Being Positive vs. Positive Self-Talk

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The wealthiest man I know once told me the key to success is having amazing self-talk. I remember feeling disappointed when receiving this advice over a nice dinner. What a conundrum that I’m getting advice from the a man who was featured in Forbes Magazine as one of the most successful people alive and I’m having a negative response to advice about positive self-talk.

I decided to investigate further what he meant by “you have to have amazing self-talk”. He went on to explain that self-talk is defined as what you say about yourself to yourself, and what you allow others to say about you that you believe. Then it hit me, my whole life I thought being positive is what having positive self-talk was all about. But after my conversation with Spencer, I realized that my self-talk had nothing to do with being a positive person. It had everything to do with looking in the mirror and honestly saying what I think about myself.

Most people have the wrong idea around what self-talk is all about. Most people, myself included before this dinner, consider being a positive person as what it means to have positive self-talk. I think of a funny Saturday Night Live skit like this one when I hear motivational speakers talk about having a positive attitude and living in a van down by the river.

Your self-talk is the most important thing in your life. The core of your self-talk is your belief system. Your beliefs construct your attitudes. Your attitudes determine your actions. Your actions come from your feelings. Your feelings come from your self-talk. If someone stuck a recorder inside your brain over the past 24 hours, I’m willing to bet the things you tell yourself about yourself would be scary. Most people spend their entire lives telling themselves what they can and cannot do. And as Henry Ford said “whether you think you can or you cannot, you are right.”

Your self-image is directly tied to your self-talk. When you look in the mirror, do you see someone who is fat, ugly, dumb, a failure, a bad husband, a lousy father, a victim, a martyr, a jerk, a nag, a mediocre worker…Or do you see someone who is fit, sexy, smart, a winner, the world’s best husband and father, someone who will go over, under, around or straight right though any obstacle in their way!?

In 1st grade, I flunked phonics, then in 2nd grade I flunked spelling, then I proceeded for the rest of my schooling to make F’s in any subject that had to do with reading and writing.  I developed a very real self-talk issue around the topic of reading and writing. I would say things like “can someone else read instead of me, I’m good at other things and not good at reading.”  One day a sales manager at the Southwestern Company challenged me when he said, “You know as long as you keep saying you aren’t good at reading, you never will be.”  I went home that night and made a decision that I would never again say anything about being less proficient at reading and writing.  Instead, I would say things positive about reading and writing.

I created “Positive Affirmations” around reading and writing, and I started saying them everyday.  My affirmations included “I am a wordsmith”, “I am an author”, “I am an avid reader”, “My lexicon is vast”, and “I am the world’s best Scrabble player”.  After a few months of saying these “Positive Affirmations”, I found myself picking up a book and started reading every day. Additionally, I opened up a Word document and started writing every week. More than 14 years later, I’ve read over 100 books and am the author of several books.

As humans, we are programmed to think a certain way, whether we like it or not. Either you choose to give up control of your own programming and let the media, society or your friends and family program you with what you believe about yourself and the world…or… you take control of your self-talk and start programming yourself with the things you want to believe about yourself and the world. If you want to take control of your self-talk, the most impactful exercise you can possibly do is to take out a piece of paper and write out a minimum of 10 positive affirmation and then make copies of your affirmations and carry them with you, post them on your walls, share them with other people and, most importantly, say them to yourself out loud every day.

Here are some of my personal affirmations: 

  • God gives me all strength, courage and confidence… and with God anything is possible.
  • I always communicate with confidence, unwavering Relentless Truth.
  • I always put God first, Kyah second, Haven third, friends fourth, work fifth, and myself sixth regarding how I make decisions.
  • I am an athlete. I am consistent with working out at least 3 times per week and walk with Kyah 2 times per week, and eating a Paleo diet.
  • I raise the belief, energy and confidence level of every single person I interact with.
  • I empathize with others’ struggles, pains and regrets and help them embrace truth, forgiveness, mercy and love through God.
  • Most of all, my life mission and what God has called me to do is help others reach their God-given potential every day.

 

Southwestern Consulting™ Co-Founders deliver keynote speeches to Regions Bank!

We were thrilled when Co-Founders, Rory Vaden and Dustin Hillis, were asked to deliver their keynote speeches to an audience of Regions Bank Executives and Employees.  This is the kind of thing we work so hard for and we’re always excited to share the experience with you.

SWC at Regions

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If you’d like to learn more about booking a Southwestern Consulting™ speaker for your upcoming event or meeting, contact us here.  We look forward to partnering with you in the future!

SEEKING SUCCESS? KNOW WHY YOU ARE DOING IT!

What motivates top producers in both movie making and money-making?  Is it money?  Is it recognition? Is the fame? Is it winning an award?

Oscars for Top Producers

Last year I attended the Direct Selling Association national meeting in Washington, D.C.  In a round table training sessions the topic was “How to Motivate a Sales Team”.   Leaders from various direct selling companies told how they motivate their sales teams, and then the question came to me and I said, “At the Southwestern Company, what we do is…”   I heard someone whisper, “This will be good!”  As I looked around the table every leader was looking at me intently with their pens in hand ready to hear the secrets of the Southwestern Company and how we motivate our sales team.  I told the group that it all begins with helping train young salespeople to find their purpose for working hard.

Knowing why you are doing what you are doing will help you reach the pinnacle of any industry.  The reason award winners on Oscars night get to walk up on a stage in front of the world and accept an award for being the best in their industry is the same reason the Southwestern consistently trains people to be more successful than they ever thought.  Both Oscar winners and top producers know the WHY behind what they do.

If your WHY is big enough, you will find the how.

What is it that motivates you?  Is it money? Is it recognition? Is it fame?  Is it winning an award?

An easy way to find your purpose is do the following exercise:

Write out 5 characteristics of the type of person that you want to be.

Make a list of 10 things that you love about life.

Write out 10 things that you are thankful for.

10 things you want to do.

5 things you want to have.

Then write down in 3 sentences or less what motivates you.

Once you know what motivates you to achieve your highest potential; the awards, fame, and fortune is bound to follow.

For more sales tips go to www.swsalestalk.com.

CREATE A BUYING ATMOSPHERE

How to create a buying atmosphere

We’ve talked about how building trust is a crucial facet of selling. So, how do you make someone like and trust you? At the Southwestern Company they teach how you need to create a “buying atmosphere”–a non-pressured environment that allows your prospect to open up their mind and allow you to truly demonstrate the value of your product or service.

Creating a “buying atmosphere” can be established in a sales situation by using statements such as “Well, Erin what I’m going to do is show you how this works, and if you like what you see that’s great…but if it’s not a fit, that’s no big deal. I just want to make sure you understand how it works. Does that sound fair?”

Any time you feel like you are over pressuring the client be sure to use a buying atmosphere statement like the one above or even something as simple as “if you like it, great. If not, no problemo.” The sales experience shouldn’t mimic that of a used car lot. It should be the kind of atmosphere that encourages discussion, fosters relationships and builds trust. ALWAYS create a buying atmosphere that keeps both parties comfortable and engaged.

DUSTIN HILLIS

Are You Fishing in an Empty Pond? FIND MORE REFERRALS IN 3 FULL PONDS

Are You Fishing in an Empty Pond?

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Have you ever heard anyone use the excuse “I just don’t have anyone to call on!”?  Fishing in a pond without fish is not fun.  Our job is to find the ponds that have fish. There is a large body of water that a lot of salespeople seem to forget to fish in and there are 3 main pools of water you can pull from to fill your pipeline.  The large body of water that is the holy water for salespeople that will keep them alive forever is REFERRALS!

3 Referral Pools

  1. ABC Lake– Asking for a referral from every person you meet
  2. Old Man Joe’s Farm Pond– Calling on existing clients and “farming your book of business” and asking for referrals
  3. Fish Hatchery– Developing a network of referral power partners who send business to you

At the Southwestern Company we have seen true sales professionals who know that prospecting is a vital ingredient in the recipe for success.  In fact, prospecting should be one of your daily tasks.  As you may have heard before, prospecting can make or break your sales effort – which is exactly why you need to do it well…but what does it take to be “good” at prospecting?

Man-Fishing-1

First of all, it’s important to keep in mind that prospecting is more than just a part time task…it is your livelihood.  Prospecting should not be a duty that’s left only to “slow” times.  Continued prospecting ensures constant growth, and can minimize income and production slumps. Your prospecting efforts should be viewed as an investment in the future success of your business.  Basically, it’s an investment in your long term goals.  If you’re consistently seeking out new leads, you guarantee yourself an audience regardless of market status.

Secondly, you should recognize that prospecting is a discipline.  Rory Vaden the Co-founder of Southwestern Consulting a Southwestern Company says “Success is never owned, it’s only rented, and the rent is due every day.” It won’t matter how “good” you are if you don’t have the discipline to see it through.  Much of being a successful sales person is perseverance and practicing a solid work ethic.  Set prospecting activity goals for yourself and use a schedule to get there.  Commit yourself.

And finally, prospecting should be viewed as a task that requires both quality AND quantity.   Prospect well, but prospect often. Many sales professionals at the Southwestern Company swear by the “triple rule” that says your prospecting efforts should exceed your expected sales by three times.  For example, on the small scale, if you wanted to sell 3 products, you should prospect 9 potential clients!

Remember: never lose sight of what needs to be done!Get a handle on the commitment you’ve made to your own success and stick to your goals.  Make sure you are “fishing” like a pro and asking for referrals.  Ask yourself, are you reallytaking advantage of available resources?  Are you procrastinating?  If you are not working at your full potential get a coach or accountability partner to help you make sure you’re fishing in the right ponds and consistently have you line in the water.  For more info on coaching go to

The “Golden Ten”: How to Generate Leads and Turn Contacts into Clients!

The “Golden Ten” – how to Generate Leads and Turn Contacts into Clients!

One of the most important things you need to ensure sales success is a solid resource of leads…but that means you will have to get out there and generate those leads!  The good news is that lead generation doesn’t have to be intimidating and if you use the right techniques, it can actually be both productive and fun!  Because this is such a common sales question, we’ve put together the “Golden Ten” tips for generating leads.

So, without further adieu, “The Golden Ten”:

The Golden Ten

The Golden Ten

1)      Use your networking resources!  Exchange URL links with companies or business that share your target audience but do not represent a direct competitor.  When any member of that target audience visits your “partner’s” web page, he or she will have direct access to YOU!  Increasing web traffic is a MUST in lead generation; more people use the Web as a shopping forum than another other available source. For example www.southwestern.com andwww.southwesternconsulting.com shares web traffic to help increase web traffic from the Southwestern Company to Southwestern Consulting.

2)      Give your patrons a chance to hear from you.  Put your ‘opt in’ on every page of your web site. As a patron browses your site, he or she may not be immediately inclined to provide you with contact information – but providing them with more opportunities may prove enticing.  The more opportunities you take to generate leads – the better.  This option is convenient and is not overly pushy.    For example check out the Southwestern Company seminar website at http://www.ssnseminars.com/.

3)      Use a newsletter as a way to advertise your business.  No matter what’s going on with your company, customers will respond to a newsletter option.  Giving potential patrons an option to sign up for a monthly business update or newsletter is a great way to spark interest even over a long period of time.  Statistically, customers who don’t purchase immediately will make a purchase within the subsequent 12 months!  A newsletter will allow you to stay in view during this window.

4)      Using a website to advertise your service is one of the best ways to stay out in front of the sales wave, especially since so much of business is virtual these days.  Using an auto responder to automate your website is great way to keep your web page current without taking up scads of time.  Auto responders can be set up to send out a periodic update or email reminding your customers of sales, new products, etc.  Check out the Southwestern Company website atwww.southwestern.com.

5)      Be personable! Send thank you notes to let your clients know that you truly appreciate their business.  After any successful transaction, issue a thank you – either in the form of a greeting card or an e-postcard.  This thank you note will help you stand out and is very well received in client circles.  People appreciate acknowledgment.  You can use this technique in all areas of business – not just sales.

6)      Potential customers like to hear what other customers are saying.  Ask your clients for testimonials that can be published on your web page or your sales copy, pamphlets, etc.  This is a great way to show your customers that other “real” people are truly happy with your services.  Video testimonials work great check out the Southwestern Company student testimonial videohttp://www.southwesternsummer.com/southwestern-company-students-home.aspx.

7)      Use your social networking circles.  Social networking is the wave of the sales future!  If you haven’t yet explored the option of using social networking as part of your sales strategy, today is the day to do so!  Spend some time looking into this powerful tool and don’t let the wave of the future pass you buy!  Check out the Southwestern Company Facebook site at http://www.facebook.com/?sk=messages&tid=1374284354847#!/Southwestern?ref=ts.

8)      Publish press releases for new products or services.  Believe it or not, people respond to the press in a way that most other advertising falls short.  Use the power of the press release to get your services and your name out anytime a new opportunity comes up.  You’ll be surprised at the response you get.

9)      Followup, Followup, Followup!  Did you know that most people have to see or hear a message 7 times before it is installed in the “memory bank”?  That means that a followup system that get’s your message in front of potential customers at least 7 times is ideal.  Using varying options for this followup should be easy: an email, a postcard, a letter, a phone call, a newsletter…get creative and have fun with it!

10)   Market yourself with events!  Promote events, teleclasses, seminars, and other industry related paraphernalia.  Speak publicly as often as possible and use YOU as a resource.  Marketing yourself will be just as important as marketing your business.  Plus, getting out there and showing what you’ve got and what you can do will draw customers like moths to a flame!

3 TOP LEAD GENERATION TECHNIQUES

THE TRIPLE THREAT – THREE TOP LEAD GENERATION TECHNIQUES

 

lead-generationIf you’ve been in sales for more than five minutes then you already know that generating leads is a mainstay and a staple for success.  Unfortunately, far too many sales people find lead generation to be intimidating.  The good news is lead generation and lead generation techniques do not have to be intimidating, scary, or even difficult.

While there are a plethora of varying lead generation techniques, some of them stand out among peers area this week, we’ve decided to put together a triple threat of lead generation.  Three of our very favorite lead generation techniques to help you maximize your sales potential in turn your leads into customers are as follows:

  1. First of all, use your resources.  Use your social networks, newsletters, websites, question and answer forums, and any other networking opportunity that will allow you to put your name and your information out into cyberspace.  For example, check out www.dhillis.me.  Not only that, getting your name out into tangible media will also be of benefit.  For example, if you have a product that you know is persistent genre of customer will require, target that audience with newspaper advertisements, flyers, and snail mail postcards.
  2. Put yourself out there.  Basically, if you’ve had the opportunity or will have the opportunity to speak publicly, attend a seminar, or become involved in a workshop or other events, you should spend some time networking with in that realm.  Far too many speakers will allow themselves to go in my day after speaking engagement.  If you’re speaking in public, be sure and set up a short Q&A session.  A Q&A session, or simply a meet and greet, will let your potential customers (a.k.a. your leads) know that you’re accessible and available.
  3. And finally, don’t be afraid to ask for referrals.  Every time a prior customer, who is happy with your service gives you a name or number of someone else who might be happy with your service also… you’ve generated a lead.  This is an area where many sales people feel intimidated are uncomfortable.  However, if you’re passionate about your industry, confident in your abilities, and you’re laid-back and your approach — your customers will be more than willing to provide you with referrals to friends and family.

 

These are just three of many, many lead generation techniques — however, we have to reiterate the fact that these three are a triple threat and stand out among the rest.  Simply adding Beasley generation techniques to your lead repertoire will provide you with results you never before thought possible.

For more info on working referrals go here:http://secure.ssnseminars.com/store/Navigate-How-to-Navigate-Referrals-3-disc-set-by-Dustin-Hillis-P641C10.aspx