Gather Information or Understand Needs?

Part 2: Do you want to sell? Or have someone buy? by Sharon Drew Morgen

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinyoutubeby feather

Sharon-Drew Morgen

Part 1 redefines buying thus: The process a buyer goes through to get their ducks in a row to manage all of the factors involved prior to, and including, making a purchase.  It explains why the sales focus of seeking appointments, gathering information, offering solution data, and understanding needs doesn’t lead to a higher percentage of closed sales:

  • you’re asking biased solution/problem-focused questions
  • based on what you want to sell, and listening for problems you can resolve,
  • that probably captures partial or incorrect data
  • about problems that may not may not be recognized by the prospect,
  • (someone who most likely doesn’t know or trust you) and
  • may not represent the group of people who may or may not be the ultimate buyers
  • who may only have partial knowledge of, or authority over, the final situation
  • and may only partially represent a larger group
  • who may not have officially assembled or reached consensus yet
  • to seek answers they don’t yet have questions for.

You’re connecting with potential buyers who aren’t at a point where they can buy: regardless of your skill set, or the validity of the solution, questions or need, buyers can’t have useful data to share until

– whoever touches the final solution (Buying Decision Team) assembles and
– agrees to resolve a problem
– with an effective route to managing any change issues with minimum disruption.

Otherwise, even those who need your solution won’t take a meeting, speak with you, or possibly even know they have a need: the adjustments/consensus/change management necessary for making a purchase is so much bigger (regardless of the prize, size, or type of solution) than choosing a solution. To understand this better, read Part 1.

CASE STUDY

Sellers currently waste over 90% of their time trying to understand needs or gathering data (or seeking an appointment or presenting to ‘decision makers’) before a buyer would even know how to accurately respond to their questions. It’s like trying to guess a picture on a jigsaw puzzle with only 2 pieces visible.

Here’s a Case Study in which I used Buying Facilitation® (a model I developed to facilitate the pre-sales processes) with a global bank. Note: even though the buyer was the ‘The Decision Maker’ with the budget, there was a complex set of behind-the-scenes issues that needed resolution and wouldn’t have been uncovered had I begun by trying to understand his need or gathering information. In this scenario – as in most, even in a small sale – until the full Buying Decision Team was formed (many of whom my client hadn’t thought of including) and discussed their unique problems, the full set of needs couldn’t have been defined. And I would have wasted about a year and possibly never made the sale.

BANK: I’m the head of Commercial Banking at B Bank. I wonder if you can help. Our tech guys are creating a program for customers in our 4,000 branches so they can choose the most appropriate of our 200 products. Is there a way to add Buying Facilitation® to help them?

SDM: Sure. But what’s stopping your techies from wanting to do it themselves?

BANK: Nothing. They’re reading two or three of your books and trying to get the essence of Buying Facilitation® into their programming.

SDM: So how would your decision team know that working directly with me would give them a different capability than working with the tech guys using my books?

BANK: They wouldn’t. They would prefer to use the in-house guys.

SDM: So how would they know which route would best get their goals met effectively?

BANK: I would have to put together the Buying Decision Team so they could determine what they need to figure out. Would you be willing to have a conference call with them?

SDM: Sure. Who do you think should be involved?

BANK: We only need the Head of Technology I think.

SDM: Well, with 4000 branches [represents at least 40,000 employees] I bet HR might want to be involved.

BANK: Oh! We always forget her, and when we finally bring her aboard she creates havoc because she demands so many changes. Good to bring her in in the beginning!

SDM: And do you have user groups to represent the 4000 branches?

BANK: Ah. Let’s bring in the representatives of the two user groups.

Four days later we had a conference call that included: the heads of HR, Branches, Technology, Retail Banking, Commercial Banking, Training, Internal Consulting, and Marketing. During introductions the President of the bank got on the phone! He wasn’t a decision maker; he didn’t have a budget; he wasn’t part of the project.

BANK: What are you doing on the phone, Mr. X?

PRESIDENT: I saw all you heavy hitters on one call and wanted to find out what kind of trouble you were getting into.

During the call the President kept objecting: “I’m not letting you folks do that!” “What a mess that will cause!” I intervened with Facilitative Questions that got them to collaboratively think about how to manage that issue and move forward. At the end of the call I was firmly on the Buying Decision Team. I had not mentioned my solution; there was not enough consensus among them for them to understand their needs. I helped my prospect assemble the right people in 10 minutes (might have taken him a year), and then help them recognize the issues they needed to contend with before they could consider buying or changing anything.

FACILITATING THE CHANGE AND CONSENSUS FIRST

For a month emails went back and forth. I kept posing Facilitative Questions to help them figure stuff out. Within the month, they had consensus, decided what they needed and how they would move forward – with the blessing of the President. They then paid to bring me to the UK – and THEN I gathered information from the right people – all of whom were present and understood their needs – and THEN I made a targeted sales pitch to all of the decision makers! Without my expertise, the buyers would have been bogged down with their change issues and internal objections and the sales cycle would have taken more than a year. If they were ever going to buy, they needed to do this anyway: This is the stuff buyers do outside of our purview; we’re just not usually there when it happens.

I facilitated and expedited their change in the area that my solution would fit. It would have been inappropriate to pitch during the month-long decision facilitation process – they had no idea what they were going to buy, if they could buy, or if they couldn’t do it themselves. I would have missed the opportunity to help them get ready to buy, earn their trust, and understand the full complement of needs they didn’t initially know they had. I had nothing to sell until they had something to buy.

My job – which took me just a few hours for a 6 figure engagement – was to first facilitate their ability to change, and then buy.

I’m not suggesting you give up information gathering or understanding needs, although starting here gives you a paltry close rate and wastes 95% of your time. I am suggesting that you first facilitate the complete decision path (some folks call this pre-sales) – and then use sales. Buyers have to do this anyway, with you or without you. You might as well learn a new skill and stop chasing the low hanging fruit.

__________

I’ve developed Buying Facilitation®, which is an add-on to the sales process to help buyers understand and collect their pre-sales decision factors. It includes a different set of skills than sales, including Listening for Systems, and uses a new form of question called a Facilitative Question. Contact me to discuss training, coaching, and consulting: sharondrew@sharondrewmorgen.com. Or read Dirty Little Secrets: why buyers can’t buy and sellers can’t sell at www.dirtylittlesecrets.com or Buying Facilitation®. Or read my newest book What? on how to hear others without bias: www.didihearyou.com.

a

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmailby feather
26 Mar

How my small company cut in half our $3.2 million dollar inbox expense in just 12 minutes!

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinyoutubeby feather

 

greasymOK, I have a small company of only 200 employees, so $3.2 million is nothing. But imagine a company of 2,000 employees that spend 2 hrs. per day on email with an average annual salary of $70,000. That would mean that they spend OVER HALF A MILLION DOLLARS PER DAY managing email.

Since we all know that email is a fact of life (nothing we can just cut out of the budget) I came up with a quick fix in the form of a memo that I sent to everyone in the company with the following 5 suggestions:

  1. Don’t check your mail too often during the day (Just enough so you don’t miss anything).
  2. Respond quickly. (I got this one from Google’s Eric Schmidt – GENIUS! – So don’t pay too much attention to rule 1)
  3. Use the OHIO rule; Only Handle It Once (unless you can’t, so don’t – and most you can’t)
  4. Prioritize your mails before responding, then answer the high priority mails first – remember that 80% of your business comes from 20% of your customers. (I’m sure there is a way to do this in Outlook, just play around with the menus until you get it right)
  5. Don’t Cc: everyone, just the ones who really need the information (But always keep your boss in the loop and maybe a few others.)

So I figure, if a CEO of a 2,000 employee company does what I did, he could save $16,000,000 in just 12 minutes.

Don’t believe me? I don’t blame you. The truth is you CAN double your productivity and cut in half your email management cost. But you CAN’Tdo it with a memo, seminar, workshop, add-in, app, or any of the other methods that you’ve tried. There is only one solution on the market that works for entire populations of employees and it takes a lot more time than 12 minutes to see the results. 10 TIMES That. (Yikes – two hours!)

It takes 10 times more time than a memo, but it’s the only long-term, complete solution for your multi-million dollar black hole you call an inbox.
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmailby feather
21 Feb

Atrendia Friday Video 23 – A Conference Call in Real Life

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinyoutubeby feather

In this YouTube video you’ll relive those agonizing on-line meeting moments that make you want to pull out your hair!  You’ll be jumping up and down shouting: “So true!”.  Share this with colleagues – especially those who need some help in this area.

Image

Although it’s fun to poke fun at this, virtual conference calls are extremely important in our work day and creating best practices for your teams, instead of relying on common sense, has become a necessity. Many novices – and even seasoned professionals are unaware of “best practice” guidelines that can determine the success of conference call.  Something to think about….

Duration: 4:04

Find out more about our Executive Leadership Coaching Program

Click HERE to watch the video.

Happy Friday!

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmailby feather
15 Mar

Atrendia Friday Video 15 – Chip Conley: Measuring what makes life worthwhile

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinyoutubeby feather

When the dotcom bubble burst, hotelier Chip Conley went in search of a business model based on happiness. In an old friendship with an employee and in the wisdom of a Buddhist king, he learned that success comes from what you count.

In this TED video, ChiChip Conley debates not the act of measuring but what we measure.  The intangible or “soft” areas are, it seems from the large number of TED videos that broach this subject, taking the limelight in contemporary leadership.

So much time is spent on the bottom denominator without enough attention to the numerator.

The Happiness Equation

Chip ends the video with an important message: “We count numbers.  We count on people. What really counts is actually when we use our numbers to truly take into account our people.”

Click here to enjoy the video

Duration: 17:40

Find out more about our Executive Leadership Coaching Program

Happy Friday!

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmailby feather
08 Mar

Atrendia Friday Video 14 – Jason Fried: Why Work Doesn’t Happen At Work

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinyoutubeby feather

Last week, Yahoo!, CEO Marissa Mayer, sent out a memo (directive) intended to stifle Yahoo! employees’ ability to work from home. She effectively put an end to telecommuting for all Yahoo! employees.

Interesting. In one memo, in almost silent desperation, Mayer tries to close the lid on an unstoppable movement called the future of work.

In this Ted Video, Jason Fried takes the opposite stance: that the office isn’t a good place to do work. In his talk, he lays out the main problems (call them the M&Ms) and offers three suggestions to make work work.

Jason Fried

Perhaps it’s not about being a polemic.  Clearly there are times when being at the office is important, but in these days of high-speed networks, video-conferencing, Skype and what have you, working from a home office can be much more productive than working in a landscape situation where you have to find refuge in an empty office or conference room every time you have an important phone call. You decide – that is if you don’t Work for Mayer…

Click here to enjoy the video

Duration: 15:21

Find out more about our Executive Leadership Coaching Program

Happy Friday!

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmailby feather