June 22, 2013

Enthusiasm Sells

What is the number one thing you can add to your selling process that is bound to make a huge difference?


Enthusiasm sells. This super strength, high powered excitement is ultra powerful, addictive, and contagious. Enthusiasm is; energy, excitement, strength, power, confidence, motivation, positive attitude, persuasion, and power all rolled into one.

Enthusiasm, used correctly, is not “showy” or “flashy.” It cannot be faked. It is the ability to exude all those qualities above into your product or service. It is the ability to show that you really genuinely care for your product or service and believe in its benefits and translate that to the customer.

How does one get or maintain enthusiasm?

Not everything is going to go your way each moment of each day, and you are going to feel un-enthusiastic at times. There are some things you can do to keep enthusiasm in your corner, or find it when you have lost it.

POSITIVE MENTAL ATTITUDE: There is nothing worse than a negative attitude. It sours the air like a glass of milk left out on a 100 degree day. Negative attitudes translate to your customers. They can sense when you are off. Your negative thoughts translate to negative vibes and people around you will pick up on it. So if you are bummed about your sales performance, your finances, your favorite team losing, the weather, the argument you got into with your significant other, boss, or co-worker, or whatever it will telegraph through you to your customers. So break the negative thoughts. Shake it off. “Click it to Zero.” Do whatever you have to do to shake those negative thoughts.

(The rest of these will help with PMA)

LAUGH: Get laughing. Nothing breaks the negativity more than laughter. Tell a joke. Read a joke. Think about a funny time in your life. Watch a funny video clip. Laugh at yourself. There are many ways to get the laughter going. Laughing changes your posture, gets you in a better frame of mind, and sends endorphins rushing through your body. So, get laughing!

READ BOOKS: Many times it is difficult to get motivated. It is hard to break out of a funk. I have found that if I read something it is a momentary escape from my life. It is a break from all the thoughts going on in my head. It doesn’t matter what I read, it allows me a moment to be someone else. Many people read motivational books. Stories of personal journey, or how to books help. You can learn a lot from others successes. You can learn a lot from other trials, tribulations and how they overcame them. There are many ways you can gain enthusiasm from reading. There are millions of books out there, so find what works for you.

START EACH DAY FRESH: My old boss used to say, “Before you go to work, take your brain out and put it in the fridge, come to work, do what you need to do, and when you get home you put your brain back in.” What he meant by that was, leave your problems, issues, insecurities, etc. at home. Be fresh each day and leave your problems behind so you can be at your best.

READ MOTIVATIONAL QUOTES: If you need inspiration, there are tons of sites out there with positive motivational quotes. Find a new quote each day that inspires you. Read it several times a day to keep you in the flow of things and in the right frame of mind.

HAVE EXCITEMENT: Find something to be excited about in your day. If you are down all the time you enthusiasm won’t find you. Find one thing in your day to be excited about and hold onto that thought all day. Don’t let the negative forces in the world get to you.


-- by Tim Northburg LifeWork Elements

June 20, 2013

Sales Effort


They are willing to do the things necessary to being successful. They are willing to put in the extra effort in all areas in order to become an elite sales person and sell more. Do you see them standing around gossiping? No, they are constantly moving forward. Does that mean they don’t take a break? No, they are resting for their next stage.

  • TRAINING: They put in extra effort training, because they know that knowledge is power. They learn listening skills, reading body language, presentation skills, closing skills, etc.
  • PRACTICE: They put in extra effort perfecting their craft, practicing interviewing, perfecting their pitch role-playing sales scenarios, and overcoming objections.
  • SET GOALS: Top elite sales people set goals and monitor their progress on a daily, monthly, yearly basis. They know where they are at, and how close they are to achieving their sales goals.
  • PROSPECTING: They are always on the lookout for suspects. They don’t just shut off when they are “off the job.” They constantly have their antennas up for someone who might benefit from their products or services, or know someone who is.
  • CLOSING: Elite sales people are always closing. Multiple times, and in many ways. They don’t cave in to fear, or give up because they don’t think there is anything there. They close again and again after building more value and overcoming objections.
  • OBJECTIONS: They are prepared to handle objections. They test the customer’s objections to validate if they are really conditions or excuses not to buy. Then they go back to closing!

These are only a few things that set elite sales people from the rest of the pack. What are you doing on a daily basis to become an elite sales person? Are you constantly moving forward or, do you stop once you made a few sales? Do you give in to mediocrity?


-- by Tim Northburg LifeWork Elements

June 17, 2013

The Blame Game


When times are slow, things tend to build up. I know sometimes I start to over analyze things and wonder, "What is going on?" I try to figure something out to blame for the decrease of sales or the lack of traffic.


  • The economy
  • The sales people
  • The customer
  • The President
  • The advertising
  • The manufacturer

We can play the BLAME GAME and say we are not dong as good because of this or that. What it really boils down to is everyone dong their part 100% of the time to ensure that things are getting done right, following the correct procedures, and working hard all of the time without goofing off?


Am I doing all I can to ensure the success of the organization?

If the answer is no, then you can not blame anyone for your lack of success but yourself. Let me re-phrase that; You can only blame yourself!

Don't play the BLAME GAME. Look yourself in the mirror. Give yourself a good critique and then kick your butt into action. Those that are successful, are so because in tough times they work harder, and smarter than others--and they don't blame the circumstances or others for their lack of success.


-- by Tim Northburg LifeWork Elements

June 15, 2013

People Make The Difference


If you work in any organization or business--are you a drone? If you Manage or lead an organization--do you have drones working for you?

Drones are people who just show up, do what is necessary (nothing more) and go home when it is time. They may not put in extra work or effort. They may be the ones complaining about everything and do not provide any real constructive input. They may be grumpy or short and curt with other employees and customers.

Real people are the ones that show up early, stay late, and come in when needed. They put extra work or extra effort. They exude an enthusiasm that seems to be endless. They mostly don't complain, if they do then it is usually a real concern and they almost always have a plan to help overcome that concern. They are generally happy and uplifting people and are pleasant to other employees and customers.

Real people are the ones you want to CLONE yourself after. They are the ones you want to CLONE in your organization.


In any organization or company you can only go so far with product quality. In fact there are many companies out there that have a good (not great) product, but have superior people working for them that provide excellent customer service.

People make the difference to any business. If you are thinking of a way to elevate your own performance. Or, if you are trying to achieve the next level of your company and workforce, then focus on the people.

What is it that makes you better than the next guy?

What is it that makes customers want to buy your product or service?

What is it that makes customers want to do business with you or your company?

It is the experience they have with you or the person they come into contact with that makes them decide the answers to those questions.

Here are the Things That You Can do to be the Difference:

ABOUT THE PEOPLE: Be a "Real Person." Don't be someone behind a desk. Don't be just a name on the other end of the phone. Don't be a drone. Get involved in your business and organization. Take pride in what you do and who you work for. If you have a real concern, don't just complain--give a constructive solution to the problem. Stop being phony.

PRODUCT KNOWLEDGE: Be a product knowledge expert. Know the features and benefits to what you are "selling" to a customer. Articulate those features and benefits to your prospective client in a positive, enthusiastic, and organized manner. Know your competition; their pricing, incentives, pusses, minuses, and most of all how they operate and do business so you can explain how you differ.

CUSTOMER SERVICE: It is not about giving everything to the customer. There are several factors to good customer service. The first factor is; LISTENING. Listen to what your customer is saying and asking for. It does not mean you have to agree, or give it to them. Just listen to their want, need, or concern. The second factor is; TIMING. Do what you say you will do in a timely manner. If you are going to get back to them with a proposal in two hours--do it! The last factor is; WOW. Treat your customers special. Act as if they are the only person on the planet and they are important to you. Does this mean you have to drop everything--no. However, if you focus your whole attention for a moment on that customer, they will appreciate it and feel special.

FOLLOW UP: Good follow-up means having contact with your customer by phone, e-mail, or in person more than once a year. There are many sales people, company reps, customer service agents that call once a year just to "check in." Does this mean you have to call every week or every month to your whole client base? No. At least twice a year is good to keep your name in front of them and let them know you are still there to help them.

TRAINING: Do you have all the tools to be successful? If not, then you need to find the materials, take training courses, learn the techniques, and implement them into your work. Does your team have all the training materials they need to be top notch? If you are a manager you need to provide the materials, and proper training to your employees. You also need to make sure you have defined what steps or skills they need to use in their daily workings of your operation. Training and preparation makes it all come together in action. (There are many free courses and videos on the internet available to sharpen your skills.)

You can be the difference! If you are a manager or leader you can facilitate the difference with your employees! You make the difference happen!


-- by Tim Northburg LifeWork Elements

June 13, 2013

Critique: The Sandwich Technique

Use the "Sandwich Technique"
when you give someone a critique,
pointers, or areas of improvement.

I learned this when I was eighteen. I was a Swimmer in High School and I became a Lifeguard and Swim Instructor. In my Water Safety Instructor Course, one of the first things my instructor taught me was to use the "Sandwich Technique."

First he said, "The one thing you don't want to do is make a child afraid to come to class because he is going to get scolded by you for not doing a good job, learning how to swim. It is very important for them to feel welcome and appreciated for the effort they give, no matter how small or great that effort is. When you critique them you have to be careful not to bruise their ego. They are there to learn how to swim, and that is a very important thing."

Then he pointed out, "Critique in this way . . . Positive, Negative, Positive."

I thought about it for a moment, and it really made sense. Sandwich your critique between two positives. The pluses outweigh the minus. You have a better impact because you don't just come out and say, "Here is what you did wrong, you suck, get better at this!" Bosses do that. Leaders use the sandwich technique.

Twenty-one years later, I still think about this. The sales people I manage and lead are the same way as the children I taught how to swim. They want to be respected. They don't want to be afraid to come to work and have their boss up on their back all the time. They want to know they are doing a good job. And they want to be treated in a professional manner.

The sandwich technique accomplishes all of this and it is the easiest thing to do, and it doesn't cost any money!

In other words tell your employees; Good Job . . . Needs Improvement . . . Good Job!

I did this yesterday and I got a look with a smile that said, "Who is this guy, and what did you just say to me, it makes me feel good!"

Here is what I said;:

"I like the way you found out what the customer wanted and created interest in the product . . . One area I would work on is to ask for the sale, we let the customer go without asking . . . you did a good job and earned the right with your enthusiastic presentation and you left the customer excited about you and our product!"

That is just one idea of how to use this technique. If you were this person how would you feel?

How would you feel if you were critiqued the normal way? 

"You forgot to ask the customer to buy our product, make sure you write an order up next time or it could be your last customer!"
Which way do you think this person is going to respond to more?

The other thing you can do is coach. After using the sandwich technique you can do some role playing so that they can learn how to get better at asking for the sale.

"Now, here is one way you could ask for the sale . . ." Show them how to write up the order.

The "Sandwich Technique" is and always will be the best tool you can have in your Managerial Skills Bag.


-- by Tim Northburg LifeWork Elements

June 10, 2013

Goal Setting Workbook

It's not too late to set goals and Realize It!  You don't have to set goals only at the New Year.  Start today!

Are you going to set goals this year? Are you going to stick to them? Let my goals workbook help you set short-term and long-term goals, monitor them throughout the year, and cross them off as you Realize It!

Order Online on Amazon:

Realize It! Goals Workbook

We all have goals. Not all of us write them down, monitor them on a daily basis, and work towards achieving them. This workbook will help you understand who you are, where you have been and where you are headed. It will also help you set and monitor short and long-term goals to help fuel your furnace and achieve the success you desire in all areas of your life.

Remember, you can start setting goals anytime!

-- by Tim Northburg LifeWork Elements

June 3, 2013

Sales Motivation


Sales is one of the hardest jobs one can do. Weather you sell insurance, homes, cars, toothbrushes, fridges or widgets you have to deal with irrational, irate, unrealistic customers on a daily basis as well as meet the demands for sales quotas by your employer. You receive more rejection in one day than an average 9-5 person sees in one month. So how do you stay in sales with so much pressure? What can you do to get motivated and stay motivated?


  • EAT A GOOD BREAKFAST- This sounds corny but having enough energy to carry yourself into the work day is important. If you are not energized to take an early morning customer/client then you will miss an opportunity.
  • HAVE A GAME PLAN- Know what you are going to do that day. Fill out a tracking sheet so you know where you are and where you are headed. If you are off track from where you want to be then you know what you need to sell that day to get back on track.
  • GET FOCUSED ON THE DAY- Start a few minutes early. Know your inventory. Know who you are going to meet with today. Look through your past few days visits/clients and see who you can get back in touch with.
  • STAY BUSY- If you are not with a customer it is natural for you to sit back and gossip with the other sales people or people in your office. We all know that gossip can be counter productive to motivation. Go prospect on the phones. Do some outside prospecting by handing out brochures or business cards to local businesses.
  • REMEMBER THE MONEY- We all come to work to earn it. Keep the vision by remembering the reward for all of those mundane calls, the 'lookers' and the people who can not buy. Keep telling yourself, 'I am one more customer closer to a sale.' (SALES=$$)
  • WORK ON PERFECTING YOUR WEAKNESSES AND STRENGTHS- Constant training can be a motivation. When you learn a new technique to overcome a weakness you have then it makes you more confident and you can handle that situation with a customer more readily. Also accentuate your strengths and use them to your advantage when leading customers, building rapport or closing.
  • HAVE A HAPPY ENVIRONMENT- A happy environment is a productive environment. What do you do when you are not in one? Ignore the people who 'whine' and 'moan' about everything. Get away from them. Tell them to go away! They are just taking up your time and trying to bring you down with them.
  • LET IT GO- If a situation with a customer happens-don't take it personally. Brush it off and move on. Don't dwell on it. STUFF HAPPENS! When it does deal with it and then let it go. I have seen too many sales people let a bad moment affect the rest of their day and they get cracked mentally. If you have a bad customer remember, IT IS NOT YOU!

Getting motivated and staying motivated is all up to you. No one can motivate you. A boss or manager can yell and scream and threaten you, but only you can get yourself going and keep the momentum needed to sustain a great sales career! It all resides within the six inches between your ears. It is your mind, let it direct your life--do not let it hinder your life.


-- by Tim Northburg LifeWork Elements

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LifeWork Elements © 2011 by Tim Northburg and LifeWork Elements. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Tim Northburg and Lifework Elements with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.