Events for 8/2 thru 8/6/2010

Hi, Everyone!

Here’s what’s on the schedule for next week:

“Building a Career that Matters” Webinar Series —

This series is on hiatus until September.  We’ll send out a special announcement when the program continues.

“ChangeWorks Forum” —

Monday, August 2nd from 3PM to 4PM EST. This week, we have a VERY interesting group profile to discuss. Just when you thought it wasn’t possible for a group to plot any further DownGrid, THIS profile appears — but all is not lost!  Join in to learn how to position a comatose collection of people as a GREAT opportunity for you and your client.  This series is open to ALL graduates and current students of the ChangeWorks program. Click the following link to register:

https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/167065243

“ChangeWorks Analyst Development Project” —

Tuesday, August 3rd from 12PM to 1PM EST, we will review what we have been working on for the past few weeks and begin the process of editing the comments and recommendations you’ev contributed for each of the nine areas on the ChangeGrid. We will also look at the mock-up of the interface for the “Oracle of the Self” and get you input. Click the following link to register:

https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/565528090

“Gold Team Teleconference” —

Thursday, August 5th from 11AM to 12PM EST. This week, we will continue our discussion about the fundamental change in our focus for new members of the ChangeWorks community we are considering.  It is VITAL that all of you to share what you feel about our new approach and the pre-requisites a candidate must meet for inclusion in the program. I strongly encourage all of you who work with corporate clients to attend. The program is open to all Gold Team members. Also, please remember to schedule your private coaching session.

https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/941287002

As always, our webinars are recorded for those of you who are unable to attend the live call.

NEW SERVICE AVAILABLE: If you would like to receive a link to the recording for any call you cannot make, BE SURE TO REGISTER FOR THE CALL and the system will automatically notify you by email when the recording is ready.

-T-

Remembering Lloyd Livingston

Hi, Everyone!

Last week, I found myself relating a personal story to a ChangeWorks professional who had just left a meeting with a prospect that didn’t go as well as he had hoped. As he shared his regret over how the call went and how he would do things differently given the chance to do it again, a wonderful memory was triggered from a very long time ago.

I told him that my very first experience with personal development was taking the Dale Carnagie Course in Human Relations and Effective Public Speaking when I was 22.  My instructor was a remarkable gentleman by the name of Lloyd Livingston — a person who none of you may know, yet most of your lives have been touched by on a daily basis. How? In addition to being a Dale Carnagie instructor, Lloyd was also a paper engineer with the Ex-Cell-O Corporation and the inventor of the modern version of the milk carton.

But back to the story, one special message Lloyd gave to every class he taught definitely applied to the ChangeWorks professional’s situation:

“Every time you speak, there are three talks you give:  the talk you plan to give … the talk you give … and the talk you wish you’d given.” — Lloyd Livingston

I think that applies to sales calls just as much as platform speaking engagements (and a great many other things as well). It seems no matter how much thought you give to an upcoming sales presentation, what you intend to do will never be what you end up doing — and when it’s over, it’s a guarantee that you’ll have plenty of things you wish you had done instead. That’s just the way it is — and always will be.

We call it “learning.”

-T-

Tension Management in Webinars/Teleclasses

Hi, Everyone!

Here’s a great article written by ChangeWorks Professional Paul Plamondon about tension management as it applies to the development and delivery of teleclasses and webinars.

_______________________________

Do you want to put on an engaging, client-attracting, income-producing teleclass or webinar? Avoid these 3 mistakes and do some basic tension-management, and you’ll be miles ahead of the competition.

When delivering a teleclass or webinar, it’s easy to make mistakes and not even realize it. Even when we know better, it can still be difficult to avoid some mistakes. We retreat to bad habits, we get lazy, or we just don’t know any better. Most common mistakes are avoidable when we take a conscious, mindful approach to preparing a teleclass or webinar.

In this article, I describe three of the most common mistakes and what to do about them. I also address the issue of tension-management in the learning process. At the end, there is a link to a related ChangeGrid and an invitation to a webinar I’m leading on July 28.

Mistake #1: Not knowing who your audience is.

Knowing exactly who your intended audience is needs to be one of the first things you do when deciding to put on a teleclass or webinar, but it’s easy to skip this step. I’m not suggesting that you do a formal research study or in-depth audience analysis (unless your situation calls for it), but you should take a few minutes to get clear about who you want to attract to your teleclass or webinar, and identify what their unique characteristics, needs, circumstances, limitations, and expectations are.

This mistake can have a snowball effect on all of your subsequent decisions and it can create all kinds of unintended obstacles. When you take the time to get clear about your audience, you will be amazed at how much easier it makes the rest of the process, including content-selection, activity-creation, and marketing.

Mistake #2: Delivering an information dump instead of an engaging experience.

It is a thousand times easier to deliver an information dump than it is to create an engaging experience for participants. This is no joke. And, when we are experts in something, all we need is a captive audience and we can go on and on with little or no preparation. We can get so lost in our own brilliance that we lose sight of our audience’s needs. Well, at least one person is engaged (YOU!).

The risk of delivering an information dump instead of an engaging experience is that our audience will be drowning in information. Drowning tends to elicit stress or giving up, neither of which are conducive to effective learning.

Mistake #3: Not marketing your program.

If you truly have value to offer other people, you need to let your target market know it (which takes us right back to Mistake #1). If you do not make your offerings visible to the people who might need them, you are doing them a disservice. In some ways, it’s much easier to hide among the walls of your home-office and hope the phone rings (I’ve done my fair share of that), but very few people will find you. You deserve to be seen and they deserve to see you, even if it’s scary for you.

The mistake that teleclass and webinar leaders make is that they put together a fantastic learning experience, but they get shy about telling people about it. Then they get upset and embarrassed when no one shows up. Then they give up. The whole process becomes an expensive exercise in futility.

How Do I Overcome These Mistakes? The Stages of Design

As I said, these mistakes are very common and they are easy to make. But they don’t have to be your reality. I advocate taking a conscious, intentional approach to creating your teleclass or webinar. You’ll devote more time on the front end, but the results will deliver a bigger payoff on the back end. And besides, it’s more professional and more respectful to your audience.

The process I teach is called the Stages of Design: Discovery, Design, Development, and Delivery.

The first stage, Discovery, is the foundation of every decision you will make, including the content you choose, the activities you design, the media you choose, and how you market it. This is where you get clear about who your audience is, what their problems and needs are, what limitations they might have, and so on. Discovery conquers Mistake #1 and it has undeniable implications for the other mistakes.

The Design stage contains a secret ingredient: start the process by asking yourself, “What do I want people to be able to do as a result of attending my program?” instead of “What do I want people to know?” Asking the “…to be able to do…” question will take you down a very different path than the other question. It will release you from dumping all that information on your audience and, instead, it will inspire activities and non-lecture approaches to teaching them. It’s magic…and it addresses Mistake #2.

The Development stage focuses your attention on developing activities, materials, visuals, and conceptual models that the audience will appreciate and find engaging. This too helps curb the potential for an information dump. Instead of putting together text-filled slides, try an interesting photo that uncovers the deeper meaning of a concept or create a worksheet that will give the participants a chance to practice using a concept rather than just telling them about the concept. This stage also addresses Mistake #2.

The Delivery stage occurs when you are delivering your teleclass or webinar. If you’ve taken the time to do your prep work through the other three stages, chances are good that your delivery will be effective, engaging, and credible.

All the work you did during the Discovery stage applies to your marketing strategy. This is how you address Mistake #3 – get really clear about who your audience is and then Design and Develop your strategy so that it is appropriate for them.

What about Tension Management?

When you follow the stages of design, you will follow the Natural Learning Cycle, which is incorporated into the Design and Development phases. The Natural Learning Cycle is the basic process by which people learn. When used correctly, it naturally shifts the tension at key moments so that attention and retention are maximized.

The Natural Learning Cycle is not difficult to learn, and it’s one of the core concepts I teach in my courses. In fact, if you know the ChangeGrid, you already have insight into what the Natural Learning Cycle is.

Do You Want to Know More?

I put together a ChangeGrid (or http://bit.ly/cnZdew) on the core activities for putting on teleclasses and webinars. I invite you to complete the ChangeGrid. I’m using this on a research-study basis and once I get a dozen or so responses, I’ll invite you to a webinar where we can review and explore the responses.

I also invite you to attend my upcoming webinar on the Discovery phase (or http://www.customtrainingdesign.com/discoveryalacarte.html). We’ll explore the key questions you need to ask yourself before designing a teleclass/webinar so that you can unearth the critical information that will drive your entire decision-making and design process. The course is on Wednesday, July 28 from 9-10 am PDT and the cost is $49. If you cannot attend in person, I will gladly share the recording with you. I also offer a 100% money-back guarantee – if you don’t feel that it was worthwhile, just let me know.

If you want to know more about me or the work I do, please visit my website at www.CustomTrainingDesign.com.

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If you enjoyed Paul’s article, please be sure to send him a note or leave a comment here on the blog — and definitely take advantage of the opportunity to complete the ChangeWorks profile he’s put together!

-T-

Events for 7/26 thru 7/30/2010

Hi, Everyone!

Here’s what’s on the schedule for next week:

“Building a Career that Matters” Webinar Series —

Monday, July 26th from 11AM to 12PM EST. This series explores 25 problem areas human development professionals face in building their practices. This week, our discussion continues on “Problem Area #14: No Intake System.” This series is offered as a service to our professional community and is WIDE OPEN to ANY and ALL human development pros, regardless of their affiliation with ChangeWorks — so PLEASE spread the word. Click the following link to register:

https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/168152371

“ChangeWorks Forum” —

Monday, July 26th from 3PM to 4PM EST. This week, we have a variety of questions to cover and a group profile to discuss. This series is open to ALL graduates and current students of the ChangeWorks program. Click the following link to register:

https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/789085642

“ChangeWorks Analyst Development Project” —

Tuesday, July 27th from 12PM to 1PM EST, we will review what we have  been working on for the past few weeks and begin the process of editing the comments and recommendations you’ev contributed for each of the nine areas on the ChangeGrid. We will also look at the mock-up of the interface for the “Oracle of the Self” and get you input. Click the following link to register:

https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/495409451

“Gold Team Teleconference” —

Thursday, July 28th from 11AM to 12PM EST. This week, we will discuss a fundamental change in our focus for new members of the ChangeWorks community and ask all of you to share what you feel are the pre-requisites a candidate must meet for inclusion in the program.  I strongly encourage all of you who work with corporate clients to attend.  The program is open to all Gold Team members. Also, please remember to schedule your private coaching session.

https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/668502603

As always, our webinars are recorded for those of you who are unable to attend the live call.

NEW SERVICE AVAILABLE: If you would like to receive a link to the recording for any call you cannot make, BE SURE TO REGISTER FOR THE CALL and the system will automatically notify you by email when the recording is ready.

-T-

The Power of Edification

Hi, Everyone!

Here’s the article I wrote on edification that I mentioned on today’s “Building a Career That Matters” webinar.

The Power of Edification

One of Pride-Based Leadership’s most powerful tools is EDIFICATION — a common concept in network marketing for over half of a century that remains unheard of in traditionally-structured organizations. The result is that countless opportunities to enhance relationships and build business have been lost by virtually every company virtually every day for DECADES. Bottom line — if your staff doesn’t know how to edify you and your organization properly, they’re compromising your credibility and weakening relationships with your prospective and existing customers — as well as the media, your vendors, the business community, your shareholders and anyone else with whom you seek a beneficial relationship.

Edification is simply a way of giving credibility to your company and the individuals engaging in the business relationship. It is a process through which each party comes to regard the others with greater respect — and themselves with greater pride. Done properly, edification establishes the individuals and the organizations they represent as being credible, significant and valuable to one another.

What makes edification more powerful than typical methods for enhancing credibility?

The answer is in three parts: WHAT is said, WHO is saying it, and WHEN it is being said.

In fact, putting the MasterStream Method to use, proper edification is one of the most effective tools for managing a prospect’s level of productive tension.

Let’s take a closer look:

WHAT is Said

Proper edification involves sharing two types of information: Factoids & Humanizers.

Factoids are the important pieces of information your prospect should know about the person with whom they are talking. It includes names, titles, responsibilities, company represented, quantifiable accomplishments and so forth.

Humanizers are interesting and relevant bits of personal information that help to showcase the nature — the human side — of the individual being edified.

Here is an example. Let’s say that you have decided to go on a few sales calls with each of your representatives. Obviously, your purpose in going is to enhance your company’s relationship with its prospects — and as a result, secure their business.

If your representatives behave like typical sales representatives, they will tell their prospects that, “My manager and I would like to stop by for a few minutes Tuesday afternoon. What time would be best for you?” What’s the problem? Being identified as a non-specific “manager” does nothing to enhance your image or boost the importance of your visit. In fact, it can actually make the sales representatives appear ineffective in executing their job.

On the other hand, if your sales representative had said “I’m very fortunate to have Richard Reynolds spending time with me next Tuesday. Mr. Reynolds is one of our company’s top managers and a huge resource for helping me help my clients. I only have him for the afternoon and he’s asked me to set up just a few appointments with key people.” This statement positions you in a much more favorable light — and increases the prospect’s level of productive tension. As a result, the prospect is more likely to be receptive to the visit … the visitors … and the reason they’re visiting.

The goal is to help your prospects realize that THEY are important because IMPORTANT people are electing to meet or speak with THEM.

WHO Should Say it

If you haven’t already figured it out, YOU should never edify YOURSELF. The core of what gives edification its power is that it is done by someone else on your behalf. If you were to edify yourself, you would come across as arrogant — turning your prospects off at the precise time you want to build rapport and trust. Expect a cold reception now and a closed door in the future if you try this route! If however, someone else edifies you, you appear important and gracious — and your prospects will open up and provide the information you need to help support your business relationship — and ultimately secure more business.

When you arrive at your appointment, the representative should first introduce the prospect to you and EDIFY the PROSPECT. Then, the representative should introduce you to the prospect and EDIFY YOU.

The dialog would go something like this: “Mr. Reynolds, allow me to introduce Sharon Skyler. Ms. Skyler is the Director of International Operations and she has been sharing with me some of the challenges they’re facing where we might be of help.” “Ms. Skyler, this is Richard Reynolds, our Regional Director of Sales. He has been with our company for over 20 years — and has been instrumental in helping me develop solutions for my clients. I wanted the two of you to have a chance to meet.”

Once the representative has made these introductions and properly edified the individuals, YOU greet the prospect and EDIFY the REPRESENTATIVE. “Ms. Skyler, it’s a pleasure to meet you. I’m so glad you’re working with Jim. He’s been with us for six years now and is one of our most respected representatives — and he’s shared some very impressive things with me about you and your company.”

WHEN it is Said

As you can see, the edification process generally takes place when introductions are made of the individuals involved in a business interaction — so in a sales situation, it occurs in the earliest steps of the MasterStream Protocol (Phase 1, Step 2). Delaying it further would put everyone in an awkward position, which would actually RAISE relationship tension instead of REDUCE it — and that’s the opposite of what you are attempting to do.

Also, while it may seem that edification could be performed prior to the start of the solutions presentation (Phase 3, Step 1) — to do so will most surely damage the sale for at least three reasons. First, to delay edfication that long into the process would mean that since you arrived, you’ve been sitting there as some mysterious stranger unwittingly raising tension the whole while. Second, the longer your presentation is, the lower your prospect’s tension sinks — so edifying would lower tension further than desired in Phase 3. But third and most importantly, your prospect didn’t really agree to get together to hear about YOU or your company anyway — they just want to solve THEIR problem — so introduce and edify everyone at the beginning and then get on with business.

Remember that initiating, building and maintaining mutually-beneficial business relationships is an important part of MANY of your employee’s jobs throughout your organization — and that means they should ALL understand the importance of proper edification.

Edify everyone at the outset of any discussion, and you’re setting the stage for success!

-T-

Feedback on MasterStream Essentials

Hi, Everyone!

As you all know, last week we held our “dress rehearsal” for the new MasterStream Essentials sales training program specifically for human development professionals — and I’d like to share with all of you the results of the feedback survey.

1) The results agreed with what we thought going into the session — it needs to be an hour longer overall to better accommodate the content and give the students more time to process what they’re learning — and it needs to be broken into two 2-hour sessions.  Spacing these a week apart would also provide the opportunity for a homework assignment between the sessions.  WIth that decided, we’ll update the outline, finalize the powerpoint and assemble a more comprehensive participant workbook — including the powerpoint thumbnails to save students some of the note-taking time.

2) We were surprised (and flattered) by the suggestions attendees made about pricing the seminar. They ranged from under $100 to $295 (one of you said “priceless”).  Our plan is to offer the MasterStream Essentials program on a monthly basis beginning in August.  To encourage early adopters, the price will begin at $59 and increase by $10 each month, topping off at $149. (This program is free for ChangeWorks Silver & Gold Team Members.)

3) Many of you have already completed your ChangeWorks Sales Skills Survey following the program and from what you shared, found the debriefing very valuable.  We would love to continue to include this as an integral part of the MasterStream Essentials program, but we need to factor the time required to debrief a ChangeGrid for each student into the pricing strategy.  It takes about 30 minutes for a proper debrief, so that would represent an additional value of not less than $75 – $100, in which case the total fee for the program could be $139 – $249.  We’ll need to give this a bit more thought.

4) In answer to a question several of you asked US following the program, “Yes — there are opportunities for graduates to continue their learning.”  We will be offering two advanced education options:  a 3-day MasterStream Bootcamp for students who prefer to learn in an immersive, hands-on, interactive environment — as well as MasterStream Performance Coaching for students who prefer to work remotely, 1-on-1, with a laser focus on immediate application in their unique practices. (These programs will be free for ChangeWorks Gold Team Members.)

5) We asked the question, “Overall, what would you say to someone considering taking the webinar?” — and here are some of the wonderful quotes we received:

“Great process and models.” — Karen Conaghan

“It provides practical information you can start using today to make a difference in how you work to develop more clients.” — Susana Moraga

“This is a good guide for converting prospects to clients, with practical ideas and real-world examples.” — Patty Block

“It will change the way you think about doing your business.” — Peter Popovich

“Do it. You will learn how to bring success to yourself and your business. Stop working so hard to figure it all out, this webinar gives you the tools you need to make your business flow.
As always, T shares his expertise because he really wants you to be successful.” — Nancy Dadami

“Take it – valuable information – you see the sales process from a differnent vantage point. I was amazed how fast the time went – very helpful – thanks! Will look forward to future offerings.” — Pam Solberg-Tapper

“Absolutely take it.  It was immensely helpful for me!!” — Wendy Neu

“It’s very good, and it’s not the same stuff you get everywhere else.  Thanks for the instruction, T.” — Eugenia Kaneshige

“YES!  Take it now! The simplicity of the message is complex in the delivery and T. is a magician at giving ‘heart’ and ‘intellect’ responses for things that arise.  He offers the key not just to opening the client-getting door but to bringing them ‘home’ to play.” — Augusta Nash

“This is a great opportunity to learn EXACTLY what you need to know to close sales with qualified prospects!” — Sabrina Schleicher

“It is a must because one will understand some valuable and insightful methods of selling that relate directly to the coaching world.” — Diane Allen

6) We also asked, “What are some of the most valuable insights you gained?” Here’s what the attendees had to say:

“Logic/ reasoning and examples to justify position/ concept”

“How obvious my mistakes are once I understand them i.e. who am I and what are my different roles in developing materials, and creating clients vs. servicing clients.”

“Business of Helping versus Helping Business — Who is more successful, people with or without sales skills? — Is your service mission-critical or mission-optional? — Is the client safe, secure, happy and healthy? — Change is at the heart of coaching/business/life. — People change in order to gain or maintain control. — STOP eliminating the tension that people are experiencing. — Are you currently relying more on your coahcing skills or your sales skills when it comes to converting an inquiry into a client?  Ouch!”

“The most valuable insights for me were: 1) the flow of tension is the key, even in marketing marterials.  2) Marketing is only part of the puzzle, sales is the other piece so I can take what I have learned here and work with it. I do not need a separate marketing person or program. 3) Control is at the core of making my business a necessity for prospects 4) I need to get the ChangeGrid incorporated into my business materials.”

“Keep them in tension. — Don’t waste time on apathy. — What to say when a prospect asks you what you do. — Monitor your website and materials for tension.”

“The most valuable insights that I gained were in the beginning and the end of the call.  I love the context in Part 1, as well as the sales conversation in Part 3.”

“1) The idea of coaches/consultants messing with Mother Nature. Said in different ways–the natural build of tension for action, we are denying them …  I could feel into the flow and realized how I broke the possibility of the prospect going through their own process by superimposing mine. 2) Separating marketing/sales, focusing on conversion, that the clinical side is BEFORE they become your client. 3) Support by declaring a next step to a prospect, not client yet. 4) Stop using coaching skills to sell.”

“Have a detached, clinical manner when talking with a prospect. — 40% of qualified prospects fail to purchase because of indecision. — Spend a lot of time with “What’s stopping you?” when talking to a prospect about where they want to go. — At the end, stating, “Based on what you’ve told me…” — Close with recommending a specific package (duh! — Can’t believe I haven’t been doing this!) — State, “The time for you to get started is now. Is this something you wish to do?”

“Many, many valuable points. — Making services mission critical. — The whole topic of “tension.”  — The four/five step Path of Self Discovery.”

“Let nature do the lifting.”

In closing, I’d like to thank each and every one of you who participated for taking the time to learn more about selling yourselves effectively — and extend our most heartfelt gratitude for providing us with your feedback.

We’ll let you all know when the next MasterStream Essentials program will be held and hope that you will share it with your colleagues.

-T-

Events for 7/19 thru 7/23/2010

Hi, Everyone!

Here’s what’s on the schedule for next week:

“Building a Career that Matters” Webinar Series —

Monday, July 19th from 11AM to 12PM EST. This series explores 25 problem areas human development professionals face in building their practices. This week, our discussion continues on “Problem Area #14: No Intake System.” This series is offered as a service to our professional community and is WIDE OPEN to ANY and ALL human development pros, regardless of their affiliation with ChangeWorks — so PLEASE spread the word. Click the following link to register:

https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/690139435

“ChangeWorks Forum” —

Monday, June 19th from 3PM to 4PM EST. This week, we have a very interesting group profile to discuss. This series is open to ALL graduates and current students of the ChangeWorks program. Click the following link to register:

https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/556565331

“ChangeWorks Analyst Development Project” —

Tuesday, July 20th from 12PM to 1PM EST, we will continue our exploration of the ChangeGrid for the interactive guide on basic tension management we’re developing. The two remaining areas we will be discussing are Moderate Ability / Low Challenge / High Importance and Low Ability / Moderate Challenge / High Importance. It’s a fun and informative and a great way to increase your understanding of the ChangeGrid. If you aren’t able to attend, please feel free to email your insights on the upside, downside, recommendations and suggestions for what those area is ideally suited for. Click the following link to register:

https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/215655514

“Gold Team Teleconference” —

Our usual Thursday, 11AM to 12PM EST Gold Team teleconference will not be held this week since I will be in Atlanta conducting the Certified ChangeWorks Practitioner training program. We will be back on our regular schedule the following week. Please remember to schedule your private coaching session.

“Certified ChangeWorks Practitioner Workshop” —

Thursday, July 22nd thru Saturday, July 24th we will be in Atlanta as I mentioned above.  If you would like to enroll in the program — or repeat the course if you’ve previously attended — please contact Linda at 704-987-6500.

As always, our webinars are recorded for those of you who are unable to attend the live call.

NEW SERVICE AVAILABLE: If you would like to receive a link to the recording for any call you cannot make, BE SURE TO REGISTER FOR THE CALL and the system will automatically notify you by email when the recording is ready.

-T-