Emotional Abuse in Military Families

first_imgJay Morse & Heidi Radunovich, PhDAccording to recent research by Foran, Heyman & Slep (2014) and the United States Air Force Family Advocacy Research Program [1], emotional abuse can be an early warning sign of future physical abuse. While most people can engage in some negative behavior towards their partners, this study focused on clinically significant emotional abuse (CS-EA), which the authors defined as “emotional abuse that results in significant and impairing fear, stress, or sadness/depression” [1]. The authors wanted to determine what environmental factors were associated with CS-EA.[Flickr, Blitz Build 2012 Miami Habitat for Humanity Day 1 by EL Gringo, CC BY-ND-NC 2.0]The study used a sample of 42,744 active duty military (34,713 men and 8,031 women) and 17,226 civilian spouses (879 men and 16,347 women) who completed web-based surveys measuring environmental factors across four levels:Individual level: Self-efficacy (ability to cope with stress, manage work and family demands), perceived financial stress, physical well-being, alcohol problems, and years in the militaryFamily level: Support from spouse, relationship satisfaction, family income, marriage length, and number of children, spousal deployment supportWork level: Support from leadership, workgroup cohesion, work relationships, weeks deployed, hours worked, and satisfaction with the Air ForceCommunity level: Community cohesion, support from neighbors, formal agencies, social support, community safety, and community stressors.As expected, individual and family factors were closely related to CS-EA. In addition, other important factors to consider in clinical practice and further research are a subset of work and community factors:Greater community cohesion and support from neighbors was related to reduced risk of CS-EA for active duty military menFewer hours worked was related to a reduced risk of CS-EA for womenAcross all levels, more support from leadership was related to lower levels of risk for CS-EA in civilian women.When developing treatment plans for victims of emotional abuse, the environment of the victim and the perpetrator play an important role in the risk of continued emotional abuse and the risk of future physical abuse. Pay special attention to neighborhood relationships, perceived community cohesion, workload, and the perceived level of support from military leadership.References[1] Foran, H., Heyman, R., Slep, A., & US Air Force Family Advocacy Res. (2014). Emotional abuse and its unique ecological correlates among military personnel and spouses. Psychology of Violence, 4(2), 128-142. doi:10.1037/a0034536This post was written by Jay Morse & Heidi Radunovich, PhD, members of the MFLN Family Development (FD) team which aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network FD concentration on our website, on Facebook, on Twitter, YouTube, and on LinkedIn.last_img read more

FD Early Intervention Webinar: When Play is More than Just “Playing”: Delivering Intentional Instruction through Daily Interactions

first_imgDate:  October 19, 2017Time:  11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.Location: When Play is More than Just “Playing”: Delivering Intentional Instruction through Daily InteractionsCover image July 18 (5) by Jessica Lucia licensed Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.We often say, “play is the work of the child.” But do we really believe in the power of play and its impact on a child’s development and learning trajectory? In this age of accountability, it’s easy to lose sight of what matters most, and begin to value formal instructional approaches and the teaching of isolated skills. This webinar will provide research on the efficacy of creating embedded learning opportunities and the importance of being a good play partner. Recommended practices for supporting the whole child, and strategies on how to be good play partner, even for those “hard to reach” children, will be provided.  Plan to join us on October 19, 2017!Dr. Kristie Pretti-Frontczak is a {r}evolutionary speaker, researcher, and play advocate. Through podcasts, blogs, free resources, and trainings, Kristie inspires and supports early educators in {r}evolutionizing their teaching. Kristie spent 16 years, as faculty, at Kent State University and now trains and coaches early educators worldwide. Kristie is a Past President of the Division for Early Childhood and works with intentness and determination to sort through the clutter and chaos to join seemingly disparate ideas. She also aims to celebrate differences and shared attributes to achieve solutions. You can access her latest solutions at her website.The MFLN FD Early Intervention team offers continuing education credits through the Early Intervention Training Program (EITP) at the University of Illinois for each of our webinars, click here to learn more. For more information on future presentations in the 2016 Family Development webinar series, please visit our professional development website or connect with us via social media for announcements: Facebook & Twitter.last_img read more

Planning for your Child’s Special Needs: Applying Social-Emotional Learning (SEL)

first_img4.) Encouraging resilience: Teach children about emotions – have them point out how they feel perhaps by using a smiley face rating scale or flash cards.Supplement the pointing by verbal prompts such as: “When my face looks like this I am feeling…” or “Today I feel like…” Written by: Lakshmi Mahadevan, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Extension Specialist – Special Populations, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.Major General Paul D Eaton – retired of the United States army states that “the future of our kids will be greatly enriched and enhanced if we infuse their earliest years with sensitive and thoughtful skills that will help them develop into a healthy, connected, and constructive generation of adults.”.The sensitive and thoughtful skills Major Eaton is referring to constitute social-emotional learning.  Social-emotional learning (SEL), as defined by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) is “the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.”Children with disabilities often find themselves struggling emotionally. Specifically, they tend not to be accepted by their peers, and they display shortcomings in the way they interact with peers and adults. Further, they have difficulty reading nonverbal and other subtle social cues.Some children with more severe cognitive impairments may lack age-appropriate social understanding of complex interactions. Further, students whose language is impaired may have appropriate understanding of social situations but may have difficulty communicating effectively with others.It is important therefore to teach children with disabilities the skills to recognize emotions, experience empathy, pursue goals and effective navigate interpersonal relationships (CASEL, 2012).Parents/guardians can encourage social-emotional learning in their homes by:1.) Being deliberate: Use progressive supports –Help your child identify a sibling’s emotions or of someone they see on television. – “Julie seems sad.”Ask leading questions – “Why do you think she is sad?”; “how can we make her smile?”Suggest solutions – “Maybe you can ask to play with her.” 2.) Using Scaffolding: ReferencesSupporting the Emotional Needs of Kids with DisabilitiesRaising Caring, Confident, Capable Children Take the time to debrief and teach SEL. Demonstrate and describe:Sharing (cooking and sharing dinnertime with family members, passing on the tv remote for someone else’s favorite program etc.)Kindness (helping a family member find something, organize for school next day)Friendship (visiting with friends at home, having a game night with friends)Cooperation (willing to change schedule to accommodate a family member’s needs)Teamwork (sharing chores, cleaning up together etc.)Sharing your feelings (“I feel upset right now”, “this makes me so happy”) 3.) Modeling SEL at home: 5.) Reviewing the school day: What was one cool thing you learned today?What is one question you didn’t get to ask today that you would like answered?What was your most favorite activity today, why?What was one thing you did with someone else today that you really enjoyed?What was something you learned today that can help you at home?What do you think we will learn next? 6.) Validating expression of child’s emotions: When emotions are expressed, do ask questions (for e.g. “what’s wrong?”; “You seem so happy today, I like it, what’s up?”)When emotions are expressed, don’t:Invalidate – “stop crying”Minimize – make the child laugh for examplePunish – impose time-out etc. Reading stories that evoke emotions:“What do you think Johnny is feeling right now?“What can Johnny do to make himself feel better?”“What did you learn from the story about how Johnny felt during…” Building feelings of competency and mastery – “that is the best work, so well done!”; “Look how far you have come…”Encouraging optimism – “I know our amusement park trip got canceled because of rain but you know we have a lot fun indoors everyday and we will postpone the park to another day!”Teaching children to reframe – “I am sorry our picnic got canceled, how can we make a picnic indoors?”Disarming with charm – “You seem really upset, would you like to talk about it, get a glass of water, put your head down for a bit?”Modeling resiliency – “ I feel bad that I got sick and we couldn’t go on our vacation last week, but I am happy to be well again and we now have a whole new plan for next time.”last_img read more

Basic Cinema 4D Integration in Adobe After Effects CC

first_imgThe new Cinema 4D integration in Adobe After Effects CC provides a powerful, but simple, 3D workflow. We’ll show you how to get started!For video editors and power AE users who’ve been too intimidated to attempt their hand at 3D in the past, now’s the time. Cinema 4D Lite, now included with After Effects Creative Cloud,  is a great introduction into powerful animation and 3D tools. These days it’s not enough to just be a video editor or motion designer. To be successful you need to have a good understanding of both.In this tutorial we’ll go over a few basics for integrating Cinema 4D into your After Effects projects. This roundtrip workflow makes it simple to include Cinema 4D files in AE. Highlights of the tutorial include:Prepping and stabilizing footage with the Warp Stabilizer in AE (see our previous tutorial for more details on stabilization in After Effects)Using the 3D Camera Tracker in After EffectsBasics of Creating Extruded Text in Cinema 4DAdding a Cinema 4D Object into After EffectsSet Ground Plane and Origin in After EffectsAre you using a Cinema4D and After Effects CC workflow?Share your thoughts and advice in the comments below![Best viewed full screen][color-box color=”gray”]This is Evan Abrams for Premiumbeat.com. I’m going to show you really quickly, how in Adobe CC you can stabilize, track, and then put in 3D geometry from Cinema 4D Light. These are brand new features and really simplify 3D work-flow. So, inside of After Effects the first thing I’m going to do is import the footage that we want to use. So here I’ve just called it “footage” and it’s footage of the patio outside of my building. So I’m going to take this and I’m going to drag it onto a new composition. It’ll create a composition of the same frame rate and frame size and duration as that original clip.Now, when I pan through here I want to find the segment that I’ve made specifically for this, and then I’m going to hit ‘B’ to set my work area, and then I’m going to move ahead for this example, hit ‘N’ to set the of the work area, and then I’m going to trim the composition to the work area. Because we’re going to be using a lot of automated processes, we don’t want to be having the software rendering and analyzing unneeded frames. So, you want to trim it off to the size you need.Now, you’ll notice here it thinks frame zero is frame 356, so I’m just going to go in here, change the composition settings, and one of the things I want to change is changing it from the start frame to being start frame zero; and it’s still 91 frames of duration. And then, instead of 23 I want to have that to be an even 24. And we’re going to find out why when we move into Cinema 4D, but it’s just because for now we’re using this because it’s a round number. You could keep it at 23.976 if you want; but then we’re going to be doing a lot of copying and pasting. So I’m just going to move it to 24 because it’s not that noticeable a difference, and hit okay.Now, this is set up to be smoothed out; even though I’ve done as good a job as I could out in the field shooting on a SLR camera using hand-held motion is going to have a lot of shaky jerky parts. So we’re going to use the warp stabilizer VFX, which is new to Adobe CC. The warp stabilizer was around in CS6, but this is an updated version. So I’m going to drag that out and it’s already going to start analyzing.While it’s doing that I’m just going to briefly describe what we’re looking at. So, we’re going to have the result here, which can either be smooth motion or no motion, which will lock it off. You can change the smoothness, and I think 50% is too much. I’m just going to have 5% smoothness, meaning it’s going to be 5% smoother than it was before. The method can be only position, position scale rotation, perspective, or the sub-space warp. And the sub-space warp changes things inside, so these are all linear, so this is just the position; this is position scale and rotation, and perspective starts to pinch and widen the top and bottom.But sub-space warp creates a much smoother look, but it’s not always the look you want. Sometimes sub-space warp makes a lot of mistakes. If you find it’s making a lot of mistakes, you just move up until you get something that looks good. Borders here, basically because it has to expand this a little bit what it’s going to be doing is, if we move to stabilize only, you can see there’s going to be a little bit of black bar, because it is having to move the comp around. So if you do a stabilizing crop, then it is cropping it down to be the aspect ratio, and then stabilize crop and auto scale is going to fit it to there. And then if you use synthesize edges it’s going to make up information to fill in those regions. But that’s only for times when you really cannot withstand scaling. For us, auto scale puts it at 104.3%, and that is within tolerable bounds for me. Basically 110 and higher is too much; 110 and lower is just fine, so that’s kind of our break-even point.And then there are a lot of additional things you can do here in the advanced, such as working out the reduction of the rolling shutter, which happens on SLR cameras. You can change its objective kind of thing here, and all sorts of advanced things. But for most of your work you’ll never have to touch those. You can just bring it on, say how smooth, and then define everything outside of the advanced. So, while I’ve been talking it’s been stabilizing and it’s done a pretty good job of smoothing things out. So now what we’re going to do is go back to our project here and change the title of this from being footage to stabilize, because this is the stabilized footage. We’re going to take that and drag it onto a new comp, and that comp we will be calling camera solve. The reason that we break these things up into multiple comps is because you can’t effectively apply a stabilization and a 3D track to the same comp, because it has to read the pixels off one to make the other; and stacking them is just not an effective way to do that. So it’s best to pre-comp it, so all of the pixel changes it’s making here to stabilize we can then make use of here in the tracking.So, we pull up the 3D camera tracker, and pull that onto the stabilized within the camera solve, and already it’s going to start working. So there are a lot of things you want to tell it to make this easier, and the first is, is this a fixed angle of view, or is it a variable zoom? I used a prime lens, so it’s a fixed angle. And within the advanced you can tell it things like what type of movement are you doing. So if it’s stuck on a tripod and you’re moving it around you should tell it that so it doesn’t assume otherwise. I’m going to say typical because this is hand-held moving around, nothing’s really set. So sometimes this will fail, and when it does fail you want to hit “reset” and just have it give another go. So it’s not that onerous for it to try again, and sometimes it makes mistakes when you start changing settings before it’s done.So, what are some other things in here? We’ve got method used; once it sorts itself out. And then it’ll tell you the average error, and that is how far off or how confident it is that it’s got this thing locked down. And then by tweaking all of your settings you’re going to improve its average error. So basically you want the average error to be as close to zero as possible, but there are areas of tolerance you can put up with just because nothing’s really perfect..So now it’s going to try to solve the camera, and it has put all of these little dots everywhere, and you can see when you mouse over it starts to make a target. And we know this is a good track, because when we put the target out there it seems to align with the ground. So when you scrub through you can see the points are very much stuck to things in the scene, and we’re looking at an average error of .23 pixels, which is pretty good. That’s going to be almost indistinguishable. Ideally you want this to be as low or as close to zero as possible. So, that’s really just the big thing.Now we’re going to add a Cinema 4D object to this scene. So what we’re going to do next is we’re going to go layer new max-on Cinema 4D file. And again, this is new in Adobe CC, but this is how easy it is to just add in a Cinema 4D project. You can import Cinema 4D projects as well if you’d like, but we’re just going to create a new one from scratch. I’m just going to call this ‘titles’, and then it’s going to open up Cinema 4D light right out of the application. So in here you can make some basic things, and I’d encourage you to learn from other tutorials how to make things in Cinema 4D Light, but I was going to show you really quick how to make text. So you go to spline, pull up some text, and then you type into its properties over here, something like Premiumbeat.com; click outside, and you’ve created these splines. And you’re going to create an extrude [nerves], put the text here inside the extrude [nerds] like this, and then it creates this extrusion. Now you’ll save your work here, and then when you go back into After Effects it’s stuck it in here. S\So we’re back in After Effects and the bulk of this tutorial is about After Effects. So the first thing you want to do is make sure that this sticks into your scene. And in order to do that you need to have a camera. And we make a camera by hitting ‘create camera off the 3D tracker’ so it creates a camera that matches the camera we already made. But one thing I’ll show you real quick is that when I hit ‘create camera’ and then we go into the Cinema 4D here and we say, use the comp’s camera, it doesn’t look correct at all; it’s kind of like our 3D thing is floating off over here where it shouldn’t be. And that’s because we have not defined where the origin of the scene is. And the origin is, if we go back into Cinema 4D here, this point here where new objects are created it’s 000 on the [Cartesian] plane; it is at the ground at .0 and that’s where things come in. So right now that’s where this is, and that’s where it expects to be, but we haven’t defined in this scene where that is. So delete that camera, because it was wrong. Go back to our 3D camera tracker and then we’re going to select a bunch of points, and then we’re going to right click. I’m going to say, set ground plane and origin. So it’s going to say, use these points to say where the ground is, and from that we are going to then put a point on there that is the origin. So we say, define that; good. That’s done; now create a camera; perfect. And now Premiumbeat.com is stuck down there on the ground. So that works out pretty well.And it’s actually done a good job of sticking it in there. So it’s pretty firmly where it ought to be. There are a few things that you’ll want to do just to improve how this looks. And one of those is going to be to go into your titles here, go to project, the thing you’ve created, and make sure that its frame rate matches the frame rate of your composition. So go to interpret footage main, and you’re going to want to conform its frame rate to, we said, 24 and then hit return. So now this 24 frames a second comp is matching the number of frames here. And if we go into Cinema 4D again, or Cinema 4D Light, you can see that it’s 0 to 90 frames by default, but if you go edit project settings, you can see it thinks it’s 30 frames a second, so change that to be 24. And then we’ll just change its frames to be 91, just like the comp. Hit save, and we go back here and everything is now lining up, so if you animate something you can count out the frames in the Cinema 4D file and then if you change some things in this project it’llline up for that number of frames.So that’s basically it for the basics of putting Cinema 4D things into After Effects using the new Adobe CC tools. We’ve stabilized footage; we’ve [solved] for the camera, and then we’ve brought in the Cinema 4D file. If you want to get deeper into Cinema 4D though I would totally recommend that you check out other tips and tutorials on Premiumbeat.com. It’s a great resource for all sorts of applications; Cinema 4D included. This is really just the basic overview about how to get things into Adobe After Effects, and to work with them in there. The big thing though, and I’m going to just stress this again, is make sure you’re frame rates and durations match, and also make sure that you’re using the correct cameras and that you set the origin and told the computer where the things are. A lot of frustration in the 3D integration comes from not setting the origin, because the computer can’t know until you tell it.Anyway, I’m Evan Abrams. Thank you so much for watching. Hopefully this has been helpful with getting you started into the Adobe CC and some of the new tools. If you want to learn more about Adobe After Effects and other applications stop by Premiumbeat.com and check out the blog for those. And of course, come to Premiumbeat for all of your royalty-free music and sound effects needs. I’m Evan Abrams; thanks again for watching, and I’ll see you around the Internet. [/color-box]last_img read more

Tips for Rewriting Your Screenplay Without Starting Completely Over

first_imgThinking about burning that old screenplay? Consider the following steps for fixing your screenplay without scrapping it completely.Writing a screenplay is hard work. Not only is it time-consuming and labor-intensive, it’s also emotionally draining — pouring your heart and soul into a project will really take it out of you. And, the sad fact remains that the vast majority of screenplays never see the light of day. So to be successful, you’ll probably need to write many scripts in your lifetime.However, while it might be a daunting task, that doesn’t mean you should abandon all hope when you hit your first roadblock. Good screenwriting is actually just good revising. Here are some tips to revise and rewrite your screenplay — without starting over entirely.Recognize Your Strongest MomentsYour first step is to find your light. Evaluate your script to find your strongest, best, and brightest moments. If you can identify the best parts, you can pull those out and find ways to give them more life, elevating the rest of your script to their level.This also helps you recognize which moments aren’t as strong and may need to be tweaked — or changed completely. Find your light, then work to direct your energy on making it better. The rest of your script will follow.Tweak Your Lead Character(s)Image via Dallasetta.Many screenwriters start with their main character well before they put pen to paper (or keystrokes to computer). This is helpful in the ideation phase, but once you’re knee-deep in a project, you’ll need to train yourself to let some idealized versions of your characters go, thus letting the narrative take over.Just because you originally wrote your lead characters one way doesn’t mean they can’t change. Ask yourself If my lead changed, how would that affect the story? And what doors might that open up?Introduce a New Element EarlyA fun writing exercise for any script is to try throwing in new elements — early and often. Whether they’re ideas you’ve been tinkering with or just something you grab out of thin air, try throwing in some new wrenches to your narrative — early — to see what might fit.Does your lead character have a new flaw? Is there another relationship between characters that wasn’t there before? Is there another surprise conflict to overcome at the beginning? Try some things out; see what your characters can handle.Find Ways to Raise the StakesImage via Mark Poprocki.A good three-act screenplay should constantly be finding ways to raise the stakes throughout the structure. Yes, we all know to raise the stakes in the final moments of the third act, but strong motive and audience interest hinges on raising the stakes at every crossroad.If your screenplay seems to drag early on, it might just be that the motivation isn’t there — that there’s no push for resolution. Ask yourself How high the stakes are on the first page? And how much higher can they can go on every page after that?The Power of Voice and ToneFrom the outside, at least compared to other forms of writing and literature, the screenplay appears to be less artistic. It’s more straightforward in its direction and style. Your character does this, says that, looks this way, etc. However, for your project to really find life, you need to find the right voice and tone to tell your story.Yes, a script is a guideline for the actual production, but it also contains the lifeblood of the narrative. If it feels bland and lifeless, it very well could feel that way during (and after) production. Find your tone, your power, and your voice. If you can make your screenplay fun to write and read, you’ll be able to push through any rewrites (or revisions) to create the best script possible.Cover image by VGstockstudio.Looking for more on screenwriting? Check out these articles.5 Important Tools Every Screenwriter Should HaveHow to Overcome the 5 Biggest Obstacles to Writing Your ScreenplayAustin Film Festival Interview: Insights for Turning Your Script into a 90-Second PitchHow to Break a Script Down Into a Shot List6 Free Scriptwriting Resources for Your Next Screenplaylast_img read more

You and Your Stupid Politics

first_img Get the Free eBook! Want to master cold calling? Download my free eBook! Many would have you believe that cold calling is dead, but the successful have no fear of the phone; they use it to outproduce their competitors. Download Now If you are reading this post, it means my beloved The Sales Blog is back online after being taken down by Anonymous. Apparently, they took down Go Daddy for supporting SOPA and similar anti-freedom legislation.Earlier this year Anonymous hacked Stratfor, a global intelligence company whose services I subscribed to, and stole my credit card. I’ve heard Anonymous uses your credit card to make charitable donations, but that’s not what they did with mine. They see Stratfor as helping serve forces that they oppose.A few weeks ago, Chick-fil-a managed to make it into the news by sharing their opposition to same-sex marriage. They drew a lot of opposition from people that support same-sex marriage and a lot of support for their beliefs from people that share their view. They believe they have a religious duty to oppose same-sex marriage.Because this blog is important to me, I now want to switch hosting providers. Go Daddy’s political decisions are interfering with my business decisions. They made a political decision to support SOPA, they were vocal about their support, and I believe they even threw some money behind that support. They lost a lot of customers for making that decision. Now they have to live with the consequences of that decision as businesses that want their sites to remain up come to understand that Go Daddy is a target.I have written this warning a couple times. But I’ll repeat myself since we are getting close to another Presidential election.You are free to support whatever political party or candidate appeals to you. You are also free to support whatever cause you believe deserves your support. You are even free to share your opinions with the world here on the Internet, on the back of your car, or when you are sitting across from them in meetings.But you are not free from the consequences of your decision to publicly share your politics.Some people will support your opinions. Other people may buy from you in spite of disagreeing with your opinions. But some people won’t do business with you because of your political opinions. The more political you are, the more you will offend people that don’t share your politics.No one will know your political opinions unless and until you share them. If your politics have nothing to do with what you sell, you aren’t obligated to share them. You aren’t changing anyone’s mind about their political beliefs, but you might be changing their mind about buying from you.Be political if you want to, but be thoughtful and be careful. There are people counting on you.QuestionsWhat are the risks of sharing your political opinions?What are the benefits of sharing your politics?How does advertising your politics help you make more sales?After you know your client shares your politics, is it okay to talk politics with them?last_img read more

When Little Data Is Bigger Than Big Data

first_imgBig Data is all the rage. And with good reason, too. There is so much data being created, captured, sorted, sifted through, analyzed, reported, sold, and shared that extraordinary business insights are inevitable. And we’re just getting started.But not so fast! With all this trumpeting of the “new” new thing, let’s not forget about what’s really important: Little Data.Little DataBig Data is the aggregated data from lots of individual consumer transactions (as well as all of the rest of the data in the digital wake now trailing behind each of us). The data is being used to determine how to sell to individuals and businesses. But you already have Little Data, and that Little Data can help you serve your clients and dream clients now.Over time, you’ve captured your client’s communication preferences. You know that they prefer phone calls to email, or in some cases, they prefer a text message. You know that they like a follow up call when they place an order. You know that sometimes they need to see your face, and sometimes they just want you to listen. You’ve got information about your client’s communication preferences in your sales force automation software right now.You’ve also captured information about your client’s ordering patterns. You know the big shifts in their business, their peak season, and their client’s ordering patterns. You’ve got this information in your system now.You have a lot of data about your clients at your fingertips now.Context and InsightIf you’ve done a reasonably good job capturing information from all of the interactions you’ve had with your clients and dream clients, you’ve also got something Big Data doesn’t necessarily give you: context.I bought my son the Hellsing videos on Amazon.com. I think I bought two separate sets of videos. Now, Amazon is recommending I buy all kinds of cartoons and manga. The data collected doesn’t come with context. It doesn’t recognize that I am not my son, that the videos were a reward for good grades, and that they are cluttering my experience with what their data tells them I want to buy. It’s not the perfect analogy, but Amazon’s algorithm says that if I bought Helsing, I am interested the stuff that other Hellsing buyers bought.You, on the other hand, know why your clients ordered what they ordered, when they’ll need to order it again, and how they might do better by doing something different.You are all the time collecting and capturing data about your clients and your dream clients. But to make this Little Data work for you, you have to use it to generate insights, ideas, and value for your clients and your dream clients. Sometimes Little Data is more powerful than Big Data.QuestionsWhat little data do you collect?What do you know about your clients that helps to you serve them better than anyone else could?What ideas and insights does your insight give you?Is your Little Data as important as any Big Data? Get the Free eBook! Want to master cold calling? Download my free eBook! Many would have you believe that cold calling is dead, but the successful have no fear of the phone; they use it to outproduce their competitors. Download Nowlast_img read more

Three Imperatives for Revenue Growth

first_img Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Now You want revenue growth? You want to make your goals? Here are your three imperatives.Create Enough OpportunitiesTo improve your revenue numbers and reach your goals, you need to generate opportunities. You might be able to acquire enough opportunities within your existing client accounts, but it isn’t likely. Opportunity acquisition is your very first problem and it should be your first priority each week.You create new opportunities by prospecting.If you want growth, you have to dedicate time to the activities that generate opportunities. If you put some other activity in front of opportunity acquisition, those activities will like crowd out the time you need to prospect and nurture your dream clients. If your honest with yourself, you know this is true.Put opportunity creation first and dedicate the necessary time to prospecting.Improving Your Win RateEvery sales interaction counts. It’s imperative that you execute your sales process and that this process helps your buyer navigate their buying process. You can generate all the opportunities that you want, but if you’re not effective enough at the moment of truth you don’t advance opportunities—and you don’t win them.You improve your win rate by following your sales process. You also improve your win rate by planning the outcomes of your sales interactions. Deep down, you know that opportunities are too rare to squander. Winging it isn’t a plan for value creation. Your effectiveness during sales interactions is the key to winning.Focus on executing and improving your win rate.Capture More ValueThe final imperative is to capture more value from each and every opportunity. You need to create the most value possible for your clients so that you can capture the most value for you and your sales organization. It’s easier to win small deals and it’s often faster. But you need an average deal size that allows you to reach your goals.Capturing more value requires that you build bigger deals. It might also mean you increase the size of target accounts. It almost always means improving your ability to create enough value to capture more of it yourself (i.e. selling well enough that you don’t have to discount).Focus on creating the maximum value for your clients and capturing some of the value that you create.These are the three imperatives for revenue growth: creating opportunities, improving your win rate, and capturing more value.QuestionsAre you creating enough opportunities? Are you dedicating enough time to opportunity acquisition?Is your win rate improving? Declining? Are you executing your sales process and preparing for each sales interaction as if it matters?Are you selling your clients what’s easy or what they really need? Are you selling small prospects instead of the dream clients you really need to build your business?last_img read more

4 Tough Conversations You Must Have to Succeed in Sales

first_imgWe like selling when it’s collaborative, when we get to help our clients through their process. We don’t like it so much when we have to deal with the inherent conflict that is part of sales and selling. If you are going to succeed in sales, you are going to have to be comfortable and confident having some tough conversations. Here are four of them.Time: The very first conversation you have with your dream client is tough conversation. You have to ask them for the commitment of time so you can explore working with them. They have to deny your request because they are too busy, they’ve said no to everyone else, it wouldn’t be fair, and they’re certain you aren’t going to make it worth their while. You want to be collaborative, but the very first conversation begins with your client telling you “no” and you refusing their very first request. If you want in, you have to have this conversation.Access: Once your past that first tough conversation, you have to ask for access. You need access to information, and if you are really good, information no one else has asked for. You also need access to additional stakeholders. Your new contact struggles to give you information. What do you need it for? What are you going to do with it? No one else has asked for it? She struggles to give you access to other stakeholders. Why do we need them? What if they take control of this project? What if I lose the relationship? If you want access, you have to have this conversation.What’s Right: Your dream client thinks he knows what he wants. But he’s wrong. What he wants isn’t going to solve his problem, and it isn’t going to deliver the result he believes it will. But he believes it nonetheless. You have to tell him he can’t have what he wants, it won’t work, and why you don’t want to give it to him. If you want to really serve your client as a consultative salesperson and trusted advisor, you have to engage here.Price: Your price is higher than your competitors. It’s higher than what the client is paying now. But it is the right investment to produce the right result. But still, your client pushes back. He wants a lower price. He wants to compare you to your competitors, none of who can deliver what you deliver. If you are going to win at the price that delivers results, you have to talk about the right investment.last_img read more

Weak Managers Focus On More Activity

first_imgThere are no outcomes without activity. But the right outcomes require the right activity.“More activity” is the answer a weak manager uses when they need better results. It’s easier to demand more activity than it is to determine the real outcome you need, determine the “right and necessary” activity to deliver those outcome, and to ensure that his people have what they need to be effective in generating both the activity and the outcomes.Lest you think I’ve gone soft, many underperforming salespeople are asked to generate more activity because it is what is necessary to produce greater results. But when the idea of “more” is applied across an entire sales organization, it’s a clue that it is being used a substitute for what is really needed.You might need to make more phone calls. But you might also need a campaign of value creation in front of those phone calls to make them more effective.You might need more opportunities. But you might also need to better work the opportunities that are already in your pipeline but being haphazardly pursued.You might need more leads—or better leads. But you might also need a list of dream clients and a real plan to nurture those relationships to create the real opportunities you need.You might need more flexibility when it comes to your price. But you might also need to create a greater level of value and a compelling, differentiated, tailored value proposition.Sometimes you need more activity. But most of the time what you need is something more complicated, something more difficult to obtain. Strong managers know that some people need to be pushed for “more activity” to achieve their goals, but that most of their team needs greater effectiveness in areas where competencies are more difficult to obtain.QuestionsWhen is more activity the right prescription?When does getting better results require something more than more activity?Is more activity always necessary from all salespeople at the same time?Why is effectiveness more important than activity?last_img read more

How Not To Be A Sales Poseur

first_img Get the Free eBook! Want to master cold calling? Download my free eBook! Many would have you believe that cold calling is dead, but the successful have no fear of the phone; they use it to outproduce their competitors. Download Now My friend Mike Weinberg says “No one defaults to prospecting.” What he means is that when salespeople have time between calls or meetings, they don’t automatically pick up the phone and start prospecting. And he’s right about this.When I was a young salesperson, there was only the phone. Every morning, I secluded myself in an office and made prospecting calls. I started making calls at 8:15 AM, and I stopped for lunch at Noon, when I’d usually go to a restaurant with my peers. After lunch, I’d start making calls again until it was time to go home.As I made calls to every number in the business section of the phonebook, I wrote down every “good” lead on an index card. If someone told me that they used what I sold, they were a good lead. The next day, I’d flip through all of those index cards, knowing that they were better than the numbers in the phonebook. Then I started back through the phonebook. No targets. No business intelligence. No social networks. No LinkedIn. No research.It was prospecting. All day. Every day. And then the appointments came. And after I made a sales call, it was back to prospecting. Lots of people were better salespeople than I was. No one made more calls. Prospecting was my default.As a young salesperson, no one had to tell me to prospect. I didn’t know what else I should have been doing. And there still aren’t many real choices available to you. When you need new business, you make your calls.Don’t be a sales poseur. Pick up the telephone.I made two cold calls today. Dave Brock and his team make calls every week.last_img read more

Why Your Dream Client Wants a Lower Price

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Now It is easier to find a lower price than it is to make the changes that improve your performance. This is why so many of your prospective customers are laser-focused on price.It’s easier to find someone to reduce the price you pay than to change what you believe. It’s easier to believe that your vendor, your supplier, your partner, or your whatever isn’t doing the job that they should be. This belief is reinforced continually by the salespeople who promise to deliver better, faster, and cheaper. Real change requires that you first believe that a lower price doesn’t deliver better results and the real issue is something else.Finding a lower price is easier than investing more in the outcome you need. You don’t have to have the messy, complicated internal conversations. You don’t have to justify the greater expense. And you don’t have to deal with the risk, especially the personal and professional risk that you take by recommending dealing with the real obstacle to greater performance. Real change often means increasing the investment you make in the outcomes you need. Cheaper is easier.It’s easier to find a lower price than it is to change the way you do business. It’s easier not to buck the status quo and not to change any of the processes that make up “the way we’ve always done it around here.” The fact that you’ve done something one for as long as you have is proof positive that what you’re doing isn’t broken. It’s easier to believe that someone or something else needs to change. A new vendor with a lower price isn’t change.When you think about building consensus inside your dream client’s account, know that a lower price is always going to be easier than what you are asking for when you ask for a real commitment to change. This why you need the support from the CEO of the Problem, and you still need executive sponsorship. You need the help and support of the people who are willing to choose the harder road, the road that leads them better results.A lower price is easy. Better outcomes are difficult. You are defined by which of these you choose to sell.last_img read more

Ken Wilber on Stages of Development and How They Show Up in The Business World  – Episode #69

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 57:58 — 53.2MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Email | Google Podcasts | RSS“Stages of development” is a term you hear more in the philosophical and psychological realms than you do in the business realm. But Anthony has come to believe that a better understanding of human development and these “stages” we go through in our growth is very beneficial for sales and business leaders. This episode is a deep dive into psychological and philosophical theories surrounding this idea of “stages of development.” Anthony’s aim is to help you better understand yourself as a business or sales leader and to better know your team members and clients, so that you can better help your customers and work with your team, for greater success.Ken Wilber on Stages of Development and How They Show Up in The Business World – Episode #69Click To TweetWhat IS consciousness?Anthony starts this conversation with Ken Wilber by asking perhaps the deepest question of all: “What IS consciousness?” On one hand, Ken says that defining consciousness is not all that difficult. In his thinking, anytime you are aware of something, conscious of something, you’re experiencing consciousness.  For most of us, it is primarily associated with the “I” dimension of how we think about the world; the things we think about in relationship to ourselves. But there are others that think of consciousness in terms of “it.” It’s an objective structure of thinking that is strictly related to brain function and physiological process. On this episode Anthony chats with Ken about the reality of consciousness and how our thinking about it impacts the way we approach relationships with others – which can dramatically impact sales.Understanding the stages of growth can help you discern your customer’s motives and goals.Philosophers and psychologists categorize human development into stages of growth and try to label them in ways that describe what’s going on in the human psyche during that stage. For example, there are stages of growth that are entirely focused on the self, others that expand to include a concern about immediate community, and then even further during another stage to think about the broader world. As a sales or business leader, if you’re able to discern how your customer is thinking (which of those stages of growth they are operating out of), you’ll be better able to address the concerns they are likely to have as you interact about your sales solution.Understanding the stages of growth can help you discern your customer’s motives and goalsClick To TweetDo you understand where your team members are at in their developmental growth?If you can make that leap and begin to grasp their motivations and desires (based on their stage of growth) you’ll be able to lead them, motivate them, and energize them more effectively through the messaging, encouragement, and coaching you provide. That’s because you’ll have the ability to tailor your approach to each person to best fit into their view of the world at that time. You can hear this deep dive conversation about personal and cultural development as Anthony chats with Ken Wilber, on this episode.How we see the stages of development showing up in the business world.The importance of understanding the stages of development that people go through not only has to do with how to lead better, but also how to BE a better leader. For example, If a leader is stuck in an egocentric stage of growth they’ll clearly be leveraging things to their own advantage, which could impact the health and success of the company and clients. It’s an incredibly in depth conversation on this episode but is also filled with practical insights into the way people grow and interact with others. If you’ll take this one seriously it will put you way ahead of the competition on a number of different levels.How we see the stages of growth showing up in the business worldClick To TweetOutline of this great episode Anthony’s introduction with Ken Wilber, philosopher, author, and teacher. What is consciousness? – and thinking about the structures of consciousness. Research showing how the “I’ aspect of consciousness grows and develops. 4 major stages of hierarchical growth. The common structures of development that business leaders should know. The stages of growing up: 8 levels of growth. Understanding how the stages of development show up in the business world.Our Sponsors:Swag IQwww.PreOrder.TheOnlySalesGuide.com – Get bonuses with Anthony’s new book.Resources & Links mentioned in this episodeMaslow’s Hierarchy of Needs0674445449The theme song “Into the Arena” is written and produced by Chris Sernel. You can find it on SoundcloudConnect with AnthonyWebsite: www.TheSalesBlog.comYoutube: www.Youtube.com/IannarinoFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/iannarinoTwitter: https://twitter.com/iannarinoGoogle Plus: https://plus.google.com/+SAnthonyIannarinoLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/iannarinoTweets you can use to share this episodeWhat IS consciousness? – get the answer on this episodeClick To TweetDo you understand where your team members are at in their developmental growth?Click To TweetSubscribe toIn the ArenaApple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsAndroidby EmailRSSOr subscribe with your favorite app by using the address belowlast_img read more

Your Greatest Assets?

first_img“Our people are our greatest assets.”These are easy words to say. There are not a lot of people who would disagree with this idea, and it appears on walls and on mission statements and in annual reports. It seems to be a universal truth for most companies, even if it is more often honored in the breach.Assets show up on a balance sheet. Expenses show up on a profit and loss statement. The money that employees are paid shows up on the profit and loss statement, and not a balance sheet. The words “our greatest assets,” might sometimes be in conflict with the reality that in some cases people are treated more like “a necessary evil.”Deep CaringA company can’t make people feel as if they are cared about. Only people can do that. Leaders can act in ways that make people know they are cared about. A person’s direct manager can make them feel as if they are valued. This is, in fact, what is necessary if people are truly your greatest asset.If no one cares about you at work, you are not going to feel like an asset. You’re going to feel like a number. Like a cog in a wheel. Deep caring for and about people is necessary.Investment in GrowthCompanies that believe people are the greatest assets invest in those assets. Some companies invest money to improve what they believe to be their greatest asset, their actual human resources. They train, develop, educate, and coach their people, helping them achieve greater and greater capabilities, confidence, and success. More still, they invest time and energy with the people who work for and with them.If you believe training and development is too great an expense to invest in your “greatest assets,” your behavior doesn’t match your professed beliefs.Meaning and PurposeThe most important things you can provide cost nothing and produce the greatest returns.Your “assets” want to do meaningful work. They want to do work that is purposeful. If your mission is to improve shareholder value, you are severely depriving people of both meaning and purpose.Many mission statements written on company walls are about as inspirational as the dust collecting on their frames and the even dustier and long forgotten binders the consultants gave the executive team when they were written.You have to help people understand how and why you create value, as well as how people benefit from their doing so.People are your greatest assets. But saying it doesn’t make it so. Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

My Influences

first_img Get the Free eBook! Learn how to sell without a sales manager. Download my free eBook! You need to make sales. You need help now. We’ve got you covered. This eBook will help you Seize Your Sales Destiny, with or without a manager. Download Now Tom PetersI didn’t read In Search for Excellence. By the time Tom Peters came into my awareness, he had just written The Circle of Innovation. It was through this book, published in 1997, that I came to understand that we live an accelerating, disruptive age and that one must adapt, again and again and again.From Circle, I went backwards to Thriving on Chaos, and then forward to The Brand You 50, The Professional Service Firm 50, and The Project 50, before reading Re-Imagine years later. No one has shaped my thinking about business and doing purposeful, meaningful work more than Tom Peters.Stephen CoveyI am not sure when I first picked up The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey, but I was young. What I discovered was that everything was my fault, and that if I wanted to change the relationships I had with other people, I had to change first. I’d love to tell you that the lesson stuck on the first reading. Or the fifth reading. But it took quite a while longer than I would have liked.It is easy to understand the ideas in The Seven Habits intellectually. It is something different to make them your own.From there, I read and studied First Things First and Principle-Based Leadership. There I learned even more about my responsibility to use my time to do meaningful work and the charge a leader must keep.Neil RackhamI have read countless books on selling. I have taken something from almost every one of them. But no work has been more influential, and none has helped me succeed in sales more than two books from Neil Rackham. The first, naturally, is SPIN Selling. Two ideas changed everything about how I sold. First, I started working on gaining an advance in every sales call. Second, I started to focus like a laser beam on the implications of not changing. Upon making these changes, selling became easier for me, and my personal sales took off. So much so, I ended up leading a team.Rackham’s follow up, Major Account Sales Strategy, had an even more profound impact on my thinking. This book never got the accolades it deserved. That book helped me win multi-million dollar deals, and the principles in that book are deeply ingrained in how I think about sales and selling.There are a lot of people who have done good work here, but for me, it’s Rackham first.Ken WilberIt is important to understand your world. If you like that kind of thing, then maybe you want to understand the Universe, and everything in it. Ken Wilber is a philosopher, but for me, he is far more than that. He is a friend, and a teacher.I found his books A Theory of Everything and A Brief History of Everything, before stumbling into Sex, Ecology, and Spirituality (if you pick this book up, you are on your own).Ken’s great work is a framework into which you can fit all other frameworks. It is master key for understanding human behavior, human cultural evolution, and the development of human psychology. His work is a synthesis of a lot of other’s work, including philosophers, scientists, developmental psychologists, and spiritual teachers.I only discovered Ken’s work a few years ago, but it has made positive changes in the way I view much of my work, and even more positive ways how I view other people.last_img read more

My Best Advice for Your Sales Kickoff

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Now If I could offer you only one piece of advice for making your sales kickoff a massive success, it would be this: Coordinate the content into one integrated whole. Let me explain.It is rare that you get your entire sales force together in one place for a few days, so everyone is going to want time with the whole group, and a good many people on your team are going to want certain workshops. You are never going to have enough time, but you know that.It’s also expensive to put together a sales kickoff meeting. You have to deal with logistics, hire keynote and content speakers, handle catering, and deal with entertainment. All of this is critical, and it is more work than most people recognize.It is important that the sales force is entertained and educated, but it is more important that they return back to work with the ability to take action on what they learned. This means one of your primary goals should be to weave all the content together, building to the outcome that you want.Keynote speeches must be entertaining. They also have to contain some major learning outcome. A great keynote can provide the content that creates a mindset shift in the sales force. That mindset shift serves as the platform on which to build the rest of the content.Breakout sessions need to educate, and they should teach new skills to accompany the mindset shift enabled by the keynote. This is where mistakes are usually made, and they usually begin with content around product. Product is important, and salespeople need a deep understanding of what they are selling. The mistake is to provide product content alone, separated from the mindset shift and separated from the sales skills.This can very easily be improved by connecting the product to the theme, and then tying it tightly to the skills being developed in the breakout sessions. Here is a quick example.Let’s say your keynote speaker talks about how buyers have changed the way they buy. The skill set training might be around identifying where the buyer is in their process, requiring the salesperson to leverage that information to open a conversation about the new outcomes enabled by the product.The integration of content around the outcomes you are trying to enable isn’t easy to do, and there is no chance you won’t have content that falls out of your major outcomes. But it is still the best way to ensure that you achieve the result of having your salespeople leave capable of doing something they were not capable of doing when they arrived.last_img read more

Your Real Brand > Your Personal Brand

first_imgThis idea is not what you think it is. It’s different and in some ways, more important. It’s about your brand. Not the manufactured and manicured brand that social media allows you to present to the world. You know, the one you work hard to build.This is about your real brand. The brand that has nothing to do with social media. This brand is made up of how people feel about interacting with you personally, in real life. This brand isn’t the facade; this brand is the foundation and the structure. That experience is your real brand.What is the experience people have when they meet you?Do you give the person you are interacting with your full and undivided attention, making them feel that they are the most important person during the time you spend with them? Or was some distraction more important?How do you treat people who hold no position of power or influence and can do nothing for you? Do you acknowledge them, giving them the significance they may feel that they are lacking? Do you ignore them, recognizing they can do nothing for you?Is your behavior indicative of someone who does good work, who is conscientious, and who cares deeply? Is your brand that of excellence, of going the extra mile? Or is your brand “skating by,” doing only what is necessary and nothing more?This brand, your real brand, is more important than your brand on the internet and social media. It is your real character. It’s who you are when no one is looking and when you are not taking a selfie.Now, if your “personal brand” isn’t exactly your “real brand,” then your “personal brand” isn’t your brand. That incongruity means that what others see is not what they get. That your talk is not your walk. That it is, in fact, a facade and that the foundation and the structure are weak, not strong enough to support a better brand.You are better off improving your “real brand” than your “personal brand.” Who you are matters more than what you do. Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

Ground Yourself In What is Timeless

first_imgFor the last decade, there has been a trend towards believing that what worked in the past is automatically wrong for the future—and, more still, ineffective right now. The purveyors of this thinking believe that there is no progress without the type of disruption that comes with tearing down what came before it. As I have written here before, evolution transcends and include what came before, not eliminating it altogether.A few examples are helpful. If you read a book on a Kindle or a tablet, that form is different from a bound book. But the core of a book is that it is a method for sharing the written word. That has not changed.Streaming audio provides much more control over what you can listen to and when. It’s much better than radio (terrestrial of a satellite), and it’s a fair bit better than cassette mix tapes. What radio was—and is—the ability to share words and music across great distances.Television and movies are also now streaming to any device with a screen, and the production of content has been liberated from the hands of a few to the masses. This is a massive shift in power, but not that does not change the medium much. You still watch programs that educate and entertain you.Not everything that is new is good or healthy. For proof, look at the food most people eat. Much of it is efficient in delivery while lacking when it comes to delivering nutrition.Many of those who write about sales mistakenly misunderstand how things evolve. They believe that a new medium, namely the Internet, destroys everything that has come before, even if a Digital newspaper is no different than a paper newspaper; the form has changed but the function has not.They argue that cold calling is no longer a valid method for prospecting because there are new ways to communicate. They suggest that permission marketing is the right choice and then send unsolicited emails and InMails. They criticize interruptions while working hard to cause you to stop scrolling with your thumb.They suggest that closing is dead, without understanding that one must still gain commitments, oblivious to that fact that most salespeople wouldn’t know how to pressure someone to buy or execute a hard sell. This, when all the evidence points to companies struggle to make decisions and needing more help and more prescriptive direction.When it comes to pitching, that too is old and must be replaced with something new, which is often framed as sharing information and being helpful. The idea that one should never pitch is always written as if it were a law handed down on Mt. Sinai. It’s black and white, with all context removed. Even when there is a time to pitch, and even when some prospects want to be pitched.In a time of constant, accelerating, disruptive change, you are right not to become too attached to the things that are likely to change. You may want to be more agnostic and more willing to take in new ideas and new technologies and tools. At the same time, however, you would do well to ground yourself in the things that are timeless. There have been disruptions before, and they were in many ways more jarring. What helped people succeed then is what will help you succeed now. Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

Marrying Up the Sales Process and the Buyer’s Journey

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now When one designs a sales process, it is normally presented on a slide, beginning on the left side with a box, normally titled “target.” It ends on the right side of that same slide with the box titled “won/lost.” It is shown to be a linear process.We generally follow the same format when we present the buyer’s journey, another orienting generalization with real value, even if it is not as straightforward for B2B as it is for B2C. That process is also shown as something linear, with a straight path that is predictable and easy to follow.Some sales organizations have decided to pay less attention to their sales process, preferring instead to believe their role is to facilitate the buyer’s journey. Others are slavishly devoted to their sales process without much regard for where the buyer is in their process, driving hard to move through their sales process, buyer be damned. Still others work diligently to line up these two processes. That, however, is not easily done.Not a Journey, but JourneysWhen you look at the major, disruptive trends in complex B2B sales over the last couple decades, none of them might be as important or as difficult for sales organizations as the number of stakeholders involved in a single opportunity. Not only do more stakeholders slow the process, more people involved in a decision tends also complicate things by revealing conflicting interests and internal priorities that are often at odds.As it pertains to lining up a sales process and a buyer’s journey, more stakeholders immediately destroy almost any approach one might take.Maybe the executive leadership understands the nature of their problem and is highly compelled to change. This is a wonderful occurrence if you’re the one calling on executive leadership in this hypothetical, especially if you have their support. But, what if at the same time their IT department is wedded to the status quo and willing to defend to the death any attempt to change things? These two groups are out of alignment in any buyer’s journey, and recognizing where each group is in your sales process isn’t all that likely to help you sort out their differences.Complex, and Increasingly SoBecause the buyer’s journey is nonlinear, the sales process is now nonlinear as well. Complex B2B sales is ever more complex.I wrote The Lost Art Closing: Winning the 10 Commitments That Drive Sales, to provide salespeople with the commitments that are generally needed to help people and organizations change. The commitments provide a bridge between the sales process and a buyer’s journey, acknowledging the fact that different stakeholders may be in very different places when it comes to their buying journey, and providing some guidance on what to do to help move them forward.last_img read more