How Great Sales Coaches Build Smart Game Plans

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Sales leaders often tell us that coaching is one of the most important developmental tools they have for helping sales reps improve performance. Good sales coaching can have a direct impact on motivation, commitment and goal attainment. But many organizations aren’t realizing those benefits.

One reason? Too many sales managers are being put into coaching roles without a workable game plan.

In the sales world, coaching and development strategies often focus on behaviors, specifically, changing behavior. And behaviors are important. But the problem is, this approach tends to ignore the thinking that drives behavior. How someone behaves is situational and can be affected by many external factors—just consider all the variables and external pressures a salesperson can have to deal with on a daily basis.

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35 Thinking Tips and Applications to Celebrate Brain Awareness Week

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Since March 13-19 is Brain Awareness Week (BAW), we thought it was the perfect time to compile a few of our favorite thinking-related tips and “brain hacks”—some “collected intelligence,” so to speak. And since we’re celebrating our 35th anniversary this year, we had a nice number to shoot for as we put together our list.

Start celebrating Brain Awareness Week with the 7 tips below, and then be sure to download the full list (at the end of this post) of 35 tips and ideas shared by our global network of HBDI® Practitioners and colleagues.

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9 Tips for Becoming a Master Negotiator (Guest Post)

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This guest post is by Andy Palmer of Making Business Matter (MBM). MBM is a training provider to companies that supply the big 4 UK supermarkets: Tesco, Asda, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s. Andy is an HBDI® Certified Practitioner.

The UK grocery industry is tough. Companies are made and broken each day by the deals that are won and lost with the buyers. But our clients have discovered a key strategy for achieving a win-win: knowing their thinking preferences and understanding the thinking preferences of those they’re negotiating with.

A Whole Brain® approach to negotiation can be extremely useful in helping you get the deal that you want. Follow these 9 Whole Brain® Negotiation Tips to build your confidence, become a more effective negotiator and win more frequently.

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Tune In: 9 Podcasts to Stretch Your Thinking

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The right podcast can turn an annoying commute or another trip around the treadmill into something you eagerly look forward to.

Sometimes, there’s nothing better than tuning out to a little mindless entertainment. But you can also find plenty of of practical, inspiring and thought-provoking content to stimulate your mind and broaden your horizons. And that got us thinking...why not choose a few podcasts that can help us stretch our thinking and develop new learning habits?

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Watch Now: Think Like Your Future Depends On It, Because it Does

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For most of our lives, we’ve been told that to be a success you need to become an expert. Find your sweet spot—what you’ll major in, your career path, what you’ll be when you “grow up”—and then get great at that one special thing you do.

But industries are evolving faster than ever. Specializations are becoming outdated. Single-mindedness is closing us off from opportunity. The question is, how can you become future ready when “what you know” won’t necessary apply and, in fact, might be blocking your view and ability to learn?

Sometimes it takes a big, “aha” moment to answer that question. In her new TEDx Talk, Think Like Your Future Depends On It, Because it Does (below), Ann Herrmann-Nehdi opens up about an intense moment in her life that changed everything—and how that changed everything else.

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Buying is About Thinking: How to Get Inside Your Customer’s Head

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All through your life, you’re making all kinds of decisions. And whether consciously or not, you make those decisions by following a personal decision-making process—one that has developed over the years and become a consistent pattern that is grounded in your thinking preferences.

The buying decision, like any decision someone makes, is also directly related to the way a person thinks. It only stands to reason, then, that if you can get inside your customer’s head and have a better understanding of how they think—what they focus on, what catches their attention and how they got through the process of thinking through a decision—then you’ll be way ahead of the game when you’re in a selling situation.

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Exploring the Future of Thinking at Training 2017 Conference & Expo

in Events

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I’m always surprised when a conference surprises me. When you go to them a lot—and especially when you’re wearing your marketing hat—you begin to wonder just which one it is you’re at this time. So whenever there are some standouts, whether in the sessions, the Expo Hall or the new connections made, it makes an impression.

At the Training Conference in San Diego last week, there was the usual the cornucopia of exhibits, learning sessions, concessions and assorted activities to take part in. You have to get strategic about it if you want to check off your list and fit everything in. I knew there would be sessions I’d want to attend from a personal learning point of view as well as other activities that would help expand my horizons and spark my thinking from a business and marketing perspective.

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Why Your Sales Training Isn't Making an Impact

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In any given year, sales can be a roller coaster of exhilarating highs and crushing lows. But lately it seems as though the ride is getting more thrilling—and stressful—by the minute.

Technology is giving us (and our customers…and our competitors) access to more information than we sometimes even know how to manage. Decision-making is more complex and often involves more people—but just as often needs to happen at a faster pace. And through it all, relentless marketplace volatility is threatening deals and making it harder than ever to plan, forecast and shift attention in the moment, even as those activities become more critical to ensuring sales teams hit their numbers.

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How to Build Trust in a Virtual Team

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A little over a decade ago, the remote workforce was dominated by people in outside sales roles. They came into the office on occasion for meetings or, if they were local, to load up on marketing brochures and office supplies. But for the most part, they were out of sight.

They certainly weren’t out of mind.

I can still distinctly remember the comments around the office: Are they really working? He probably spends half the day watching TV and running errands. She’s never there when I call—who knows what she does all day.

Of course, today’s virtual workforce is no longer limited to sales roles. According to the latest research from GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com, 3.7 million employees now work from home at least half the time, and since 2005, the regular work-at-home population (not including the self-employed) has grown 103%.

But just because more employees and teams are working virtually, it doesn’t mean we’ve solved those age-old trust issues. In fact, with the rise of virtual teams, we’ve seen new challenges, from miscommunications and conflict to questions about accountability to a feeling of disconnect and detachment from each other and the team’s common purpose.

The news isn’t all bad. When the conditions are right, virtual teams can be more productive and more engaged than those who work together in the same office every day. The key is to make sure you have those right conditions in place.

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Should We Be Mindful?

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With all the attention mindfulness has been getting, it seems like heresy to even ask the question. But a recent New York Times article, “Actually, Let’s Not Be In the Moment,” may well leave you wondering if we’re overthinking this whole thinking thing.

The truth is, mindfulness, like anything, can become a trend that gets oversimplified or watered down and ultimately leads to the type of cynical view that’s presented in this article. But rather than throw away the entire concept, it seems like it makes more sense to consider what aspects of mindfulness can truly benefit us and then to focus in on those.

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