Posts Tagged ‘Outcome Thinking’

Strategic Presentation Skills: How to Appear Wise

Monday, March 26th, 2012

In the Descendents, George Clooney’s character, when dialoguing about how much money he wanted his kids to have, he said ” I want them to have enough to do something but not enough to do nothing.”  

That is one of those lines that stops you because it is insightful, profound and easy to wrap your brain around.  When you are able to speak in a way that you get people to stop and THINK that is when you become seen by others as being wise.

It is little twists that can make a big difference in how someone sees and responds to what you are saying.  I find I am constantly jotting down quotes from movies because they spark thought.  I think use these quotes, giving the correct attribution, when I speak.

Here are some other favorites of mine:

“You must think like a man of action and act like a man of thought.” from the movie, the International.

“We had one of those good solid man moments where everything gets said but nobody’s talking.”  from the TV Series, Cougartown

“The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.”  Stephen Covey

You may have noticed something in the above quotes- they play off of the same word or phrase but flip it around to give it a different meaning.  There is a power in the duality that comes out as words flip spots to change meanings or as in the International movie quote, they are broken in to smaller parts to align in a new way.  In the case of the Cougartown quote it speaks volumes about the difference between men and women by defining a man moment as one where the talking happens without speaking.

John Maxwell is really good at creating pithy phrases that play around in your head.  I recommend you get his books and study how he can change the way you see something by simply changing the order of the words.

Now I am not saying this comes easy.  It takes practice and it starts with raising your awareness of words and phrases around you.  Listen with, not only your ears, but with your heart.  What hits you and sticks?  Why does it stick?

As Einstein said,  “Your imagination is your preview of life’s coming attractions.”  So keep open to seeing things in a new way and playing with words and phrases to see how they feel to you.

So here is the kicker- because you are working your brain and getting it so see things in a new way, you actually do become wiser.  You become more aware of your surroundings, more insightful as a listener, and more careful with your speech.

Lastly, remember that it takes time.  Einstein wrote a lengthy letter to his cousin and at the end he wrote “I am sorry this is so long. If I had more time I could have made it brief.”

Register to watch the Strategic Presentation Video Series, it’s free…

Negotiation Skills: How to Get A Great Outcome When Negotiating

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

John Hopkins Carey Business School in Baltimore just did a study that showed that people with a trusting nature tend to come out with the best outcomes when negotiating.


Because their trusting nature leads them to think and assume the best of others.  Thus their body language, word choices and ways of thinking focus on the opportunities rather than on counterproductive behaviors that have both sides doing a protective dance rather than a collaborative dance.

I point this out because how you THINK is imperative to how you ACT.  The one superceeds the other.  Outcome Thinking is all about how to change the way you think so that you see opportunities where others see barriers and your energy is always on making things happen.

Next time you go into a negotiation start with the assumption that the other party wants a fair and equitable solution.  Then watch how your brain shifts to thinking about how to make that happen rather than focusing on how to STOP them from stripping power from you.  Turn your negotiations around so they are building blocks, not stumbling blocks.

Learn to eliminate 70% of what you negotiate today.

Leadership Development: How To Make Your Clients Crave YOU

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

I have an app on my iPad that I absolutely love.

Notesplus makes my life so easy because I can flip from writing to typing to drawing all within the same page.  I can convert my writing over to typing just by circling it and clicking on “convert to text”. I opens with one click and flips between the web and my “notebooks” I create.  I can PDF my notes to clients from meetings immediately.

I crave this app because it makes my life easier.  It is easy to use and ready when I need it.

So how valuable are you for your clients?  Do you make their life easier or do you have complications once they start working with you?

Here are some simple things you can do to make sure your clients find you invaluable:

1. Focus on how you can make things easier for them.  Ask them what you can do to become a 15 on a scale of 1-10.  This will get them talking about the little things they would like that would get you big results with them.

2. Make it easy.  Make sure you simplify your processes so they are intuitive for the client to use, not for your team to use.  So often I see complicated procedures put in to place because a company stops focusing on the customer and instead focuses on what would be best internally.

3. Under promise and over deliver.  People don’t want to prompt you for things once they have bought. So let them know what is happening so they feel good about their purchase with you.  Matter-0f-fact it is best to touch base with your customer in some way within 24 hours of them making their decision to purchase as that is when their self doubt starts to creep in and they feel buyers remorse.

4. Believe head, heart and soul that you are there, not to sell product, but to make your client’s live easier.  That feeling and energy will come in to the room with you and they will sincerely feel you are more invested in them then you are in your solution.

So Take Action and go out and start a craving for you today!

Register to watch the Strategic Presentation Video Series, it’s free…

Sales Training – How To Sell With The New Social Media Influence

Friday, February 10th, 2012

51% of Americans over the age of 12 have a profile on Facebook.  25% of social network users say that Facebook influences most of their buying decisions.  The world is changing, are you keeping up?

I bring this up because I see so many Sales Executives we work with trying to influence clients the old way.  PowerPoint and your presentation should be CEMENTING the client’s decision not trying to OPEN up the discussion. The fundamental shift comes from the influence of social media on how people think and yes, it is impacting business decision-making in a large scale way.  It is not your product that sells them often, it is what they see and hear others are doing with your product.

The average client has already researched the internet BEFORE calling you about your product or service.  What they are looking for is a connection to them that speaks to their problem, challenge and proof that others like them have found your solution the best.

So here are some key things you need to think about:

1. Are your sales people armed with understanding your business or are you teaching them Strategic Thinking so they are armed with understanding their Customer’s Business?

90% of all corporate training for sales people is on product knowledge but your client buys based on their feeling and trust of the sales person.  That trust doesn’t come from knowledge they share about your product but on their ability to truly hear what the client needs and then tie what they say to those needs.  The truly great sales people hear what has never been said.

2. Are your PowerPoints about “this is who we are, this is what we do/have and this is how it can help you?”

If they are, you are behind the times. You are still trying to influence clients by showing them how you stand out.  The reality is they need to FEEL you are the best choice.  This happens today because they feel you are the one who “gets” them and their needs. So you need to reverse your presentations so they speak to them first, you second.

3. Are your sales people trained on how to listen as well as speak?

As you can see, listening has become crucial.  Time is compressed and you often only have one shot at making things happen.  So how you listen becomes important because it determines what you hear.  If you think on the defense you will often hear, a great buying question, as a product challenge question.  This leads you to shutting down the conversation rather than opening it up.

Take Action:

To Do versus To Think

1. Go through all your training and look at how much time you dedicate to teaching the thinking necessary to have deep thoughtful and robust conversations with clients.  You should spend over half your training teaching this as the only real tool brought in to every meeting is your brain.

Who We Are Versus What I Know About You

2. Review your PowerPoint presentations.  Take a highlighter and highlight everything that is about you, your product, your company or your team.  Only 20-30% should be about you, the rest should be about the client.

As a Sales Leader it becomes very easy to teach the “how to do” versus teaching the “how to think.”  When that happens though you become an indispensable part of the buying process which ultimately makes you a clog in growth. If you find right now that you spend most of your time going on calls, handling negotiations and conversations because you aren’t sure your sales people can think on their feet, then the above steps can be very liberating for you.   Imagine what you would do if you had 25% more time for strategic thinking and planning- what would you do?

Make the quick changes above to start on your path to freedom.

Learn more about the Outcome Focus® Leadership Development Training by contacting Paul Cummings at 952-921-9421

Fuzzy Wuzzy Was A Bear…But Don’t Make Him Your Communication

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Do you remember that old school song- “Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear.  Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair.” Well fuzzy in a bear might be cute but in communication it is  the death knell.  In order to be seen as more strategic you need to up the ante on your communication.

Here are some ways to make sure you move away from “fuzzy” language.

1. Use concrete facts and dates when talking about things.

2. Avoid vague language- words like “seldom, usually” as these can vary in mean significantly by each person.

3. Don’t allow employees to use vague language.  Challenge statements like, “it should be done this week” by asking “when specifically should I say it will be completed? Thursday at 3 pm?  This will get people thinking in concrete terms.

4. Read emails, brochures and memos to see what words or phrases could be clear to you but vague to others.  For example, “Enter in the south door when there are three doors on the south side of the building is confusing.” Enter in the South door marked Employees Only is much more clear.

When we bring leaders through Conflict Harmonizer they are continually amazed at how many different interpretations there can be for some of the common words and phrases we all use.  In one game we play we have found a difference of someone assuming a word used meant you did that 70% of the time and someone else in the group interpreted it to mean you did it only 20% of the time- a 50% spread!

The more concrete you become as a communicator the higher your trust rating is with people because they know exactly what you mean.


TAKE ACTION:  Go in to your last three emails and highlight any language that can be misintepreted or that is vague.  Then rewrite it using concrete terms.


PS:  Join us for our next no-cost Impression Management webinar, The Key Ingredient To Executive Presence – The Secret Sauce That No one Tells You About! Register Today!