Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Success Is An Inside Job

Success Is An Inside Job
by Bill Caskey

Contrary to the old adage, I believe great salespeople are made, not born. Furthermore, the "making" of a great salesperson involves more than just going to the right training classes or having the right coaches. It also requires developing the attitudes, attributes and inner discipline that allow you to maximize what you've learned in those classes and coaching sessions. What are these qualities? Following is my list of the top five attributes of a high-performance sales professional.

Mental toughness. This is skill number one for all salespeople, yet typically it hovers below the radar screen of most conventional sales trainers and recruiters. The top 5% of sales professionals achieve at a higher level than 50% of the rest. Some might attribute these results to superior closing, probing, or territory management skills. In reality, they're a result of mental toughness: the inner ability to know what to do, coupled with the mechanical ability to execute it.

Profound communication skills. Effective communication involves more than just matching and mirroring prospects. Profound communication skills enable you to create an environment of trust in which prospects become willing to share and reveal the truth about their problems. Ninety percent of sales processes are based on lies, misinformation and gamesmanship. In order to get prospects to open up and reveal their problems, you must understand how to communicate in a way that elicits truth. Then, and only then, will you be working on the right problems.

Knowledge of value. Some would say this is not a skill. But if not, what is it? If you don't understand the core tenets of your value proposition, how can you expect to articulate them effectively to the marketplace? In fact, most salespeople have a weak understanding of what a value proposition is, which is why they typically convey only a small percentage of the value their company really offers. Communicating real value requires study, practice, and shedding preconceived notions about what selling really is.

The ability to deal with humans. Those pesky humans! Wouldn't it be nice to not have to deal with all their insecurities and pains? But then, who would write the checks, approve the deals, and have the motivation? When you accepted life on earth, you accepted the challenge of relationships. The better you are at having a relationship with yourself, the better you will be at external relationships. This applies to relationships with your superiors, clients, prospects, vendors and anyone else you come in contact with. If you're in sales, you signed up for relationships, and lots of them. So your skill at dealing with people is essential. Do you have a good psychological understanding of why people do the things they do? Do you know why most prospects lie about their true motives when a salesperson shows up? Do you know why a prospect gets excited about the presentation, only to disappear two weeks later? Do you know why some prospects simply cannot pull the trigger to buy? People who study this stuff get real good, real quick. They make a great deal of money because they are dialed into their profession at an entirely different level than their competitors.

Process thinking. This essential skill keeps you from spending too much time with the wrong people in the sales process. Time is an active asset, ticking away each day. Do you spend it talking with true prospects who understand and believe in your value, or with average prospects who have to be convinced of the value in your services?

Ideally, it would the former: potential clients who see your value. But that's not what usually happens. Because of insecurity about their own value, most salespeople will spend time with anyone who extends an invitation. Then, instead of telling the prospect that it doesn't appear to be a good fit, they continue trying to force a fit, ending with confusion, frustration, and possibly a small deal that was hardly worth the time.

When you understand up front what a good prospect is, how he thinks and acts, you will spend more time with the right people. Success is an inside job. By focusing on developing these five attributes, you will acquire the positive attitude and mental discipline necessary to be a high performing salesperson, and accomplish all you desire in the field of sales.

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Contact me at at Cogent for more Info or to Network. Cogent delivers customers with Highly Reliable, Secure and Scalable Networks with over 190 markets throughout 38 countries in North America, Europe and Asia, with over 57,900 route miles of long-haul fiber and over 27,400 miles of metropolitan fiber.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Checklist for a Successful Office Move-Identifying Your IT Infrastructure Needs

Checklist for a Successful Office Move
By Integra On July 8, 2014

In Featured, Technology 2 Comments It’s All About the Details Moving a company to a new location whether it is in a new city or just to another floor in the same building is full of challenges. Integra understands the obstacles and opportunities your company is facing and we developed a timeline to provide an overview of the moving process and a best practices guide with tips to help you avoid the pitfalls along the way. This week, we focus on the important details that your team should track when moving your IT infrastructure with a checklist. Use it to begin working with your IT team and work with other groups to develop their specific checklists. Your IT infrastructure is vital to the operations of your company.

IT is one of the most complex areas to move since there are many details involved. Our checklist focuses on four areas for an IT move:

• Build Your Move Team – Minimize business disruptions during the move as well as make improvements that can result in savings and more efficient processes by working with your IT team as early as possible.
• Evaluate the New Site – Make a thorough evaluation of the new site to help you understand the extent of changes needed.
• Assess Your Technology and Equipment – Know the current state of your technology, infrastructure and equipment before making decisions on what to change, replace or discontinue.
• Confirm Your Business Continuity Plan – Keep your business running by being prepared for move-related problems by making sure you have backups for all of your company’s critical data and systems.

In addition to identifying tasks, you can also align your project timeline with your checklist(s) to add due dates to tasks and assign priorities. Review the tasks regularly with your team, adding new items as needed and checking off items as they are completed. Besides providing an easy way to track and communicate your project’s progress, the checklist is a great tool to help put focus on the details that contribute to a successful move with minimal downtime.

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Contact me at at Cogent for more Info or to Network. Cogent delivers customers with Highly Reliable, Secure and Scalable Networks with over 190 markets throughout 38 countries in North America, Europe and Asia, with over 57,900 route miles of long-haul fiber and over 27,400 miles of metropolitan fiber.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

My 5 Favorite Apps For Business and For Fun!

Dave Hemler is CEO of Revation Systems, which delivers secure and compliant communication and collaboration platforms to organizations in regulated and high-compliance.

1. Evernote A perennial favorite, with good reason: I keep track of everything in Evernote. Since I'm someone who can often be described as forgetful, Evernote is an app I use across all my devices and PCs to keep track of things both business and personal. Notes from all of my meetings are easily tagged and searchable. I can set reminders on notes and share important ones with others in the company. I keep all my shopping lists by location in Evernote, such that I’ve largely eliminated that “what else did I need to get?” moment when I’m standing in the checkout line at the grocery store. Configuration information for various systems, recipes I like, and notes from books or talks that resonated with me are all in there.

2. LastPass With all the noise and scare in early May from the Heartbleed vulnerability to so many websites, I was glad I was using LastPass. It’s a secure password management service and app that I use across my devices. It allows me to save my passwords in the LastPass vault and not have to remember and type passwords for all the various sites and online services I visit. It will automatically generate very strong passwords for you, and it flags sites where you may be using the same password if you aren’t using their generated passwords. From a work perspective it’s great since I can delegate access to various sites and logins without disclosing any of the underlying information. For example, I could grant server access to a support team member without actually giving him or her any login or password information. With so much of Revation’s business in regulated industries like banking and healthcare, that extra control and security is a significant benefit.

3. Box Box is yet another service and app combination that I depend on and use on all my devices. It allows me to securely share and collaborate with our employees and our customers regardless of device or location. There are a lot of great cloud file-sharing services (Microsoft OneDrive and Dropbox among them), but Box stands out for its security, simple but powerful content sharing and viewing tools, and extensibility. Whether it’s sharing proofs for large marketing and image files or getting customer sign-off on a promotional video, Box makes it easy for me to share and update on whatever device I happen to be on.

4. Trello I’ve experimented with a variety of task applications and to-do management tools but lately I’ve been using Trello to help me manage my commitments and deliverables both personally and professionally. Trello is a visual organization tool that uses Kanban principles associated with Lean Six Sigma to help you track progress, display next steps, organize, and arrange projects, tasks and just about anything else. I like it better than other apps I’ve used ( is a very good one) because it allows me to both see detail on my tasks but also really zoom out to get a big picture – something I found hard to do with other apps. It’s also easy to share, add others to collaborate, and assign cards and tasks to others.

5. Hubspot At Revation, we use HubSpot as our integrated marketing tool – everything from email marketing and our company blog to social media and targeted inbound marketing. It’s really been a great tool for us, and HubSpot have recently released mobile apps for iOS and Android. These allow me to see progress on our marketing activities, get notified when we have new leads, publish and monitor social media, and really take action on any marketing tasks from my mobile devices that would previously have required me to be at my PC. My favorite app for fun Dots When I need a break or some quick rejuvenation, I turn to Dots. In general I’m not much of a gamer, but Dots is just a gorgeous and deceptively simple game about connecting dots of the same color. The developer, Betaworks One has just released a sequel to the game cleverly called Two Dots (currently only available on iOS) that should soon become my new obsession.

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Contact me at at Cogent for more Info or to Network. Cogent delivers customers with Highly Reliable, Secure and Scalable Networks with over 190 markets throughout 38 countries in North America, Europe and Asia, with over 57,900 route miles of long-haul fiber and over 27,400 miles of metropolitan fiber.