Now it’s important I say one thing here:
I was Tony Robbins peak performance coach for Asia Pacific for a three year period coaching his clients across 12 countries – I did not coach Tony himself!
You could say I crossed to the dark side for a few years, worked with the guy who is known for the big hair, big teeth and big hands, but I never did drink the coolade! All jokes aside, it was one of the great experiences of my career.
I stepped into uncertainty on a daily basis, I was a breakout speaker at his flagship event and smashed a company record for selling coaching off my keynote presentation, made fantastic friends from colleagues and clients alike and I learned to completely say ‘Bring It On’ to uncertainty.
So when I look back and reflect on all my awesome business, sales and CXO clients, what stands out?
What’s important, is to remind ourselves of those strong personal leadership skills and insights that must form the foundation of any work we do across our roles, our business and our lives. So some of those distinctions were, and are still relevant today, but it’s important to remember that if we’re not doing it, we don’t know it and we need to do both today to gain any type of competitive edge.
Don’t just take feedback, read between the lines
Imagine being in a role play at the front of a u-shaped training room where you were tagged to be the next coach to coach a client … and you hadn’t been listening hard enough so that you missed the segue as the incoming coach. You were coaching in front of both your peers and the directors and front line managers of Tony Robbins. You finished the role play, stood up for feedback and they then canned you as being the worst example of a coaching session they had ever seen. Now imagine you standing there, motionless and pale, yet in a total state of empowerment you said just two words – Thank You!
Now add to the angst, that you were the only one not to be called out of the room over a 2 week period and were sure the flight home to Australia was going to be very long and lonely based on you being the only one who failed. However, it was the opposite; the reason you weren’t called out was because you had already demonstrated that you could take feedback, and gracefully, in front of your peers. Epic moment!
If you are going to stuff up (aka ‘make a huge mistake’ for non Australians), the secret is to stuff up with certainty! Imagine you are balled out, imagine you make a mistake and don’t hear something the way it was meant, imagine you are given feedback by a client or team mate or manager… take my word, the quickest way to move on, is to say ‘thank you’ and not put any attachment on it but read between the lines – then do something about it.
So how might you view things from here on in when someone questions you , comments or gives you their opinion on something you did or said?
Tasks minimise when you schedule them
You can spend all the money in the world on fancy time management tools or shortcuts but at the end of the day good old Parkinson’s Law kicks in – “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”. The secret is to get real about how long something is REALLY going to take. Something that will only take 5 minutes can be imagined to take a lot longer if it is not scheduled. Delegate what you can but schedule the task directly into your calendar and watch the stress dissipate.
It’s about chunking your responsibilities into categories ie for a sales role it might be prospecting, reporting, social engagement, proposal writing and face to face meetings to begin with.
Everything that is a typical ‘to do’ list gets allocated against a category and from there it’s as simple as Pareto’s Law – pick the top 20% to work on, rinse and repeat. We can’t do everything at once, no matter what they say, so to make it easy when our head hits the pillow at least we know we are making progress across every area. And that is how momentum is created, but the minute you stop acknowledging momentum, you will stall, so always be grateful for what has been completed and what has worked.
What, then, might you do differently that will help you influence the way you spend your time and feel more fulfilled and less stressed at the end of the day?
The triggers of crisis and industry trends
For those of us in sales, we need to demonstrate our understanding of our buyers business and a couple of the ways to do that is by understanding trigger events or even industry trends. So it’s important that we can help our buyers or clients and we can do that by anticipating potential changes or crises that will impact them.
Some of those trigger events could be:
* a change in technology (think Blockbuster and Netflix)
* a change in culture (think time spent on computers today vs watching TV and leveraging advertising dollar)
* a change in economy (think the GFC)
* a change in customers lives (think demographics and the average age of countries as an example, with USA’s average age being 48 years, Australia being 33years, India 26 years and how this will determine future growth)
* a change in your life (think illness, retirement)
* a change in competition (think big store comes into town and little stores now in uncertainty).
The important thing for us is to not wait for a problem to occur and then change things, but add value to our buyers based on where things are going, so keep your ear close to the ground and your wits about you.
Where might you be able to leverage trigger events or industry trends to discuss with your clients or potential buyers this week?
So there you have it. Three key things out of hundreds of different distinctions I was privy to, that shift the way so many people think.
Most of all, being a part of team of like minded and supportive people, allowed me to play a bigger game as a leader and realise my passion in bridging corporate goals with revenue potential so that salespeople, sales teams and sales environments win, and the profession of selling is elevated.
So a final question for you – What leader do you want to be and what would happen if that leader ran your show?
Oh, and a word from the big man himself just to demonstrate I wasn’t too shabby in the coaching/mentoring department 🙂 :
‘wonderful breakthrough for this client. thanks for sharing the impact of your intervention!’
‘There is no more powerful way to be an powerful and effective coach/force for good then to lead by example! people don’t listen to what they say, they feel and witness what you really do. Keep Rocking! Tony’
Be Bold, Brave and Brilliant
Bernadette McClelland is CEO of 3 Red Folders – a modern day saleswoman and keynote speaker on business growth, personal leadership and sales performance.
BIO: Business environments wanting to increase their revenue and profits, and differentiate themselves in a competitive market, ask for Bernadette McClelland because of her thought leadership on sales performance, her ideas on thinking beyond resilience and her fresh perspectives surrounding personal leadership skills — all designed to master the outcomes that matter.
Bernadette has proudly coached Harvard MBA students on their sales enablement curriculum, been the Master Asia Pacific coach for Anthony Robbins across twelve countries, authored five books on leadership and sales transformation, won a coveted Telstra award for Business Excellence, and continually shares her ideas around behaviour, the brain and business growth on stages in the UK, Europe, Thailand, India, NZ, Australia and North America.
Believing that sales performance is a leadership issue, you will also find her heading Melbourne’s human potential based sales performance consultancy, 3 Red Folders, as she navigates lead generation, message to market and digs deep into sales process activities with her clients in the mid-tier sector as well as founding ‘Women Who Sell’, an initiative designed to bring more women up to speed in their sales success.
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