Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Do Less, Gain More Employee Accountability

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016

There is a strange phenomenon I find among leaders–they are often causing their own greatest problems by trying to do something nice.  

I often see leaders who realize their workers are over taxed and so the leader steps in to help out.  Seems admirable on the cover but unfortunately it often has dire unintended consequences.

See the brain works in patterns–it learns a pattern and then uses it to remain on task and to be fully accountable to those results. You step in and take over one step in that pattern and unfortunately the other person’s brain often then let’s go of all accountability and starts operating at a lower level.

Let me give you an example to illustrate what I am talking about:  My children have been doing the dishes since they were about  6 years old.  They load the dishwasher, wash the counters and table, sweep the floor and in the morning when the dishes are clean they unload them and put them away.  A very established routine which they have gotten quite good at since they are now all over the age of 15.  So we are talking about a process that has been imprinted in their brain for over 9 years.

In the last year I have taken to getting up, having coffee, making them breakfast and then going up to work out.  As I am downstairs making breakfast I have gotten bored so I have started to empty the dishwasher and put the dishes on the center island for them to put away rather than waiting for one of them to come down an unload the dishwasher.  Funny thing has happened–if I don’t unload the dishwasher, they don’t empty it and put away the dishes.  Instead they rinse and stack their dishes by the sink.

Now we are talking about ONE small change in the routine–me taking out the dishes rather than them– but it has completely disrupted their brain’s ability to assume accountability.  Instead they transferred that to me (if Mom hasn’t emptied the dishwasher than it must not be ready to be emptied) rather than keeping it with them.

So before you step in make sure you are not disrupting a routine and transferring accountability.  Notice how 9 years of a routine got completely out of whack with less than a year of me stepping in.  Keep accountability with employees and just start helping them with how to create routines they own and follow.

How to Triple Your Audience for Free — a Simple Co-Promotion Secret You Can Use Today

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

I just wanted to share an interview with you where Kevin Donlin recently spoke with Paul Cummings, VP of Sales and Marketing at Impression Management Professionals in Eden Prairie, Minnesota.

He told me how he was able to get 600 people on a recent webinarand produce more than 50 qualified leads for his business at no cost

You can do the same. Here’s how …

Kevin Donlin: Paul, thanks for joining me. Please describe Impression Management Professionals for anyone how doesn’t know you.

Paul Cummings: We help leaders and sales people use outcome thinking to transform the way they think, listen and speak, so their brains work offensively rather than defensively. It works great for high-pressure situations, like a presentation, a negotiation, conflict or even in the sales process.

Kevin: Okay, let’s get right to it. You were able to triple the size of your typical webinar audience with a very creative joint venture. And it’s something people can use to get more prospects for a teleseminar, live event, or even to subscribe to their newsletter. What did you do?

Paul: We’re part of an association of training companies that get together once a year. One of the ideas that came up was that we collaborate together and do a webinar series to benefit all of our clients. We know that we don’t necessarily compete with each other, but we may have tools and ideas that would help each other’s clients.

So we all said, okay, we’ve got 6 people here and we all agreed to send out marketing information to our client list, included in our Twitter, Facebook, social media, and our websites. Then everybody would agree to do that and promote each other for 6 months.

For example, the first month, it was our webinar, and everybody marketed us to their customer lists. Now this month it’s somebody else’s turn, and we’re marketing them.

As a result, we were able to triple the number of people that we reach on a typical webinar.

Kevin: Triple! That’s a nice word. What was the before number and what was the after?

Paul: We typically get about 200 people to attend our webinars and for this last one it was actually over 600 people.

Kevin: Very cool. And what were your costs for this promotion?

Paul: Other than time to promote it, there was no cost. And we did something important for this webinar to make it successful for us. We used surveys before and after.

Before the person could register, they had to fill out a pre-webinar questionnaire with very specific questions. For example, we asked:

  • What do you want us to talk about?
  • What’s your job title?
  • Are you interested in any of our upcoming programs?

So we were able to learn a lot ahead of time, so that we could directly talk to that audience.

Then at the end of the webinar, we had a survey pop up through Survey Monkey, and that’s relatively inexpensive or free. We asked specific questions like these:

  • Would you be interested in a special report?
  • Would you be interested in this particular public seminar?
  • Would you be interested in executive coaching?
  • Would you be interested in something for your team?

So there were many different options. And then they would check those survey responses, and we also asked, “If you want us to contact you, just check this box” and we ended up with at least 50 people who we were able to follow up with.

Kevin: All right, let me stop you and recap. That’s really, really valuable stuff that you shared.

First of all, you used surveys two different ways. Before the webinar, to help shape the content – people answered questions when they registered, and you used their answers to plan the webinar itself.

Then, after the webinar, you used surveys for people to qualify themselves by telling you what they were interested in. So you got to qualify people and segment them by interest, which let you follow up effectively.

That’s very, very smart stuff there, Paul. Anyone can use this idea. Bven if you’re not using GoToWebinar, there are a couple of webinar solutions. So I don’t want people to feel intimidated and think, “Oh, I don’t have the correct technology.” There are multiple webinar solutions, or you can do a teleseminar, just get a conference call if you want to start this out, so there are a lot of ways to use these ideas and it’s a really valuable idea.

Let me ask one final question. How did you go about negotiating with these other 5 co-promotion partners?

Paul: Well, first of all, basically we’ve been going to the association with these guys for years, so they became friends and so it just naturally happened. So it was just a discussion and we said, “Hey, let’s not attack each other’s clients, but let’s see if we can add some value and take it from there.”

Kevin: I see. That’s very clever. Paul Cummings, thank you very much. These are great ideas that anybody can use, whether it’s a webinar, teleseminar, or a live event that you want to promote.

Bottom line: Find one or more non-competitors who are already talking to the people you would like to have as clients, and agree to promote each other to your clients. There’s no cost and you’ll probably get a favorable response, such as you got by tripling your webinar audience and getting 50 qualified leads you are now able to market your services to.

Meanwhile, if you want to more clients like your best clients, my free Client Cloning Kit can help. Grab your freecopy now, while they last.

What techniques can assist me in maintaining an informal environment when presenting formally?

Friday, August 19th, 2011

The techniques I’m sharing with you here are based on the idea that your company runs in an informal environment. In this instance, you are trying to achieve a relaxed atmosphere in a presentation to senior management that is more formal, such as the quarterly status or sales update.

The first thing you need to make sure of is that you know exactly what your audience is like. For example, you may have a company that maintains a very informal atmosphere, yet most of your senior management are Producers. This means they will want you to be straightforward and direct and not waste a lot of their time. If you try to create an informal atmosphere by opening with a joke or a silly story to create a great mood, you will leave them thinking that you don’t understand that you’re here to talk business.

Here are my five top tips on what you can do to make it informal while presenting formally:

  1. Make sure you smile before you start presenting. Let everyone know that you’re comfortable being there and that you feel it’s a level playing field.
  2. Make sure you start with relevant facts and information. You might begin with something like, “Today we are here to talk about…” This will let them know that you’re comfortable and what you will be talking about will be succinct and to the point.
  3. Keep your shoulders level or slightly relaxed, and if you’re standing, have your weight evenly distributed between your feet. Make sure your hands are out in front of you, not in your pockets or behind your back.
  4. Make sure that handouts are relevant to the discussion at hand. This means your handouts must add value to the discussion and not be a distraction.
  5. Make sure that you speak like you would over a cup of coffee. Don’t try to impress them with big words. Speak to them directly, in the same convincing manner as you would speak to a friend. This doesn’t mean to lose professionalism—you must remain professional at all times.

A difficult question for presenters is deciding whether to sit or stand for an “informal” formal presentation. The answer is, it depends.

If everyone is sitting around a table, it might make more sense for you to sit down and casually look at each person. This means you make eye contact with each person as you speak, and you rotate your head while you are talking. If you are making an urgent point, or you have something you feel is very compelling, it might make more sense to stand, because your energy might move better when you are able to stand and utilize all aspects of your body language.

In other words, in which position do you appear more relaxed and confident? When you stand or when you sit? If when you sit you tend to shake a leg, play around with a pen, or twiddle your fingers, then by all means stand. On the other hand, if you’re a person who paces or who tends to move rapidly from one side to the other when you are standing, then by all means sit.

The true informality comes through in your tone of voice and the absolute confidence that you convey.

Get Your Special Report Here, no cost

What are the differences in organizing and presenting styles for large versus small groups?

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

Everyone brings their own agenda to a presentation. This means they walk into the room with a preconceived idea of what the meeting will be about and what they should get out of it. The unfortunate thing is that they don’t tell anyone what is inside their head.

So your job, when you get up and present, is to figure out what they really want to know and then deliver only that amount of information. If you deliver too much, you may overwhelm them and shut them down.

The more people you have in the room, the more challenging this is for you as the presenter.

Here are a few tips you can use when organizing and presenting to a larger group:

  1. The larger the group, the more succinct and straightforward your message needs to be. Limit the number of points to three to five and supplement each point with a clear example that cements what you are saying.
  2. Speaking to a large group is much like trying to move a barge. Speaking to a small group is like moving a tugboat. It is much easier in a smaller group for you to jump around in your conversation and still have them able to follow you. The larger the group the simpler you need to keep the presentation. Keep it straightforward.
  3. Make individual eye contact with everyone in the group. Don’t try to sweep the entire group, and don’t try to look over people’s heads. Remember, you should speak like you would to a person over a cup of coffee, and you need to make eye contact about 70% of the time.
  4. Too many presenters try to speak only to the person they believe is the decision-maker. This is a major problem, because the decision-maker may be relying on someone else in the room whom you have snubbed by not making eye contact.
  5. Since your audience will have an eclectic mix of communication styles, it’s important that you cement your key points by clear examples. The main thing to focus on is that you give them a way to remember your information.
  6. Make it personable. By this I mean make sure that you project who you are as a person. If you are a person that uses humor, then use humor appropriately. If you’re passionate, make sure that your passion comes through, whether it be in your hand movements or your smile. Remember, your goal is to earn their trust. This means that the person in front of them during a presentation needs to be the same person they might run into at the gas station. Don’t be one of those presenters that is like a switch that gets turned on and turned off.

Free HOT TIP—Want to have a clue what certain communication styles will look for when you present to them? Go to,  and enter COMMUNICATION STYLES in the SEARCH box.

How can I present in an upbeat, professional manner that doesn’t seem heavy-handed or “off-the-cuff”?

Monday, August 15th, 2011

The Outcome Focus® Approach is all about developing a conversational style that is candid, sincere, and uniquely your own. The Outcome Focus® Experience is designed to help you achieve just that.

Here are some basics for you to follow:

1.  Stand with a relaxed posture.

2.  Have hands at your side or at your waist. Don’t fig leaf!

3.  Don’t stand behind a lectern. It makes the audience feel removed from you.

4.  Move slightly when you talk.

5.  Talk to the audience like you would to a professional friend over a cup of coffee.

It is not about impressing your audience; it is all about adding value to your audience.

Free HOT TIP—Find out more about what is fig leafing. Go to and enter FIG LEAFING in the search box.