Asking Questions at Home for Practice

This is an excerpt from a real coaching session this week. Enjoy!

You should practice asking two questions for every statement that you make.

Practice in real life.

At John’s house, Jane asks, “John, how about steak for dinner?”

John replies, “Sounds great. I’ll have two.” Let’s have mashed potatos and peas, too.

At Rick’s house, Elaine asks, “Rick, how about steak for dinner?”

Rick replies, “Potatos?”

Elaine says, “Sure, how about mashed?”

Rick, sounds great. Veggies?”

Elaine says, “We have peas and corn.”

Rick asks, “How do you feel about peas?”

Elaine says, “Fine.”

Rick asks, “Fine, you’d rather have corn? or Fine, peas is what you would have picked?”

Elaine, “We’ll have peas.”

Rick asks, “Elaine, one more thing. Do we have a lot of steak?”

Elaine asks, “Why?”

Rick asks, “Do we have enough for me to have two?”

Essentially, both of these fictional couples are gonna have the same thing for dinner, but….

Who’s wife felt like they were in control? and which one felt controlled?

Who was in control?

What’s the ratio of question marks to periods?

Which couple spent more time interacting? (Communicating.)

Practice when it doesn’t matter. I do.

Time: The great equalizer

As you know, I have the privilege of working with Mike Eagan. I’ve suggested that he guest post several times over the past two years. I was finally able to close the deal. Herewith his first thoughts. Enjoy!

I believe we folk come to each day’s table with three basic tools working for us:

  • What’s in our head . . . knowledge and wisdom;

  • Who we are . . . our character/self worth;

  • Time. The first two are pretty well set and change slowly over time.

Time, on the other hand, is like putty. We can mold it into whatever shape we choose at any given time in the day, e.g. I’m playing golf today from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM (I wish).

So what’s the point? The point is that most people I talk to complain that there aren’t enough hours in the day. And those that complain the loudest predictably don’t have a daily plan driven by an overriding goal with supporting objectives and a strategy to achieve each objective. God forbid they should run their life and business in an organized fashion to the beat of a strategic plan. Strategic plan . . . what’s that/what’s a good one look like?

So now what? Following is a simple recipe to add taste to our daily productivity stew:

  • What activities do you enjoy most . . . business and personal?

  • What are your needs . . . business and personal?

  • What activities most meet your needs . . . business and personal?

Based upon your answers to the above three questions:

  • What new activities should you begin?

  • What activities should you stop?

  • What should you do more of?

  • What should you do less of?

Your time should ideally be dedicated to having fun and meeting your needs in order of importance on a daily basis.

And it’s none of anybody else’s business what works for you.

Extended Family and Sales Excellence

Super Bowl Sunday Morning. Elaine sent me to the market to pick up a few things to get us through the game. I’m driving leisurely through town and notice a father with three little children poking a hole in the ice so they could ice fish. It got me thinking, my sons both fish, one avidly, I fished once in my life. They both spent several years in youth soccer, baseball and basketball. I never played any of them. Extended families make children more well rounded. My sons got their love of sports from one of their grandfathers. No one is good at everything…not even me! So, if I were the only influence on my sons, imagine how much they would have missed. I did teach them some stuff and some of it was pretty useful, but I could only do so much.

So, my point is?

I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with several pretty good salespeople, Bob Jiguere, Vito Brancato, Joe Quintal, David Sandler and Dave Kurlan to name a few. I’ve had the opportunity to read great books, hear great salespeople speak, attend much sales training, many seminars and workshops. I also interact with peers, clients, students, prospects, and salespeople at large. I am a sales junkie, am always up for a story and learn from everybody.

The world is my extended family for sales. The world has made me what I am and I’m different today than I was yesterday. Contrast that with the salesperson that goes to company training and never reads a book, attends a seminar, or learns anything from anybody outside his company.

Isn’t that salesperson kinda one dimensional like a child would be if they only learned what their father could teach them?

Who do you know?

Since I started this blog, I’ve posted 253 entries with a total word count of 69,044 words.

That’s less than 273 words per entry…..That’s 2.58 entries per week.

So, what? Who would have figured? Who would’ve figured that I could’ve found that many things to post about that might actually be considered relevant? (I have a lot of random thoughts that go in and outta my head that I keep to myself….Thank God!) Furthermore, who could’ve figured that not only would people read it, but that respectable people would actually post a comment, send me an email, or call me to share their thoughts about the ‘topic of the day’. Some readers vote in the survey and when they do, 89% say they like it, 7% say they don’t and 4% have no opinion.

I think that 273 words per entry is considered to be on the short side. That’s intentional. We don’t have much time so my attitude is ‘get in and get out’. I subscribe to some blogs where the typical post is so long that by the time I get half way through, I’m looking at the clock. I expect to keep average word count the same.

I also expect to keep frequency about the same. Bloggers that post just to post run the risk of being ignored when they actually say something important.

OK, here’s the real point. I’ve expanded readership the way I expand my client base……Through referrals. March 16th will be the second anniversary of my inaugural post. I’m asking you to help me double readership. If you’d like to help, forward this page via email to a few people that you think might benefit the way you have or enjoy the way you have and add a few words like, “I’ve been reading this blog for a while and thought that you might appreciate an introduction. If you put your email address in the subscribe box, check blog and click subscribe, you’ll get new posts in your inbox every 3rd day or so.”

Thank you, in advance for your help.