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Category Archives: Keynotes & Training

How to Negotiate: To get to the profit, you have to go through personality.

You negotiate with a person.  They have a personality.  If you leave their personality out of your considerations in the negotiation you will probably not fare well.

I was recently talking with a friend who is a manager in the retail industry, and his story best illustrates the importance of considering personality in a negotiation.  The lease for the clothing store he managed was about to run out, so the store owner told my friend his plan for renegotiating the terms of the lease with the property owner.

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How to Negotiate: Never Give Others Your Deadline

When negotiating a deal, there are a few DOs and DON’Ts that are good rules of thumb.  Some are obvious, like not giving the full price you are willing to pay.  Other tips might not be so obvious, like never telling them your deadline.

You don’t have to lie; just don’t give them your drop dead date.  If you do you will be giving them more than just your deadline.  You’ll be giving them more power in the negotiation than you would perhaps intend.  Give them their deadline instead. Your deadline and their deadline do not need to be the same.

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Sales Tips: Switch to warm calling.

Most sales people I know hate making cold calls as much as any of us hate receiving them. Every year, companies invest millions of dollars on adopting better ways to prospect and sell in a cold calling model. I see cold calling as inefficient, ineffective and outdated.

Tip #5: If you want more bang for your buck on the front end of the sales process, then convert cold calling to warm calling. This is more than just a cute play on words. It is a critical distinction that can yield more business per 100 calls by more than you might believe.

For the sake of simplicity, I will use business-to-business rather than business-to-individuals as examples. The process of cold calling goes something like this: a low-paid phone jockey is given a script and a list of potential customers. They plow through the names and numbers racking up a very small number of successful calls. This is more expensive than most businesses realize because the list of names and numbers the caller was given have often already been vetted and identified to have a high potential for a need for their particular product or service. What a waste of opportunity!

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Sales Tips: Create Sales Opportunities

Tip #4: Turn customer service into sales opportunities.

If you compare the cost of obtaining new customers to the cost of maintaining existing customers, you probably know that it pays to work for a high customer retention rate. If you are pro-actively measuring customer satisfaction and using the information to make improvements and keep clients happy, then I applaud your foresight.

More often than not, however, companies lose more customers due to poor customer service than they gain, which is completely backwards.It reflects a reactive Customer Service team and is frankly bad business.Customer Service Managers should be trained on up-sell and cross-sell opportunities, and should be remunerated for their efforts.They should also be highly aligned with the marketing team to be asking the right questions of their customers and collecting feedback for new product or service opportunities.

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Psychology of the Sale: It’s All About Them

Tip #3: Don’t let your personality get in the way of profit.  The sale is all about them, not you, so tune in to your customer.

What do I mean by this? First of all, it is important to understand that a highly trained sales person tunes into the three elements that occur during the sales process:

  •  Obvious elements: spoken words, body language
  •  Nuanced elements: word choices, the sequence of the process
  •  Invisible elements: the conscious strategies or feelings that drive the verbal and emotional aspects of the communication. I also call this the “why behind the what.”

This heightened awareness of the customer allows the sales person to go beyond creating the rapport that the potential buyer dictates, but further, to sense the fears, attractions, or proclivities that are steering the buyer’s behavior. Armed with this information, the sales person lays out a roadmap, a path of least resistance, to closing the deal: what to sell, how to sell it, and when and how to close it. So a sales person who checks their ego and tunes into the customer gleans powerful knowledge from obvious, nuanced and invisible elements.

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The One That Got Away: Understanding the Psychology of the Sale

Now, more than ever, we have to maximize our sales costs and efforts by doing everything we can to land the sales opportunities we get. Believe it or not, most sales people today are insufficiently trained to do so. It’s not enough to merely know your market, your product and services, and a few sales techniques. Before I will call a salesperson “highly trained”, they have to be able to read the personality style of the potential customer within the first minute of meeting them. Yes,this is possible! Learning how to read and react to the psychology of the sale is the most important training a sales person can have to be highly effective in any economic climate.

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Igniting a Transformation: About Congruency Training

I am often engaged by leaders of organizations seeking to ignite a transformation. In my leadership and organizational development programs around the country and the world, I have encountered questions about transformational thinking and how to move hearts and minds.

In this blog, my team takes a Q and A approach to addressing training formats and the best way to achieve transformation to reach better outcomes in a leadership team and an entire organization.

Q: Explain your approach to transformational thinking.

Joe Caruso: The templates on which our thoughts are formed typically live in the past: past myths, old driving truths, and past self-definitions. Transformational thinking is different from the way an individual or organization normally thinks in that it doesn’t rely on these three things. When we don’t use past myths, old driving-truths and past self-definitions, we are more likely to think differently enough or change our approach enough to create a vastly different outcome. In other words, to change the behavior, we must first change the thinking that drives the behavior. This is necessary to experience transformational thinking.

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Leading in An Out of Control World – CASE Council of Administrators of Special Education

As a keynote speaker during the 19th annual 2008 CASE Conference, Joe was asked to contribute a feature article for the newsletter for the Council of Administrators of Special Education, CASE, a division of the Council for Exceptional Children, published bi-monthly.

Leading in an Out of Control World

A lot is asked of the CASE professional. It’s difficult enough to try to properly function in the dysfunctional and out of control environment that special education professionals deal with every day. Now CASE is asking you to lead as well?!

How does one lead a process that they don’t control? Further, how can one lead disparate individuals in micro-communities with varying and various agendas? Not to mention that there is no “leadership” line item on your already stretched too thin budget.

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