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When Sales Training Isn't the Answer

Each year, companies spend more than $5 billion on sales training…with much of that time, effort, and money going to waste.

In the SalesOpShop video “The Sales Performance Puzzle: How to Solve It,” RAIN Group president John Doerr succinctly explains this conundrum. He says that many companies simply neglect to identify − before they dive in − why sales training may be necessary. Often, says Doerr, the following problems, not a lack of sales training, prevent companies from seeing bottom-line results:

  1. Sales reps are well-trained in selling skills but don’t have adequate product knowledge.
  2. Some companies just don’t provide sales teams with the tools they need to develop profitable customer relationships.
  3. Sales coaching may be lacking.
  4. There’s no incentive to show results – no reward for selling a lot, no consequences for selling a little.

In these instances, sales training won’t help.

Doerr says that, before investing in often-costly sales training, first identify where the sales process breaks down. Sales leaders should examine the company’s sales pipeline and also analyze the rate and causes of rep turnover. Moreover, Doerr suggests, sales managers should spend time observing reps to ensure that they’re accurately reporting their sales activity.

Above all, encourage fluency among your sales reps – this is where sales training may be the most appropriate method to achieve success. Doerr offers an example: in the middle of a sales call, a customer or prospect asks a question that the sales rep isn’t expecting; nevertheless, the rep easily provides a knowledgeable answer. That’s fluency. And a team of fluent sales reps just may be any company’s most strategic sales tool.

To learn more about fluency, watch this 10-minute video, featuring John Doerr, president of the RAIN Group.

Visit the SalesOpShop, an online community of sales leaders and sales operations managers who are dedicated to sharing their unique insight to advance sales improvement.  

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The Power of Storytelling

Pat Rogers croppedToday's blog post is by Pat Rogers, VP of Sales & Business Development at NimblePitch.




“So What's Your Story?”

Your salespeople get asked this question countless times, in meetings, at tradeshows and social gatherings, and yes, even in elevators. Do you know how they answer, how they represent your value to buyers?

Since sales began, a seller’s ability to present a relevant, compelling, and memorable story has pretty much dictated how successful he or she is versus his or her competitors. Even from the beginning, these expert storytellers had to know their product inside and out, but more importantly, they needed to know their customers’ world and how using their offering will make the buyer’s world better. Admittedly, this is Sales 101, a premise so fundamental that most of us in the sales trade cannot remember the first time we heard it; nevertheless, this knowledge has not stopped many so-called pros from leading with product, engaging with nonbuyer contacts, launching into mind-numbing slide presentations, and generally maintaining high activity levels only to be frustrated by disappointing results. 

If the Story Is about Your Product, Prepare to Be Commoditized

In today’s brave new world of complex offerings, increased competition, me-too products, and an ever more informed (and many times, confused) buyer, sellers must rely less on the strength of their product as a differentiator and focus on the process itself. That is to say, in a complex, technical sales environment, how your offering is presented and how effectively your sales process involves and connects with an engaged buyer will determine how well the buyer can envision using your product to be more successful.

At the recent Sales 2.0 conference in Boston, one overriding theme was sounded again and again: the buyers have spoken, and if you're not listening, you're in trouble. For us at NimblePitch, the program's agenda helped to underscore our belief that insight-based selling (IBS) demands a fresh perspective on the needs and expectations of buyers. IBS requires a new generation of tools that do more than report on activity; they should actually help salespeople execute their “sales moment” tasks: preparing for a call, engaging and relating to a qualified buyer, crafting follow up that puts the buyer into the story, and then informing and encouraging further exploration.  

Cutting the Cost of Sales

Next-generation sales force effectiveness (SFE) tools are closing the knowledge gap between new and experienced salespeople, enabling even the comparatively inexperienced rep to discuss intricate buyer issues at a business-case level, answer seemingly random questions, skip around, and point out details when called for.  This enabling technology that guides the conversation, rather than dominates it, can shorten the ramp-up time for new reps and minimize the need for multiple company resources to participate in informational, on-site sales calls.

Leverage Insight, not Opinion

Sales teams are also using SFE technology to gauge prospect interest and level of participation in the sales process. Follow-up emails and voicemails can often become a black hole in the sales process. Having insight into how and at what level your buyer is actually connected to and interacting with the follow-up material you provided offers sellers a critical piece of intelligence that can help steer the direction and scope of the next sales interaction. In addition, this level of insight will help salespeople and managers more precisely grade pipeline opportunities, resulting in a more accurate assessment of overall forecast value and timing.

I’d be interested in hearing about how innovative sales-execution tools will impact measurable SFE. Share your thoughts below or connect with me at

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7 Ways to Design a Better Compensation Plan

Cabrera_newToday's blog post is by Christopher Cabrera, CEO of Xactly Corporation, the industry leader in sales compensation automation.


Do you have a devil of a time designing an incentive-compensation plan that motivates your employees and boosts your bottom line? Or maybe the plan is overly complex or isn’t clear enough to convey company priorities to the sales team.

It could be that you’re committing one of the seven deadly sins of incentive compensation.

Michael DeLeonardis, Xactly’s Vice President of Insights and Benchmarking, has examined eight years’ worth of sales-performance data to uncover the comp-plan demons that can damage profit and put your business at risk. Here’s the list he shared in a Selling Power Webinar earlier this month. 

  1. Poor alignment with business objectives. Misalignment usually creeps in with the details of a comp plan. Ramping up sales quotas is one example. It’s a fairly common practice to have lower quotas at the beginning of a sales period, when the emphasis for reps is on building pipeline. Over the course of the sales period, quotas increase. The problem crops up in companies that already struggle with “hockey stick” sales, when the majority of transactions come at the back end of the sales period. Ramping quotas in that scenario further encourages the sales organization to push deals later into the period when quotas are at their highest.

  2. Lack of traceability. To design an optimal incentive-compensation plan, businesses need to be able to pull in data from various systems (such as CRM). Without traceability, they hamper their own ability to directly tie sales reps’ behavior to their payments, measure company and individual success, and thoroughly audit payments.

  3. Not developing benchmarks. It’s critical for companies to effectively measure incentive compensation and sales performance, and benchmarking is a great way to get valuable insight. Organizations can decide which type of benchmarking is right for them: benchmarking against an aggregate group or industry standards or self-benchmarking against goals established at the beginning of the year. With the right data, companies can identify variations from region to region, product to product, and sales rep to sales rep.

  4. Excessive plan components. Xactly research confirms the rule of thumb that three is the ideal number of measures in a compensation plan. Six and seven components indicate an organization that, in effect, is using its plan as another sales manager to compensate for weak leadership.

  5. Excessive credit assignment. About 75 percent of companies credit five or fewer people for each deal. For businesses with complex sales cycles, that number can reasonably go as high as 30. Some outliers, however, credit 161(!) people for a single deal. They may not have the data to credit individuals accurately (remember number 2, lack of traceability), so they move to a team-based model and credit an entire region. In such situations, it’s impossible to tie sales behavior to results.

  6. Compensation plans that don’t motivate. Holds and releases are demotivating because, by the time sales reps get paid, months may have passed and they’ve lost the connection between behavior and reward. A better approach is to break the plan into components: pay a portion of the commission on booking, for example, and the rest upon invoicing or collection.

    Capping commissions is another demotivating practice, and it can prevent sales reps from achieving to their full potential. A recent AMA study tested the theory and found that salespeople performed 24 percent better when they were switched from a fixed bonus plan to an uncapped commission plan.

  7. Eroding profitability through accelerators. Accelerators absolutely motivate salespeople to sell more, but too many unexpected payouts can cut into profit. To help avoid that risk, try modeling three scenarios in your plan-design phase: what you expect sales performance to be, what would happen if a few high-performing reps carry the company and earn far more than expected, and what your financial exposure would be if a large percentage of reps outperform the plan. From there, you can plan for the financial downside or adjust your plan to avoid the exposure.

Listen to the Webinar recording here: The Seven Deadly Sins of Incentive Compensation.

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Enable Sales Teams to Spend More Time Selling

Untitled-2Today's blog post is by Javier Aldrete, Senior Director of Product Management at Zilliant.



Given years of investment in sales effectiveness technologies, today’s B2B sales teams should be more efficient and productive than ever before; however, recent studies have revealed that sales teams spend just 41 percent of their time selling by phone or face-to-face, versus 46 percent in 2006. The remainder of their time is increasingly being spent on administrative tasks, research, service calls, and training. In order for companies to make their numbers each quarter, many sales leaders agree that companies should enable their sales teams to maximize the time spent talking to customers.

Selling Time by the Numbers

There is strong evidence that correlates selling time with quota achievement. In fact, an increase of just a few percentage points in selling time across an entire sales force leads to higher overall profitability for the sales organization and can equate to additional sales headcount, at no additional expense. According to the Sales Benchmark Index, within a sales force of 100 reps at 50 percent selling time, a 5 percent increase in selling time equates to five additional sales heads without the incremental cost. So where are reps spending their time? It varies by company, industry, and sales process, but here are a few key areas: 


It’s evident that sales leaders must look for opportunities to minimize activities that do not directly contribute to revenue generation.

Technology’s Impact on Sales Effectiveness

When sales force automation (SFA) systems were introduced, they promised shorter sales cycles, higher win rates, and increased sales rep productivity. In fact, an entire ecosystem of vendors, consultants, and system integrators has been created over the past two decades in pursuit of this value proposition.

While SFA tools provide companies with a multitude of benefits, it’s hard to link them to increased sales effectiveness or revenue growth. More often than not, sales reps spend more time entering information into their SFA system than deriving useful information from it to close more sales at a faster rate.

Instead, sales effectiveness solutions should help sales teams focus on revenue-generating activities. They should provide clear and actionable guidance, help sales reps focus on the best opportunities, and integrate easily with existing systems and processes – and they shouldn’t require reps to spend time on data entry. Ultimately, these tools should add a few percentage points to average time spent selling and give companies the equivalent of additional sales headcount without the incremental cost in order to help companies make their numbers.

Getting Results with Sales Guidance Applications

Fortunately, a new class of sales effectiveness technologies has emerged. Predictive guidance applications apply math and science models to a company’s existing transaction data to deliver valuable sales opportunities. They require little to no work on the part of sales reps and deliver specific, actionable opportunities directly to the field, enabling salespeople to spend more time selling.

Many B2B sales reps have very large books of business, spanning hundreds of accounts and hundreds of thousands of products. This results in data sets that are too large to analyze and mine for opportunities through traditional means. Rather than create more work for sales reps, predictive guidance applications based on companies’ existing data act as virtual sales analysts, working around the clock to pinpoint the best opportunities for sales to pursue.

Ultimately, sales tools that provide actionable, predictive guidance enable sales teams to spend more time talking to the right customers with the largest opportunities for wallet-share growth. Companies can get the benefit of additional sales headcount without the extra cost.

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Do You Feel Handicapped by the Need to Boil the Ocean?

Several days ago, I was in Chicago, and I took a cab from O’Hare Airport to my hotel. The cab driver was wearing a Chicago Bulls basketball jersey with player Derrick Rose’s # 1 on the back. When I asked him about the jersey, he told me, “I’ve got something in common with Derrick Rose. We were both raised in Englewood, a rough neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side.” The cab driver told me that he, too, wanted to be wealthy and famous.

I noticed a book on the front seat: Friedrich Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil: Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future. At first I thought that the cab driver was also a philosophy student, perhaps taking courses at night, but rather than jump to conclusions, I asked. He told me that philosophy was a source of inspiration for the rap songs he writes, and that opened a floodgate of information way too long to share in this space. He shared with me that he actually felt pressured to become a superstar rapper, but he hadn’t written a good song in a long time.

As we were driving down the highway, he confessed that he had no idea how to create his brand, sell his work, or compete with rappers who capture the spirit of our times in the most edgy ways. He said, “I’ve been stuck in a rut for the past two years. I want to take three months off and do nothing but write new songs.”

Surprisingly, he asked me what I thought, so I made a suggestion, drawing from what I know: the art of selling. “Take baby steps; don’t try to boil the ocean. Why don’t you set smaller goals every day? Think about what you can do today. Perhaps write three good lines and call it a day. Tomorrow, you’ll add three more and within a month you’ve got 90 lines.”

His face lit up, and he said, “I can do that. I really can’t afford to take off from work anyway. I can write three lines over and over until they’re perfect – that takes less than an hour a day.”

That conversation brings me back to the rut in which many sales organizations find themselves. Sales leaders delay decisions until they have all the information they need. They wait for new studies and fresh surveys and buy-in from C-level executives, and they don’t think about what they can successfully do today. The world is shifting from the delay economy to the real-time economy. The time to get things done is now. 

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Sales 2.0 Tools: They Work Only If You Do

Anabel_De_Vetter_xsmallToday's blog post is by Anabel de Vetter, Content Creator at Showpad 



Some people want us to believe that sales is broken or has completely changed, or even that selling is dead. They believe that buyers spend their days on social media, happily progressing on their buyer journey all by themselves. Should we just let all our good sales reps go and advise them to start a career building Websites?

The fact is, there are new tools and technology available to help sales reps get better results:

  • social media to get to know prospects,
  • CRM systems to keep track of contacts,
  • mobile solutions to liberate sales reps from their desks.

Paying Is Not Enough

These new tools are not solutions by themselves, however, and that never changes. These new possibilities serve to make your sales reps better at doing what they do best – which is still basically convincing people that spending their money on your product is a good idea – but technology that immediately drives results to the bottom line without a salesperson’s lifting a finger has yet to be invented.

The act of paying for new technology, in cash or in time, will not get you results. Compare it to getting in shape: no matter how good we are at wishful thinking, a monthly fee to the health club is not going to get us any slimmer – but it might trim our wallets.

The Baby and the Bathwater

Work is the magic word: it drives results. When properly introduced, a CRM system, a tablet app for salespeople, or using LinkedIn as a sales tool contributes to getting better results. The challenge is to not throw out the baby with the bathwater. So these new sales tools are not solutions by themselves, but don’t let that be your main reason for not adopting them. If your pre-pre-predecessor at your company had thought like that, you'd be sifting through a box of index cards and dipping a quill pen into an inkwell right now, instead of reading this post.

The Key to Successfully Implementing Sales 2.0 Technology

What does it take to get new technology introduced? Working for a technology company myself, I must say I have wondered, too. Why do some of our customers get up and running quickly while others seem to take a lot of time?

The keys are preparation and follow-up: those other magic words. Getting new technology widely adopted in a sales team always involves some change, and good preparation and thoughtful follow-up will get you a lot closer to the desired results.  Don’t expect sales reps to spend valuable time trying out something new just because you think it’s a good idea.


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The Value of Presentations

1d912eeToday's blog post is by Jacco van der Kooij, sales strategy consultant at Future Of Sales Is NOW.

Attending, preparing, and giving presentations is a critical part of doing business. The big question is, what is the outcome of your presentations? How many presentations lead to measurable results? Selling Power and SalesOpShop recently conducted a survey of B2B sales professionals to get a better understanding of this subject.

How Much Time Do You Spend on Presentations?

Of the 170 participants in the survey, 76 percent indicate that they need presentations to do their job, and for 53 percent, this means they attend at least one to two presentations a week. The most prominent users are product managers, who attend several presentations a day, present once or twice a week, and together with marketing, spend as much as a full day in preparation. Sales, which accounted for 56 percent of the respondents, present less frequently and spend only a couple of hours in preparation.

Q1-v2 copy

Q3-v21Q6-v2How Much Does a Presentation Cost? 

Let’s consider the example of a small company of about 50–100 employees and assume that a midlevel manager creates and delivers a presentation to 10 people in the organization:

8 hours to create (@ $65/hour)                                     $520
1 hour to deliver to 10 people (@ $65/person)              $650
The total cost for one presentation                           $1,170

This excludes the cost of a conference room, projector, technical support, and condiments for the participants.

The Costs of Presentations Are Staggering!

Similarly, assuming a company uses conference rooms for its internal presentations and inside and field sales representatives for its external presentations, it will find itself investing the following:

$273,000/year per conference room on internal presentations
$88,000/year per field sales professional on client presentations
$12,400/year per inside sales professional on client presentations

A company that employs five outside reps and two inside reps will spend nearly $1 million annually on presentations. If you want to estimate the amount your company is investing, use our online calculator.

What Is the Outcome of Presentations?

There is great value in getting people together at a set time to share ideas and conversation initiated by a thought-provoking presentation; however, in most corporations, the majority of internal presentations are provided by untrained people who deliver monologues instead of engage in two-way conversations. As you can tell from the results below, approximately one out of two presentations is considered valuable enough and leads to a measurable result.

Q3-how-many-were-worth-your-timeAs for external presentations, the results appear worse. In the sales industry, the monologue, one-way presentation is so commonplace that it is referred to as "a talking brochure." It is no surprise that a panel of buyers at the recent Sales 2.0 Conference in London rated only 1 out of 8 presentations valuable. When asked, "What do you fear the most?" the response was largely, "long and boring vendor presentations."

How Can Presentations Be Improved?

How can we deliver a better return on the sizable investment in both internal and external presentations?


These responses can be separated into a few areas of improvement:

  1. Prepare by researching your audience and develop a story line that matches the audience’s need.
  2. Make your content exciting. Base it on relevant, reliable data and add telling visuals.
  3. Improve your delivery by practicing, and with every practice shorten the presentation until it is between 12–15 minutes long.
  4. Integrate a way to engage and involve your audience early on.

For those presenting regularly, I recommend Duarte Academy and, in particular, its workshop Resonate. If you are presenting data, I recommend Edward Tufte and his class Presenting Data and Information.

Rethinking Presentations

The biggest opportunity for presentations does not come from improving the way we present. There is a far bigger opportunity with new use cases powered by the latest presentation tools. These emerging use cases operate at a lower cost and provide a more meaningful and measurable return. Here are use cases that will make you rethink presentations altogether:

  • The briefing presentation – pioneered by account executives in need of a presentation before the meeting to make room for conversation during the meeting, resulting in a shorter sales cycle.
  • The white paper presentation. White papers command the highest sign-up ratio of any online asset. Give your white paper exponential exposure with 100,000 views and 1,000 likes to drive lead generation.
  • The client road map presentation – developed by a product manager who wanted to let the client drive the discussion using double tap and swipe, resulting in a more productive conversation.
  • The online sales pitch – pioneered and developed by inside sales teams based on its efficiency and effectiveness. This includes desktop/application sharing for instant demonstrations.
  • The Starbucks experience. Conversations are moving from a conference room into a coffee shop, where you sit side-by-side and use an easy-to-navigate presentation tool to spark a conversation.

As you can see, a presentation no longer must take place at a set time and location, with a lean-back audience being asked to listen intently and ask questions at the end. These new use cases take aim at a lean-forward audience, and its goal is to drive conversation. For more examples, visit my Website at

How Do You Capitalize on the Opportunity?

If you want to capitalize on the opportunity, contact me at

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How Well Do You Manage Your Message?

In many industries and before the recession, selling was like shooting fish in a barrel. Now the fish are shooting back. The power has gone back to the customer, and a lot of sales managers feel frustrated. It’s tougher to find, qualify, and see prospects. It takes longer to persuade them, and it’s even tougher to close sales.

One thing is certain: the old ways of selling and marketing no longer work. Just as overused jokes lose their power to make us laugh, old sales or marketing messages no longer stimulate the vigorous interest seasoned salespeople are craving. Here are some key trends that Selling Power has uncovered during interviews with CEOs, VPs of sales, authors, and consultants.

1. CEOs are very cautious. Some are optimistic that the market will continue to improve, but they are not counting on it. Their mantra is “cost control.” CEOs demand a higher level of competitiveness, but they are more attracted to cosmetic changes, rather than structural changes. One CEO said to me recently, “Business is an unforgiving, relentless, competitive struggle. We’re constantly refining our customer message and expanding our marketing and sales effort.”

2. Surprisingly, there is still a gap between sales and marketing, though it’s imperative that these two teams work in alignment. One key conflict lies with customer-message management. Marketing is more focused on product facts, while salespeople are more focused on relationships. Salespeople speak the customer’s language, but the people responsible for creating marketing materials don’t. This often leads to the following problems:

  • Marketing messages are not in sync with customer concerns. Experts estimate that 80 percent of a company’s marketing material is never used. Top salespeople often create their own messages and close sales, but the rest just miss sales opportunities.
  • Marketing messages don’t offer enough substance. Today’s customers spend time online researching competing solutions, and they dismiss boilerplate information. The last thing they want to do is listen to a long pitch. When prospects ask questions at a deeper level, salespeople are often unable to differentiate their company’s capabilities or substantiate its claims.
  • Marketing messages are far too complex.  If your salespeople speak about your product or solution in a language that customers can’t understand, customer interest will fade quickly.

It’s imperative that companies cultivate a collaborative relationship between sales and marketing, which will lead to effective customer-message management. But many CEOs are frustrated because there is so little desire to improve in this regard. One CEO told me, “I am always dissatisfied. I preach dissatisfaction. In my mind, everything needs to be improved or we risk extinction.”

Rapid changes challenge companies’ core missions. Progressive CEOs help recalibrate their core marketing messages to hit the quickly vanishing sweet spots in the marketplace. They boldly redesign their ad messages using customer input gleaned from active social media use, refocus their unique selling proposition, and encourage their sales teams to capture customers’ hearts and minds by engaging them on social-media platforms.

Business rewards those who understand their customers’ pain, are capable of offering valuable solutions that deliver results, and above all, speak their customers’ language.

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3 Reasons To Apply for Our 50 Best Companies to Sell For List

Selling Power 50 Best Companies to Sell For
Here's some great news to start the summer: Selling Power magazine is currently accepting applications for our annual 50 Best Companies to Sell For list. Here are three reasons I believe your company should apply today. 

1. Every sales organization needs reps who understand today's selling environment.  

As the buyer controls more and more of the sales cycle, reps who practice old habits will become irrelevant. Sales organizations are not going to be able to compete unless they can attract reps who have the right mindset to win in an economy controlled by the buyer.

Takeaway: A spot on our list will showcase that you're ready to have conversations with reps who can help you win against the competition. 

2. Sales organizations are in a war for top talent. 

Sales reps like the thrill of chasing higher commissions -- and many sales managers fear that unless they dangle more dollars for reps to strive for, those reps will jump ship. In fact, it has been proven that a supportive culture and the right kind of praise from top-quality managers can engender just as much (if not more) loyalty.

Takeaway: A spot on our list will announce to the world that you have successfully built the right culture for reps to succeed. 

3. Sales organziations need a budget to help reps succeed. 

Training has really evolved from the old days of setting up reps with scripts and walking them through a sales process. It is really about sales enablement. Yes, reps need to know what to say in front of prospects, but they also need help finding those prospects and getting the mobile and social tools necessary to stay in touch with those prospects. This requires resources. And some CEOs can be reluctant to loosen the purse strings for this badly-needed investment. 

Takeaway: A spot on this list will help you prove that you've earned the budget for more resources to help the sales team win. 

The deadline to apply for the list is June 24th. Visit this link to download an application today:

Five Tips for the Catch

Youcantfilletanibble-bookToday's blog post is by Gary Coxe, life strategist, personal-growth expert, and author of You Can’t Fillet a Nibble… It’s the Catch that Counts!

If you’re in sales or any kind of direct- or network-marketing company, you’ll understand how difficult it can be to persevere and make those sales that count. Here are five tips, discussed in You Can’t Fillet a Nibble…It’s the Catch that Counts!, to help you adjust your sales mind-set – and stay the course – for better results.

Tip #1: Have the guts of a burglar.

The idea behind this is that you have to become fearless in pursuing your prospects and goals in order to see greater success. This also includes learning how to not cave under pressure, stay persistent, and keep going, even when you feel like giving up because it’s too tedious or difficult or discouraging.

Tip #2: Don’t get on the roller coaster.

Nope, not at the amusement park; don’t get on the emotional roller coaster that a “nibble” can cause. This seems to happen to people who are new to sales. They’re unsure if they’ll be any good at it, and they try to build up their confidence by pinning their hopes on people who seem interested in buying – also known as “nibbles.” If those same people shoot them down, it’s just about as bad as being rejected by your high-school crush. Ouch!

Tip #3: Control your own destiny.

Calling can be a difficult task. Sometimes you just don’t want to face that rejection. Other times, it just seems tedious, even if your emotions aren’t riding the coaster. This same emotional or mental process can happen if you’re out looking for a job.

But consider this: if you want to do business with someone, you call that person, right? If you want or need a job, you follow up with all the companies where you submitted an application or resume. If someone wanted to do business with you, however, that person would be in touch with you. If someone wanted you to hire him or her, you would expect the applicant to do the legwork.

By doing the legwork when you need to, you are taking control of your own destiny.

Tip #4: Keep mentally tough and conditioned.

To follow this tip, you have to be consciously aware of your thoughts and emotional patterns as they relate to your thoughts, and you have to have a willingness to condition yourself for only constructive thoughts (note that I said constructive, not positive – positive thinking just isn’t enough). This ability – and everyone can develop this ability – is the first key to mastering your thoughts and emotions.

Emotions are so powerful, they can easily drag us down. All too often, people become slaves to their own feelings without even realizing that they have control over their emotions, not the other way around. Blaming failure on stress is buckling under pressure. Giving up because of one bad day or a handful of no’s is buckling under pressure.

Tip #5: Mind your side effects.

What do you think is worse, being poorer or ticking a few people off? These are the key differences between being passive and persistent, and being persistent usually brings more success than being passive. Being poorer or aggravating to some are the two main byproducts of each mind-set.

This is the kind of mind-set you should be working toward: “Who cares if I tick a few people off? I know who I am. I know the company I represent. I believe in both.”

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