Thursday, December 30, 2010

How Are You Running?—Essential Thoughts For 2011

I went for a run this morning.
Today is one of those perfect-after-a-rain-clear-blue-sky days in Los Angeles. The ocean is blue blue blue and the wind strong. The visibility was amazing. The Santa Monica Mountains, the Ventura Mountains beyond them and my dreams were all right before my eyes.

I ran along the beach and made a left to run up my favorite hill. Today I went further than I normally go and I zigzagged the neighborhoods that overlooked the Pacific. I pushed, but I felt great and so it was easy to go beyond my normal limits. I kept running up, knowing, I would come down eventually and so could re-energize myself if I needed to on the downhill portion of my run. I didn’t worry about getting tired. If I got tired I knew I could keep going and focus on my goal of living healthy and living a vibrant life. That would push me forward!

When I started my run, I had the wind at my back and so I didn’t notice how strong the wind actually was. On my way back, my run got a lot harder!

This reminded me of what happens when we first get an idea…

When we first have an idea, the spark that flows into us, excites us. We are running with the wind at our backs because we are so excited about our new idea and all the possibilities. Everything seems easy and fun. That spark that ignites something deep within and we feel that fire in our belly!

I want to take action fast! I start writing so I can turn my idea into a vision. I list the possibilities, what my idea can become and what it will look like when it materializes into something real.

Sometimes the initial excitement and pure adrenaline we feel when we start on something life changing can lessen. Like a fire, you have to keep feeding it, but you have to give it space to breathe and become bigger. You just can’t keep piling logs onto it, if you do, it will most likely go out.

It is like running into the wind. It is challenging, but we can do it. We become overwhelmed with all that we need to do in order to create our dreams. We come up against an obstacle and we are running into the wind. We have three options: give up, keep going into the wind or change course.

Today, I kept going. I dug deep to remember my primary goal to be healthy and live a vibrant life. My secondary goal, my run, supported my primary goal. I kept running into the wind. That was my solution. I kept going with my goal, literally in sight. I didn’t have far to go though. I was able to focus on the beauty around me and move toward my goal step by step.

When we have a much longer run in front of us—a big dream—we don’t want the whole run to be into the wind. But, when the wind shifts we need to keep going. Simply change course. Make a shift that supports your final vision so that it isn’t a fight against the wind your whole journey.

In life and in business, we want the wind at our backs as much as possible. If everything is a struggle, look inside. Ask yourself some simple questions. What are you fighting against? What might you do differently? What adjustments can you make that will bring you the support you need?

When we lead with our hearts and believe in our dreams more than not we will be running toward them with the wind at our backs. We are meant to run this way, to be supported and joyful.

We may come across an obstacle or two, a naysayer, someone that doesn’t see your vision. Alter your course and keep the end destination—your dream--in sight. Move past an obstacle using creativity and strategic action; don’t listen to a naysayer, a non believer, YOU believe in yourself no matter what; if someone doesn’t see your vision, don’t force the issue, move on, the right people will see your vision!

As you move into 2011 I wish for you a fun run toward your vision with the wind at your back. May you feel and be supported each and every step of your run towards your dreams!
Happy New Year!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Taking Failure Off the Table--Really!

My father helped me get a summer job on a movie my first year in college.
I was excited to be working on a major motion picture and a little nervous. I wanted to be a success, not a failure! My Dad gave me some great advice. He said, "No matter what anyone asks you to do, just say yes, even if you don't know how to do something, say yes. Then go and learn what you need to learn to finish the job". I took this advice to heart.

On that movie set I learned what it meant to be solution-driven. I learned how to be creative and resourceful by focusing on solutions. On movie sets, there is only yes for an answer, it is all about finding a solution. Failure isn't even an option! Now, if I find myself presented with a challenging situation, I don't get discouraged or feel defeated. As long as I'm working toward my dream, I'm OK.

Most successful people know on some level that they're going to achieve their dreams. No matter how out of reach their dreams might seem, they take steps each day to move forward. If things don't go exactly as planned they still keep moving forward. Adapting this mindset will allow you to succeed in big ways. Failure is never the option; the only option is finding a workable solution.

That is what Allison Maslan, CEO of Blastoff Life and Business Coaching, did when she had an idea for coaching software: Blastation Interactive Goal Setting and Life Coaching Software. Allison wanted to create an online software experience for her clients. Rather than buy someone else's software, she developed her own. Although she didn't know the first thing about software development, she didn't let that stop her. Allison takes failure off the table. It is never one of her options, period.

Allison developed Blastation when she was unable to find adequate goal setting software to use with her coaching clients. "It's a lively software that helps keep you organized, optimistic and inspired so you can stay on track to make your dream life a reality".

This unique web-based software can be accessed anywhere there is an internet connection. "Blastation will help you to clarify and attain your large and small life dreams and visions in an exciting and stimulating way". The software enables users to break their goals down into easy-to-follow incremental steps, called 'Mini Feats', that allow bigger projects to be more easily achieved.

These steps are then posted on your personalized online Blastation Calendar to keep your personal and professional life organized. Allison thought of everything: Blastation can even send e-mails and host your online address book.

"If you are creating something new and you have a fear of failure, you can take a different approach. Whatever happens, whatever wall I hit, I just have to figure out a solution and then I can never fail, I just find a solution". Allison's right, when you shift your focus to finding a solution, you rewire your brain.

According to David Rock in his book Your Brain at Work, "unmet expectations often create a threat response" and the "brain is built to avoid threat, people tend to work hard to reinterpret events to meet their expectations". In other words, if we tell our brain something, it listens.

Look for solutions and adjust your expectations. David Rock recommends the following: "stay in a positive state of mind, find ways to keep coming out ahead of your expectations over and again, even in small ways". And maybe most importantly, "when a positive expectation is not being met, practice reappraising the situation".

Direct your brain's energy into finding solutions. Focus on learning new tools to support your goals. Explore new ideas and new ways of doing things. Allison's solution was simple: she reached out to an expert software designer.

Allison had an idea. She didn't know how to develop software, but she knew what she wanted and focused on that. She found a solution and her dream materialized in a big way: her software is used internationally! First say "yes" to yourself and your dreams, then take the necessary steps to achieve them. Allison's motto is, "keep your head pointing towards your dream, walk towards it daily and don't let anyone tell you it can't be done"!

With this kind of solution-driven attitude anything is possible.

As seen in The Huffington Post

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Passion in Business: Moving Out of Your Head, Into Your Heart

When I left recruiting in 2008, I made a conscious effort to change the face of my business.
I spent thirteen years operating my executive search business from my “to do” list. There wasn’t enough room for inspiration, passion and heart. Wake up, go to the gym, get to the office, get on the phone, find the candidates, schedule the interview, prep the candidate, negotiate the salary, and close the deal. Do it again and again and again. Where is the passion in that?

My business was too much head and too little heart. Of course I had a heart and felt it when I couldn’t help a candidate, or they didn’t get the job they wanted. But my day to day was all form and structure. This leaked out into my personal life too, I needed structure there too and quite frankly didn’t know how to stop, slow down and relax. I wasn’t happy every day!

When I started my sales consulting business in 2008 I ran it the same way I ran my recruiting business: more form structure than true creativity. I was doing what I thought I was supposed to be doing. I had imagined somehow I would be happier. I thought I was following my heart.

I was following my heart, not leading with my heart.

I would work so hard that I would burn out and on those “burn out” days, out of sheer exhaustion I was forced to relax. I would leave the office and not think about where my next client was coming from. On these days, I was able to reconnect to my core mission. I began to be aware of the contribution I was meant to be making. Something amazing started happening. On these “burn out” days, I would literally attract my best clients. I noticed a pattern. The harder I pushed with my head, the more my clients went running for the hills. The more I focused on what I could do for others, the contribution I could make, the more clients would seek me out.

It was time to reconnect to my passion and my purpose. I needed to map out a new strategy for myself. I had to figure out what I wanted from my business, where I wanted to be and why. I didn’t want to forget the reasons I left recruiting and the contribution I wanted to make. I tapped into my passion and realized that I wasn’t moving toward my core mission, because I didn’t know what it was. I was still in my old corporate mindset and I wasn’t running my business, it was running me.

We hear it over and over, successful entrepreneurs follow their passion. They know what they want to do and why they want to do it. Every action they take is fueled by that drive, that fire in their belly, their reason for doing what they do.

Recently on Facebook, a video of Kevin Spacey from “Inside the Actor’s Studio” went viral. Its title: “Kevin Spacey—Motivational Speech”. He says, “The only prize is this one: what you feel and what you want to accomplish…to want and to be ambitious and to want to be successful is not enough; that is just desire…To know what you want and to understand why you are doing it…if you feel you have something to give…worth caring for, then there is nothing you can’t achieve”.

Kevin Spacey is absolutely right!

Now when I plan my day or my week or even my month, I plan from my heart. I make sure that everything I am doing lines up with my core mission, my beliefs about who I am and how I want to contribute to the world.

For me it was taking a leap of faith. It was about rewiring how I think, how I react and how I run my business. I still have structure, I always will and it is important for a thriving business to have some structure. I know what I want and mostly how I am going to get there, but I am not so inflexible as to close myself off from opportunity.

My strategic plan is all about heart and is based on my core mission. More than ever, my heart leads and my head follows. Opportunities appear to land in my lap with more ease and clients reach out to me more than ever. I am not saying to stop marketing, stop selling, stop accounting and operations. I am just suggesting you lead from a different place. See what changes for you when you are fully connected and operate from this place of remembering your passion and your purpose.

You know what I’ve discovered? I’m happy every day!

You can be happy every day too! I can help!!!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

10 Sales Tips That Can Help You Sell More---NOW!

We all sell.
We sell every day! Even when we aren’t “selling” our products or services, we sell. We spend time at networking events, on the phone, on Facebook, on Twitter, on LinkedIn building our network, our businesses and our brand.

It is never too late to improve your selling skills.

I wanted to offer some tips that you can implement immediately so that as you reach out at all the upcoming holiday networking events and parties, you can be even more successful than you already are!

Have a Sales Strategy
Like anything being built, a business needs a blueprint too! Your sales strategy is your blueprint for your selling success. It is the map you follow that guides you to your final destination: SUCCESS! It will ensure that you are focused and moving forward to achieve your goals.

Know Your Target Market
During your Sales Strategy Session you will define your ideal customer or your target market. If you don’t know what kind of plants you want to grow in your garden, you don’t know what kind of seeds to plant. First learn what you want in an ideal client; then do the research to determine what your ideal client wants from you! You can’t sell anything without understanding the person, group, or company you are selling to.

Schedule Time to Sell
Once you put your sales strategy together; then break it out into action steps to move you forward. Make a daily, weekly and even a monthly plan. Work your plan! When you work your plan you will reach your goals. Even if you only set aside one hour a day to make calls, set appointments and follow up, you will see some results. Consistency will move you forward and closer to your goals!

Yes, you have heard this many times before AND it bears repeating: “Don’t talk so much!” LISTEN. Really listen to your prospect as he/she speaks. (Take notes if you can). You will hear important clues that will guide you toward your sale. Selling isn’t telling your story, it is listening to theirs. Let them do most of the talking and you most of the listening!

Be Curious and HEAL THEIR PAIN
Selling isn’t pushing, it is a gentle pulling…pulling a thread of discovery. Be curious and ask questions to discover how you can work together and what your customer might need. You can’t solve their problem without knowing what it is. So ask questions that will get you the answers that uncover their pain and then you can heal it! That’s selling!

The Money shouldn’t be the Goal
At the end of your life, you won't care about being rich (you can’t take it with you), but you will want to be known as the best in your field. Make that the goal and the money will follow.

Attitude Attitude Attitude
It should be a good one! Don’t take the “NO” personally. Starbucks may be right across the street from Coffee Bean and they are both crowded. It is a “taste bud” thing. When someone says NO, we can ask why and learn, we can say “thank you” and ask for a referral, or just move on. Don’t worry your ideal client is there. He or she might just be across the street at the Starbucks, so continue on with a smile.

Relationship Relationship Relationship
I buy from people I like. Don’t you? So do your customers. People buy on emotion and back it up with intelligence. So you want to connect with your customer and be yourself. You are building a relationship. This might take one call or two or seven or more, but keep at it and your prospect will appreciate your efforts!

Show Value
Selling is a process and closing is part of the process. In this process you MUST show VALUE to your prospect. When you do finally quote a cost, remember to reiterate all the value your customer will get for their hard earned money. When you show value you are more likely to hear “yes”. You aren’t “closing” someone you are offering value and filling their need.

Have Fun
Remember that you have a core mission and part of this is sharing your knowledge, your value, your product and your service. So have fun! No matter what, this should all be fun and it can be! Selling is nothing more than learning about another person, being interested, curious, open, and honest and making someone’s day with a smile. So have fun and sell lots!

I hope that this has been helpful! If you need more, or have specific questions I am here to help and look forward to our collaboration!
Visit my website for more on how I can help you:

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Are You Thinking Big…Enough?

A few weeks ago I decided to really start saying “yes” to myself and with that I started stepping way outside of my comfort zone.
This led me to some really unique and exciting opportunities as well as another great question, “Am I thinking big enough?”

Before I could answer that loaded question, I felt a shift. You know, “shift happens” and sometimes it happens without a lot of effort. Things can change in your life just by asking yourself different types of questions.

All I did was ask this question and it somehow changed the way I think in general. My brain took over and answered the question quickly. You know what; the answer was “No”! Just by asking the question I had to rethink what I was doing in my business (and in turn my life). I had turned on the light in a dark room and unless I closed my eyes, I had to see what is in front of me. That was the truth of the answer “No”.

Instead of beat myself up for not dreaming as big as I could dream, I looked toward living an even bigger life. What I saw in front of me was a path opening up. Ideas began to flood my mind and I realized that there is so much more I can be doing! I took pen to paper and started writing at once.

I created a vision for my life that was so big; it almost seemed like a fairy tale. I kept writing. I turned off my very strong editing mechanism and wrote and wrote and wrote until my hand got tired.

I immediately started asking myself bigger questions. Like what can I do differently right now that will help me to think big? What can I offer my clients that is bigger than what I offer them now? Maybe people need more support, not just a five week course about how to sell, but maybe they need a 6 month program that offers them ongoing support, education, training, and fun! Maybe they need support in areas like their core mission, their value proposition, their strategy and how this will tie into their bigger picture and change their lives, as I am doing with mine!

Are You Asking Yourself Big Enough Questions?

If you want to learn how to think big, ask yourself big questions. Ask yourself questions that tap into your imagination and your dream life. Ask yourself the questions that might seem completely out of line or like a fantasy. Questions like, “What if I were interviewed by Oprah”? This may seem like a pipe dream as you ask yourself, but ask it anyway. Maybe just by asking yourself a question like this you plant a seed. You may never be interviewed by Oprah, but you just might end up on The Today Show. Do you have a favorite conference you attend every year? What if next year you were up on stage with the speakers that you admire rather than being an attendee? Who knows what a question like that could change for your business and in turn your life.

Your brain will naturally look to answer the big questions just as easily as it does the small questions, so why not focus on the big ones? Instead of worrying about why there is a traffic jam on your way to a meeting, let your brain answer something like, “How can this meeting be beneficial for all involved?” Let your brain be creative about how to really get the most out of a meeting or a conference or a networking event. You need to be able to focus on things that will make you expand your perspective and your life.

You know what else will most likely happen, the opportunities will show up as well. At least that is what has been happening for me. The bigger I think; the more actions I take and the more opportunities are presented to me. I also find I say “yes” a lot more to myself and those around me!

Commit to yourself now! Commit to living a big life and ask yourself some different questions. Commit to letting yourself feel a little bit uncomfortable for a few minutes. Just breathe through that bit of discomfort and remember that you are committed to expanding your comfort zone. So think big enough, or even bigger. See what unfolds when you start asking yourself the BIG questions. I bet the opportunities will come flooding in as quickly as the ideas!

The bigger our dreams the bigger the questions we ask ourselves and the bigger our lives.

Have fun being as big as you can be! I would love to hear your experiences, so please email me to share: or visit my FB page to share your experiences.!/essential.selling

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Strategic Vision Shift—Do You Need One?

After a mind blowing 3 hour strategy session with my client, she turned to me and said, “You are so much more than a sales trainer”.

I am a sales trainer, I explained, but without a strategy based on your core mission you don’t know what to sell, who to sell it to and how to sell it. You can’t sell without a strategy. I move my clients through a process so they are able to create, find, understand, uncover or retool their core mission and then put a strategy in place that supports their mission.

In our session we were able to excavate and uncover my client’s true gifts. She has many, so we worked together to decide which gifts she wanted to share with the world and why. Most of us are gifted and have a lot of talents. We need to dig deep to find out what we want to share with the world and how. This is what I do with my clients, excavation. I am a Business Archeologist; I help you to unearth your gifts, find the gems, dust them off and let them reflect brightly in the light.

I am a Business Captain, helping my clients navigate the stormy seas of growing a business. Without charts, GPS or a compass the business ocean is a pretty scary place to be. It is hard to cut through the fog and waves without charting a course and having a strong seaworthy boat. Understanding your core mission is the first step to charting your course. From there you can determine what you want to do, how you want to do it and who you want to do it with and for.

Quite often, our true mission is hidden under busy-ness. We keep busy for many reasons. One may be because we think we should be busy. It makes us feel good to check off to-do’s from our list. We feel like we are getting somewhere, when really we are bobbing in the middle of the ocean in irons, with our sails luffing; there isn’t a stitch of wind to move us forward. This is a great prescription for seasickness.

Being busy can be a good thing, if it is really about getting down to business.

I work with my clients to ensure that each task they complete will move them forward toward their goals. It is easy to get lost in phone calls, emails, and tasks that don’t move us forward. Whether we delegate, or just focus on what is important first we have to make a plan and then work it so we can move on to our success. Your strategy is what you base your plan on.

I help my clients deconstruct what they are doing now. Then we renovate, creating a strong foundation for them to build upon. Each step is a brick that they use to build a strong building that will protect them from the harsh elements of the business world. I mean business and I mean to help you build a strong and prosperous one! A business that will sustain you into the future!

You could call me a General Contractor of Business (although a friend of mine already uses that catchphrase, but you get my point).

You need a strategy, a strategic plan. You may have an idea of what you want; you may have an idea of your core mission; you may even know what your core mission is, but if you don’t have a working strategy that lines up with your core mission, you aren’t navigating your course, you are just flying blind.

The bottom line is this: know your vision, know your why, know your mission and build a plan around that and then move forward with focused steps. If you don’t know why you’re selling, what you are selling, who you are selling to, how will you know how to sell it?

So, yes, I am a sales strategist, a sales consultant, a sales trainer and a sales coach. I start at the beginning with my clients. I don’t jump to the doing before uncovering all the knowledge, gifts, talents, reasons, and so much more of my clients’ vision. I ensure they have a map, direction, guidance, tools and support so they will become successful beyond their dreams. That is my goal.

You may know your core mission and you are currently working a plan based on that. Great! You are perfectly positioned for success! If not, that is okay; you just might need a strategic vision shift to bring you back on course.

For more information or if you have any questions, please reach out to me.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone Means Working Smarter Not Harder

I like when things are neat and tidy and organized.
This makes me feel at ease, comfortable and safe. This is when I am in my “Comfort Zone”: a behavioral state wherein a person operates in an anxiety-neutral condition, using a limited set of behaviors to deliver a steady level of performance, usually without a sense of risk.

Recently, I realized that living in my comfort zone wasn’t really living. When I live in my comfort zone, my life isn’t as vibrant and my business is something I have to do rather than want to do. I wanted to just follow creative ideas as they came to me to see where they would lead me. I wanted to have fun. I wanted to live in my truth. So, I started saying YES.

I started taking some risks committing to living in a place that is exciting and colorful. I started reaching beyond what makes me feel comfortable. I chose to live my life from a place where I say YES more than NO. Some of these choices have been challenging. Some even involved making difficult communications, because saying yes to me sometimes involves saying no to others.

In the past two weeks alone I have sent emails suggesting new ideas to friends and associates. I have posted love poems on Facebook. I have introduced myself to people I don’t know and asked them to collaborate with me on specific projects or I have asked them to include me as a speaker at an upcoming event. In each instance I have gotten amazing feedback. Maybe the initial request has been denied, but the idea it was born from has materialized in a much bigger way than I had imagined it would. The result is that doors are opening faster and more frequently and my business is growing more quickly than it was before.

This is my new definition of “working smarter not harder”.

I see a pattern. The more I reach beyond what I would normally do, the easier everything else around me becomes. My “work” is no longer work. The more risks I take the more rewards I receive. It is as if the road comes up to meet me when I take a step outside my comfort zone. I am not struggling, trying, pushing, or working hard. Instead I am having more fun, feeling more energized and living in a more joyous and creative state. This is a smarter way to operate on a daily basis.

Think about it for a moment. When you reach out in the direction of your dreams and STRETCH beyond where you would normally go what happens? Even if you don’t always get a resounding “YES”, is there a “YES” in the “NO”? Is there something that comes to you that is perfect for what you need at the time? If it isn’t exactly what you asked for, is it something that brings you one, two or even more steps closer to where you want to be?

Following our dreams, really living in our truth can be a scary thing in itself. When we do this and live in a place beyond comfortable we create the space needed for miracles to happen. We are able to function at our best and at our most creative! It might not seem to be the case in the moment, but our businesses will move forward more quickly when we operate from this place.

Usually this place is on the other side of our comfort zone. You know over there, across the rickety bridge, on the other side of the raging river that is the line that keeps us safe in our zone. The journey over that bridge is well worth the effort.

I bet you could even look back and track some of your choices. Decisions made from a place that might seem a little risky are usually the ones that have the higher rate of return!

I have a challenge for you. Take a step outside your comfort zone. Be true to yourself and say YES in the moment and let it lead you beyond where you are comfortable. Do something that is a little scary. Whether it has anything to do with your business or not, just try it and see what happens.

As Nike says, “Just do it”!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Mixing Old and New to Boost Sales

We are becoming a global community as our ability to communicate expands worldwide.
We can reach out to people around the world using sites like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and LinkedIn. People are coming together, craving community and connection. People, wanting to be seen, heard and understood, are changing the face of how we do business.

This is the age of Joint Ventures and Affiliate Partnerships. We no longer have to struggle alone to grow our businesses; the trend is to move forward with partners. “Why compete when we can collaborate?” is what we hear more and more.

As an entrepreneur, you are ideally situated to ride the wave by taking advantage of this new movement toward community. By being proactive and utilizing the tools available to you, you can vastly broaden your reach. It’s not the internet that is driving us to be more social, it is a predictable trend in human nature that is moving us to want to connect, be more social, collaborate more and join together with others who are like minded. It is this bigger human trend that is taking the internet and turning it into a social contact machine the likes of which we’ve never seen before.

Here are some ways you can tap into this emerging trend and position yourself to use social networking sites to your advantage and grow your business:

Think about who you can partner with and how you can help each other to expand your reach for mutual benefit.
Investigate new ways to collaborate with individuals who are in similar industries, or who were once your “competitors”. (They have a name for this because it happens that often! They call it “co-opetition”, the combination of cooperation and competition).
Be creative and reach out with the intention of helping each other in the process. This is the key as we move into this new marketplace.
Learn about Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other important networking sites through free on line tutorials; learn how businesses are benefiting from ‘social’ networking.

It’s fun to scour Facebook and the other social and business networking sites to look for old friends and reconnect but as I look at my social networking sites I see people, at first a few but eventually hundreds and even thousands that are showing up in my community. Just seeing them there is like a mini introduction, showing up in each others communities shows that we have something in common and that connects us, in fact, we feel like we know each other even though we’ve never met or spoken.

But too often this is where it ends! Take this tool one step further to build valuable relationships by reaching out beyond the norm and creating strategic alliances that can propel you forward in ways you never imagined.

Reach out and touch someone – or – the lost art of the cold call

Remember this AT&T iconic slogan? Its meaning is more important now than ever. Our modern social networking medium is amazing, but what if you took it one step further and picked up the phone and made a more lasting connection? This is the magic opportunity; you can turn social networking into something that will differentiate you from others and boost sales.

While I was on Facebook recently I found a college friend I hadn’t spoken to in twenty years. I sent her a message to ‘reconnect’ and then went to her ‘info’ page and noticed that she works in advertising sales for a major corporation. It was fun to connect via message, but it was even more fun to pick up the phone, exchange stories about our lives over the last twenty years and be able to ask for a referral to her VP of Sales. As a corporate sales trainer, this turned out to be a really great lead for me.

Your first step might be to become friends with people on line, but don’t stop there. Make a real connection with someone and pick up the phone. If you can’t find phone numbers, company names and email addresses on their profile, then send them a message and book an appointment to speak on the phone. Cold calls aren’t really cold anymore, at worst they are “warm calls” because you have made the introduction via a friendly message, by sharing mutual interests and just that is already building a relationship! As social human beings we tend to have a predisposition to like people who like what we like. So use that, use the similarity of interests you’ve already discovered to build rapport.

One of the stumbling blocks for people is determining who to call. Creating your list isn’t as hard as you might think. In fact, you can utilize the social networking and business networking sites to create a comprehensive list of people and places to contact. Utilize these sites for all they have to offer and conduct searches for individuals and companies that are in your target market. LinkedIn has an excellent advanced search.

This is the time to shift the global community and our global consciousness and work together in new ways. This is the time to work collaboratively in teams rather than as individuals. This is the time to think “outside of the box” or to do away with the box altogether. Take full advantage of all the tools available, both new and old. The internet and the phone are a match made in heaven.

Carolyn Ziel, President of Essential Selling, is an expert sales trainer and she supports entrepreneurs, sales teams and corporations with her trainings. Her specialty is lost art of effective cold calling please contact

Thursday, April 1, 2010

How To Turn Your Dream Idea Into A Dream Come True

You know you have an incredible idea a dream that you're driven to share with the world, but you can't seem to put all the pieces into place to move forward.
You find yourself in overwhelm and procrastination. You've reached what's known as an impasse. An impasse is a roadblock to a desired mental path.

Being creative involves getting around impasses. According to Professor Richard Florida, author of The Rise of the Creative Class, more than 50 percent of workers today do creative work. Are you one of them? Do you write, invent, design, draw, color, frame or even tinker with information in a novel way? Creativity drives business. Your creative process is your wealth generator!

Answer this though: if you're creative, developing new ideas, writing, drawing and generally being innovative how do you move through impasses to share your brilliance with the world? And, if you are moving forward, sharing your ideas with the world, are you juggling too many things at once while you're doing it?

Are you doing everything effectively? The real question to ask your self is: "Should I be doing everything? Am I letting my business drive me or are am I driving my business?"

Look around at the truly successful people you admire and you'll see most of them working with teams. You need a team of talented creative and non-creative people around you as well. No one can do everything. As the CEO of your business, your job is to focus on building a team so you can move forward with your dream. Building on your strengths and bringing in support, will free up your brain space so you can easily move through impasses.

Running a successful business requires a strong foundation. You need a business plan, a strategic plan; you need to look into the future to determine where you want to be. How do you create your business plan, strategic plan, create your marketing and strategic sales plan, build your website, write the copy and market the website using social media and good old fashioned sales techniques, create your marketing collateral, oversee business development, build relationships to further extend your reach, and run your day to day operations and accounting all at the same time? It's exhausting just thinking about all those elements. If you can figure that out, let us know!!!

Don't let your business, or "Busy-Ness" drive you right into the ground! Take inventory of all the tools you have at your disposal. This includes all of the relationships in your network. Build on your strengths and collaborate with those who can add strength and value where you need extra support.

Innovative Solutions Productions helps you do just that. If you're overwhelmed, juggling too much for one person, or unhappy with your Company's performance results we are the resource to support you, collaborate with you and guide you to success. Our job is to make your job of developing your ideas not only fun and exciting, but manageable. We help you develop your ideas and EXECUTE!

Whether you're a start up company, a solo-preneur or a well established business, we urge you to reach out to us.
We all have dreams and we will help you share yours with the world!

Carolyn Ziel