Accelerating Adult Learning

Hi, Everyone!

As I mentioned in the last Events posting, beginning on tomorrow’s Gold Team call at 11AM EST we will explore the “Napier Method” — tension management techniques in program training and facilitation.  During this 2-3 week series, we will cover five aspects of presenting and reinforcing information that help keep an audience engaged in the learning process and greatly accelerates the learning curve.

Here’s a link to the handout for the program:

The Napier Method

If you’re a Gold Team member and are currently involved in delivering any sort of training, please download the handout and plan to join in!

-T-

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15 New Clients in 2 Weeks Flat!

Hi, Everyone!

Since our most recent “MasterStream:Essentials — Natural Selling Skills for Human Development Professionals” course ended, we’ve received so many wonderful notes of appreciation from the students! Here’s what just a few of them had to say:

“I’ve relied on relationships to bring me clients and I’ve been very fortunate. I’m not a marketer and I’ve always thought that I’m not a seller. For years I’ve been offering my services with a reticence or fear of how I’m coming across. I took T’s MasterStream class and I realized that his sales method aligned with my values and the core competencies of coaching. I got 15 new clients within 2 weeks of the class.”
Augusta Nash, MCC, Georgia Coach Association

“The MasterStream Essentials program gave me a new perspective on how to deal with prospects. The description of different levels of tension and how to manage that is invaluable. The course was fast paced and had a wealth of information that I can use in my business right now. The supporting workbook and worksheets helped to guide me through a different way of communicating with our prospects and clients. Thanks for a great course.”
Denny Stockdale, Stockdale Resource Group
Professional Coach, Author & Motivational Speaker

“The class was amazing! Not only does new material jump out and grab me, I value a beautiful synthesis of pieces held dear to me in my career. I wanted to send you a testimonial but so far I can’t get past “IT IS CHANGING MY LIFE” without tearing up. What I want most to communicate to people like me is that the people behind the programs of Tension Management’s curriculum offer the most practical skill development for creating, maintaining, and succeeding at living a personal and professional life based on mutually rewarding, value added relationships. I already have greater safety and security, more happiness and health. It is simply the best program I have found in decades of searching.”
Bob Rosen, Robert P. Rosen & Associates
Consultant

“I can’t recommend MasterStream: Essentials more highly. T. packs more information into 4 hours than most people stretch into a 6-month program, and none of it is fluff. His method is unique and based on understanding the psychology of the prospect. It’s natural and comfortable. Isn’t that what selling should be all about in the end?”
Eugenia Kaneshige, Norwood Career Advisors

“Without a doubt, I credit my marketing success to T. Falcon Napier!  I am his biggest fan in appreciation for the impact he has single-handedly had in my growing my business.  I have followed precisely the tools and procedures he developed and taught through his MasterStream program.  MY coaching and training practice has increased significantly by implementing many of his techniques and soon became second nature when speaking with potential clients.  He just made it so easy to “get” and just as easy to remember to follow through! My schedule is now filling up consistently and it is a joy to not only witness the impact my work has with clients, but that I am able to sustain myself by doing the work I love!”
Ellen Schuster-Nastir, M.Ed., CPCC
Professional Certified Coach, Trainer & Speaker

“There are three components to the Masterstream Essentials class that I found critical for me to develop into a more effective marketing and sales person.  First, was to learn the differences between marketing and sales. Second, were the concepts of change and of tension management (they’re not just the fields for therapists and drug companies!).  Third, was the ChangeWorks! profile.  The profile helps me determine what I consider important in marketing and sales and my readiness to perform those tasks. As well, by better understanding the ChangeWorks! profile concept, I can more accurately determine how to move a prospect into a client!”
Greg Hill, Consultant

“The Tension Planner exercise really got my attention. I loved the logic and the skills seemed so natural. I knew what I was doing, but now I have the key to stay focused. The ChangeGrid is now making even more sense!”
Sandy Cropper, Indiana Coach Association

If you have colleagues you believe would benefit from attending the next MasterStream:Essentials training program, please ask them to give us as call at 704-987-6500.

-T-

Using the Right Skill Set

Hi, Everyone!

Here’s another article I recently wrote as part of our MasterStream:Essentials outreach program:

___________________________

Mission-Critical Issue #3

Using the Right Skill Set for the Job at Hand
The major reason why you’re not getting the clients you want.

Human development professionals are a wonderful group of people, dedicated to helping others achieve the outcomes they want most.

To prepare themselves for the work they do, they’ve devoted tremendous amounts of their time and money to completing their education and developing their skills, routinely investing hundreds of hours and tens of thousands of dollars.

While those skills make them excellent providers of their services, they do NOT generally help them get the clients they need. In fact, many of the skills vital to the work of coaches and consultants actually undermine their success when it comes to the sales process.

Using coaching and consulting skills as substitutes for sales skills is as illogical
as using sales skills as substitutes for coaching and consulting skills.

Different roles require different skill sets — and human development professionals serve at least two roles — as a provider of services to the client and as a sales professional working on their own behalf.

Let’s take a closer look at each of the five “Phases of the Change Process” from the perspective of both you as a provider of services and a sales professional. While the phases may be the same, what you say and how you say it are very different indeed!

Phase 1: Connecting

In your role as a service provider, you begin as you naturally are — as a warm, approachable and friendly person, casual yet professional. Putting your client at ease and creating a safe and comfortable space for them is your focus.

In your role as a sales professional, the conversation begins with a bit more professional detachment. What you say must be more tightly controlled, focused on proving that you understand your prospect’s situation and that you’re capable of helping them.

Phase 2: Analyzing

As a service provider, you ask your clients a variety of question to describe their situations, provoke their thinking, express themselves, and explore options.

As a sales professional, you are on a very deliberate quest to determine whether or not your prospect has a genuine need and the wherewithal to make a decision.

Phase 3: Solving

As a service provider, you facilitate discussions leading to the development of the actual solution to their situation.

As a sales representative, you position yourself as the ideal professional for the prospect to hire, focusing on the solid reasons why your background, approach and personality are the exact match for what they are trying to accomplish. Resisting all temptation to give away what you are hoping to sell — to serve as an unpaid coach or consultant — is of paramount importance.

Phase 4: Committing

As a service provider, you seek a “Commitment in Principle” — an agreement to follow through on the recommendations and action plans developed during the Solving Phase.

As a sales professional, you seek a “Commitment in Fact” — a definitive action of engaging your services.

Phase 5: Relieving

As a service provider, you leave your client with a pleasant and soothing sense of accomplishment.

As a sales professional, you leave your client with an excited, enthusiastic and an eager anticipation of their first session.

Now, go back through the phases and read just the paragraphs describing the service provider. Is it any wonder that behaving as a service provider when selling your services is less likely to result in a new client?

On the other hand, read just the paragraphs for the sales professional and see why it’s a much more effective approach.

So, are YOU relying more on your coaching and consulting skills or your sales skills when converting inquiries into clients?

-T-

Dispelling the Marketing Myth

Hi, Everyone!

Here’s an article I recently wrote for our MasterStream:Essentials outreach program —

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Mission-Critical Issue #2

Dispelling the Marketing Myth
Understanding the difference between marketing and sales.

There seems to be some confusion …

A great many human development professionals believe their marketing efforts will bring them clients.

They are mistaken.

The purpose of marketing is to generate inquiries about your services.

Marketing includes an enormously wide range of possible approaches and a huge set of tools and techniques:

• Internet marketing, social media, search engine optimization, viral marketing, video and audio marketing, email blasts and batteries …

• Strategic business alliances, elevator pitches, physical networking, sponsorships, trade shows, advertising specialties …

• Branding, image management, public relations, media relations, expert positioning, association affiliations …

• Designing a website, publishing articles and white papers, maintaining a blog, conducting podcasts, and developing advertising campaigns …

SO many ways to market yourself … and those were just the tip of the iceberg!

Regardless of the approaches you’re using, your marketing can only be deemed effective if it generates qualified leads in excess of your capacity to handle the work.

Read that again.

Your marketing results should keep you in the position to pick and choose those opportunities you genuinely want to pursue — and those you will politely set aside. If your marketing isn’t creating a excess of inquiries, you may be forced to try and convert the inquiries you do receive into clients — and that can be a VERY difficult thing indeed.

Bottom line — all marketing approaches can result in inquiries about your products or services — but getting an inquiry and getting a deal are dramatically different things.

The purpose of sales is to convert inquiries into clients.

While low cost, relatively simple products can sometimes be sold as a direct result of a well-crafted brochure or webpage, the majority of human development professionals offer a much more robust menu of programs, products and services. Things like books and low-cost seminars can easily be purchased without the assistance of a professional, but the REAL things you want to sell will almost always require you to have a conversation with your prospect.

Once you find yourself in a conversation with a prospect, your marketing has done its job and it time for SALES to become your primary focus. Sadly, very few human development professionals are naturally gifted with an ability to sell — and the majority have little or no sales experience and virtually no true sales training.

Sales conversations can be divided into a number of phases, each with its own set of objectives. Some of the phases may resonate well with your personality and business philosophy while others may feel alien, unnatural and downright scary!

So the mere thought of selling can be terrifically unpleasant.

Mind you, sales doesn’t HAVE to be that way — but traditional sales approaches, filled with exploratory probes, trial closes, and objection handlers can feel manipulative and incongruent with what you’re all about. It’s no wonder human development professionals struggle in their role as their own salesperson.

Yes, in order to be successful you must market yourself — and even if your marketing efforts are working well, there’s no guarantee that you’ll end up with a client. Sooner or later, far more often than not, a sales conversation must occur — and you must find a way to become comfortable with that fact, develop the skills you need and apply them effectively. If you lack sales skills and proficiency in using them, even an ideal situation can be destroyed.

So, do you have a marketing problem, sales problem or both?

-T-

Meet the Strugglers

Hi, Everyone!

Here’s an article I’ve written to set the stage for MasterStream:Essentials. Are you a Struggler?

_________________________________________

Meet the Strugglers
Seven Professionals Who Seemed So Ready for Success

Over the course of the past 25 years, we’ve watched hundreds upon hundreds of talented coaches, trainers and consultants struggle in their attempts to build profitable professional practices — and many of them fail.

On the surface, the vast majority of them seemed very well equipped to succeed.  Great backgrounds. Great connections. Great skills. But it just didn’t come together for them. Why?

We’ve selected seven actual people who each represent a different pattern of backgrounds, beliefs and behaviors shared by many professionals that undermine their success in the human development industry.

Which of the Seven Strugglers do you relate to?

The Helper — Frank T. just wants to help people. He’s all about serving the greater good, paying it forward and tapping into his prosperity consciousness. He also needs to make a living, so he’s been working another job while he’s building his business. That’s how it’s been for the past 5 years — and he’s no closer to leaving now than he was at the very beginning.

The Complete Package — You’d think with her background, her success would be guaranteed — she certainly did! Cathleen R. is a very well-educated, very well-trained coach in a major US city.  She has a solid background as a senior level manager in the corporate world, she’s well-known, well-connected and well-respected. She’s also not very busy.

The Marketer — Richard L. has always felt that the key to success was effective marketing — and he’s spent a small fortune seeking out the guidance of marketing gurus, website developers, social media experts and internet marketing consultants. He’s got a beautiful website and a mailing list that most would envy — and it’s all doing exactly what it’s supposed to be doing … bringing him qualified prospects each and every week. Unfortunately, he just can’t seem to convert very many of them into the clients he needs to pay all of those marketing bills.

The Giver — Susan G. is the kind of coach everyone just adores. She’s easy to talk to, intuitive and exceptional in the quality of work she does. Everyone she coaches lavishes her with acknowledgement and appreciation — and they’ve referred many of their friends and colleagues to her as well. She believes that demonstrating her coaching skills is the best way for her to show her prospects the value of her services — and they invariably tell her how much she has helped them. So why do the majority of them choose against hiring her as their coach?

The Contract Worker — With a Ph.D. from a prestigious university, an officer’s position in his target industry’s largest association and several publications under his belt, Lowell B. should have all the business he can handle.  But he doesn’t. In fact, the majority of his clients have been assigned to him by a couple of consulting firms that use him on a contract basis for a fraction of the fee they charge their clients. He knows what he’s worth – he just doesn’t believe he can close the deals himself.

The Quiet One — Stephanie S. got her consulting practice off to a decent start. Tapping into her existing relationships, she found herself getting hired for a few long-term projects rather quickly. Once those projects were done though, she was done as well — “unemployed” with few possibilities on the horizon. She knows she did a great job for her clients and felt the quality of her work spoke for itself — but they haven’t given her another project or pointed her in the direction of a new opportunity.

The Hesitant Expert — It’s a whole new world for John J. After more than 30 years in his career as a senior manager in a large corporation, he decided he’d had enough and wanted to try something he’d always thought he’d be good at — consulting. While he knew that the clients he wanted to work with were other senior managers in his industry, he thought he should wait until he had a “proven track record of success” as a consultant to go after those prospects. So he’s been “paying his dues” with small business owners for the past few years who are thrilled to have someone with his background. John’s not so thrilled.

So what’s their problem?

All seven Strugglers share one thing in common. They have placed their emphasis on the “contributing factors” rather than the “critical factors” for success.

Contributing factors are assets that support you on your quest — but in and of themselves, guarantee nothing.  An Ivy League education, extensive professional connections, strong marketing efforts and a passionate desire to be of service are great things to have — but even with ALL of them working on your behalf, you could still fail.

Critical factors are assets that serve as actual causes of the effects you desire, such as the ability to effectively present yourself in a compelling way — and get your prospects to actually hire you.

To put it more directly, STRUGGLERS can’t SELL.

Show me a successful coach, trainer or consultant and I will show you someone who is both skilled at and comfortable with selling him/herself. Someone who understands that all of the contributing factors in the world won’t make a bit of difference if the sales conversation isn’t handled properly. In fact, the industry has many professionals with relatively WEAK contributing factors who still find great success simply because they CAN sell.

What should you do?

First, own up to the truth of your personal struggle with selling.

Second, ask yourself two questions:

1)  Do you have the sales skills you need?

2)  Are you comfortable using them?

Third, improve yourself NOW. We’ve identified 31 specific strategies, skills and behaviors central to your success at selling your services effectively and comfortably — and have developed the MasterStream:Essentials program to address them all. The program is FREE for all members of the Silver & Gold Teams — a nominal fee is charged for everyone else.  Follow this link for more information:

MasterStream:Essentials

-T-

“MasterStream:Essentials” Debuts 9/30

Hi, Everyone!

We’re pleased to announce that “MasterStream:Essentials — Natural Selling Skills for Human Development Professionals” will be making it’s debut on September 30th.

MasterStream:Essentials is designed for coaches, trainers, consultants and all other varieties of independent human development professionals who want to take their sales results to a whole new level. The program focuses on 21 common challenges professionals face in their sales-related attitudes, beliefs and behaviors.

Here’s a link with full information:

MasterStream: Essentials

Included in the program is a special ChangeWorks profile that will be administered both BEFORE and AFTER the training program so that the participant can see the impact the training has had on their readiness to perform the mission-critical sales skills covered in MasterStream:Essentials.

The program takes place over TWO 2-hour webinars spaced one week apart.

To register, click on the following link:

Register for MasterStream:Essentials

Obviously, we would appreciate any assistance you can offer in spreading the word to your colleagues.

If you have any questions, please give us a call at 704-987-6500.

-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-