To Boost Your Sales, Don’t Sit Down

June 24th, 2014

Years ago when I dabbled in improv, we had a few rules that we tried to follow when we performed. One of them was “Never sit down.”

Improv almost requires performers to be in constant motion. When you’re standing, you have more physical options than when you’re sitting. While sitting was easy and comfortable, it limited what we could do. So, as much as possible, we avoided sitting down to prevent ourselves from becoming “trapped.”

The same thing can happen to salespeople, professionals, managers, even CEO’s. Doing what’s easy and comfortable can prevent us from moving in new directions. Routines can easily become ruts.

That can cause us to miss out on new opportunities and increased sales.

The solution? Keep moving.

Avoid the temptation to become complacent. Actively look for new ideas, approaches, markets, uses for your product, partnerships, ways to wow your customers, charitable endeavors, and other opportunities. Experiment, adjust, adapt, discard, improve. Just keep moving.

Because in business, if you sit still, someone’s going to outperform you.

Failure IS an Option

June 16th, 2014

It’s an iconic moment in the movie Apollo 13: The flight team at Mission Control is trying to figure out how to get the ill-fated astronauts back to Earth and Flight Director Gene Kranz states flatly, “Failure is not an option!”

It’s a stirring scene, and the line has become a staple of managers, business gurus and motivational speakers.

There are only a couple of minor problems with the famous line:

1. Kranz never actually said it.

2. Failure is always an option.

It may not be a desirable option, certainly not the preferred option, but it’s always an option. And to deny that reality is simply ludicrous.

Almost everything we ever try—whether in sales, leadership, relationships or any other aspect of our business and personal lives—carries the risk of failure.

And that’s not something to be afraid of. Failure teaches us valuable lessons. Failure can give us great ideas. The Apollo 13 mission was itself a failure, yet it resulted in tremendous improvements in America’s space program.

When you tell yourself or others “failure is not an option,” you’re saying failure is unacceptable. Which by extension means experimentation, innovation and change is unacceptable. That belief will stifle growth and success like nothing else.

So if you want to experience better results from your sales team, your business or yourself, embrace the idea that failure is an option. And when you or others fail, celebrate the effort, the courage and the lessons learned.

That will lead you to further success.

17 Reasons People Will Say Yes

June 5th, 2014

Too many of us are afraid to ask for the things we want. Whether it’s asking for the appointment, asking for the sale, asking for referrals, or anything else we might want in our business or personal lives, too often we hold ourselves back.


There are a myriad of reasons, including:

• Fear of rejection
• Fear of being inappropriate
• Dislike of feeling indebted to someone else
• Guilt
• Feelings of unworthiness
• Not wanting to appear pushy
• Not wanting to be perceived as needy or helpless

But asking for what you want is an essential ingredient for your success, not just in sales, but in every area of your life. If you don’t ask for things, you’re denying yourself the opportunity to achieve your goals.

And the reality is that lots of people are perfectly willing to agree to our requests. Here are 17 reasons why someone might say yes to you:

1. They like you
2. They trust you
3. They want what you’re selling
4. They want to be polite
5. They want to be helpful
6. They want to avoid conflict
7. They like trying new things
8. They don’t want to disappoint you
9. They don’t want to lose your business, trust or respect
10. They see an upside for themselves
11. There’s no good reason to say no
12. Obligation
13. Guilt
14. Appreciation
15. Desperation
16. Curiosity
17. Fear of missing out

Note that any given person might actually have several of the above reasons to say yes. But if you don’t ask, you don’t give them the opportunity.

So make it a habit to ask for things. Try asking for everything you want for a whole day. Then try it for a week. See what happens. You’ve got nothing to lose but your own fears. And literally everything to gain.

What other reasons have you found why people will say yes to you? Share them in the comments below!