Category Archives: Connection

The Key to Connection is You

Let’s face the facts

The holiday season is just around the corner.  As always, the conversations around the family dinner table are bound to get uncomfortable.  You need a plan….fast!

Adulting does not have to be hard

Admittedly, I find “adulting” to be a ridiculous word. What the hell does it even mean?  If what one intends is to suggest that being a grown-up isn’t all that fun, I suppose there is some truth to that…but I also have found it is not all that “tough” if one simply makes a conscious decision to actually be an adult. 

I expected to get blown up on this one

Earlier this week, I was inspired to make a statement on social media.  You know the type. A somewhat windy, wordy prose about a singular view of some topic bound to attract the nastiest of responses from those trolls who seem to be abundantly living today in every corner of the internet. But…I wasn’t.

The responses were encouraging

In only 24 hours, I received 50 “likes”, 19 “loves”, 20+ comments, 1 share, and ZERO PEOPLE ARGUING AGAINST MY POINT.  In a word, I was stunned.

 

Here is what I posted

Friends – We don’t all agree on everything. In fact, we share unique opinions on lots of issues. I’m making this request in an effort to do MY PART of being more of the change in the world I want to see:

Stop bashing everybody. Nobody is white/black, gay/straight, American/immigrant, Astros/Dodgers, Christian/atheist/Muslim/Jewish/Buddhist/etc… enough anymore.

Just stop bashing each other. If someone shares their opinion, it is that- their opinion. They are entitled to it the same way you and I are entitled to ours. If you feel compelled, respectfully offer another point of view, and become part of the dialogue.

I am a Christian who loves people of many faiths, orientations, political affiliations, nationalities, races and sports loyalties. None of those people from which I am “different” are a threat to me. In fact, I often learn much from being their friend and listening. I appreciate it when they listen to my perspective, and honor when it doesn’t persuade them to change their stance.

In what appears to be a race to the “lowest common denominator” of mankind, stand tall – be respectful of others – be positive, and most of all….stop being such a jerk to others. Love people. And, yes….I pray for all of us.

You never know the impression you are making on others.

Connection matters

You spend more of your waking hours AT WORK rather than your loved ones.

Your family is yours.  Even if your family is responsible for putting the “fun” in “dysfunctional”!

Not everyone with whom you are forced to interact believes what you believe—and that is okay!

Ask any successful person how they achieved success and most will share with you their story. Learn to emulate  success without copying.

To find success in any aspect of your life…start by meeting others where they are by:

Being vulnerable, yet empathetic;

Listening more;

Talking less;

Demonstrating your character through your actions.

Allowing others to  gravitate toward you, open up, and contribute with their best.

Just jump in!

You can do this. You can do anything!  Even survive that one awkward conversation around the holiday turkey this season. In fact, you just might learn something….even if only to validate what you already believed. 

How do you constantly strive to connect with others and model the kind of world you wish we lived in? Share your thoughts below!

The Jack Butler Method for Using LinkedIn for Sales

In 1983’s classic role-reversal comedy, Mr. Mom, Jack Butler (Michael Keaton) struggles to adapt to the world of a stay-at-home parent.  For the uninitiated, here’s a clip of one of my favorite scenes where the Jack’s “know-how”, gets the better of him:

Much has changed since 1983, not the least of which is the impact the Internet and social media have changed the landscape of how salespeople can build connections and actually sell across platforms like LinkedIn.

Are You Doing It Wrong?

In earlier posts, I’ve shared my lack of understanding why some people call themselves LOINs (LinkedIn Open Networker) and what possible benefit that could deliver, beyond simply “fancying-up” the long-fabled “spray and pray” prospecting method.

For many years, I kept my LinkedIn network exclusive to people I had met off-line at least once.  In more recent years, I have maintained a high degree of what I call “connection integrity”, while allowing an occasional connection when it’s requested by someone with whom I can logically understand why they’d like to connect.

Most often, these connections are typically:

  • industry recruiters (though I’m somewhat selective),
  • industry colleagues (sales leaders, professional speakers, consultants, and other talent development professionals),
  • people affiliated with groups for which I have recently spoken or published an article to their membership, or
  • sometimes those with a shared outside interest (alumni groups, shared hobbies, common political interests/issues).

As a sales leader, I have watched as our Sales Development Representatives (SDRs), through trial and error, have actually found remarkable opportunities via social media connections-notably using Twitter AND LinkedIn Sales Navigator platforms. As a team, we are constantly sharing ideas to help each other succeed and exceed the expectations set by our executive leadership team.

…add value with every interaction, demonstrate thought leadership, and THEN politely ask for an opportunity to learn more about THEIR business prior to actually pitching [the prospect] anything.

The Premature LinkedIn Pitch

sm johnJust this week, I received an invitation to connect from a gentleman in the middle category above.  We appeared to share approximately 40+ connections in the professional speaking/consulting world, so I decided there was likely little harm in connecting.  When I accept virtual unknowns to my network, I often send a quick “thanks for connecting” note which may or may not include a link to schedule an introductory call with me.  Typically, the response is either “thanks, let’s stay in touch” or “I just scheduled a call!”.  Then…this actually happened:

On Tuesday, Scott Cooksey said the following:

Hello, Bob! Thanks for connecting. I see we have MANY common connections. I look forward to your thought-leadership! Scott

[Five hours later], Bob D*********, M.Ed., DCH said the following:

Hi Scott,

My latest book (#44), “************* ******* ********** : How to Prevent, Preempt, and Respond to Every Sales Objection You Get” is now available from booksellers around the world.

If in your travels you encounter sales consultants, trainers, and coaches interested in helping salespeople prevent, preempt, and respond to real objections in real-time, please ask them to contact me.

Our company will provide the support documents FREE (facilitator’s guide, flashcard learning contest guide, sales manager’s guide, company rollout plan, etc.), and they can buy the books wholesale direct from our distributor. Sample facilitator’s guide and more information on www.ObjectionFree********.***.

Here’s the background.

Research with thousands of salespeople confirms:
• Objections that stop most sales are common and repetitive.
• Specific Buyer Beliefs when missing or weak cause these objections.
• There are many ways to establish these beliefs.

Test this:
• Before you buy something, this book for example, what’s just one thing must you believe about it?
• If you don’t believe that, what objection comes to mind?
• But, if you did believe that, what happens to the objection?
• You just demonstrated that a missing Buyer Belief caused the objection and that when the belief is in place, the objection goes away.

Analysis reveals:
• [**redacted**Five bullet pointed facts]

Right now:
• Probability has it that right now you know salespeople who are facing sales stopping or stalling objections, the answers to which are in this book.
• Could these potentially stalled or lost sales be enough to cost-justify the $9.95 for the eBook or the $19.95 for the paperback? Buy the paperback and get the ebook for $2.99 on Amazon.

Action plan for managers, trainers, and coaches:
[**redacted for content**More bullet points listing related items for use…]

A preview of the book content is available on ********* and a lot more information is available on www.ObjectionFree*******.***.

Yesterday, my reseller in Finnland contacted three CEOs with this information and made three sales for hundreds of books and multiple days of coaching and facilitating for each one.

I’ve got access to a lot of resources so let me know how I can support your goals in 2017.

Best,

Bob

Needless to say, I was quite disappointed that my acceptance of his request to connect was taken as an invitation to be drowned in an unsolicited pitch from someone I do not really know anything about.

The Critical (Snarky?) Reply

Clever Time Fact About CoffeeFeeling a little spirited, I crafted this reply [which, by the way, my wife said was kind of crappy. I’m curious to hear what your thoughts are.

Was I out of line? Leave a note below or message me!]

Bob- Let’s try this again.

I accepted your invitation to connect based on our many mutual connections. Your immediate response was a very lengthy, impersonal pitch to me. Typically, that type of occurrence will immediately have me dis-connect you from my network.  To me, it fails to truly build any type of professional interaction salesman to salesman, prior to me really knowing you you are, what you are about, or whether there is an opportunity for our connection to be mutually beneficial. But…. I am curious.

Your claim infers perhaps this particular book is your 44th, which either means you author a lot of shorter (perhaps insightful) ebooks (likely in an effort to draw me deeper into your buying funnel) OR, I am a total baffoon for not actually knowing who you are.

In my role as a Sr Sales Enablement Manager for a Software as a Service (SaaS) startup, I am always looking for ways my SDRs can improve their results when connecting with prospects over LinkedIn and other social media platforms.

Typically, I encourage them to add value with every interaction, demonstrate thought leadership, and THEN politely ask for an opportunity to learn more about THEIR business prior to actually pitching them anything.

Does the strategy you used in our connection often result in a) fruitful dialogue? b) book sales or c) frustration for your efforts? Perhaps we are going about it all wrong.

Respectfully,

Scott

P.S. In a much shorter request today from someone in my network with whom I DO have a relationship, I actually helped him out by purchasing one of his books- without even finishing his pitch. His book went to #1 today at Amazon. [True Story!]

The Recovery

via GIPHY

As I was about to publish this article, I checked my LinkedIn mailbox one last time, and found this [excerpted] from Bob

(Additional commentary from me below is in red):

Hi Scott,

I’m sorry about the impersonal email. Since I completed this book and started being active on LinkedIn last September, I’ve added 2,280 connections. It was getting away from me, but that’s really no excuse. Lesson learned. Thank you. And no, you’re not going about it wrong. I let time constraints interfere with good research to determine how I can help you before asking for your help. See one of my books on the topic (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AHHJIEK). LOL. [Humor is always good to restore good faith!]

On the reaction, it’s overall been positive. Probably at the lower end of around 10% response to this and similar response emails I’ve sent. But, we’re seeing book sales steadfastly increasing both domestic and international and I’ve had about a dozen trainer/coaches contact me about using our coaching and facilitating materials…. [Great context for the ask…]


[In the past we] charged $10,000 per trainer for Value Selling Strategies. Some charge upwards of $35,000. With our new “publisher” business model, we’re not charging for the support materials (facilitator’s guide, etc.), we’re not requiring certification (the process is exceptionally easy), and I’m personally providing any additional support needed (at no charge). [Value statement interesting…]

I’m really scrambling. Our big ad just came out in a catalog used by 65K salespeople who sell books as premiums to their corporate clients. We’re doing a full PR campaign with Smith Publicity (specialize in book PR). Our focus is on bulk corporate sales (rather than on sales to the general public) and by encouraging our resellers to set up accounts directly with our distributor (Ingram), we’re just counting backend sales. Yea! [More context]

Number of books: There really are that many books. I started in the business 30 years ago and have written over 70 training courses of which 50 have been converted to web-based training….Back when we were a bricks and mortar company, we had our own printing press. We now outsource that to IngramSpark. [Directly addressing my challenge from my reply- good thing I left some “room” for my assumption to be incorrect – it was!]

Again, I apologize for the impersonal response and will follow yours and my own teachings. My overall goal is to build a global network of independent trainers, consultants, and coaches. One of our resellers in Finnland is going to bring on several of his contacts to help build the business in the Scandinavian countries and Spain (he’s buying another home there). Another reseller in Brazil may do the same. We’re also going after the community college market – huge! [Owned the misstep and reinforced his global effort.]

I’ve got a lot of resources available so let me know how I can help your achieve your goals for 2017.

Best regards,

Bob

Bravo, Bob!

By being quick to respond to a message like the one I sent him, much repair was done for our connection.  In fact, I have decided to keep Bob as a LinkedIn connection. Futher, I extended an invitation to him for an interview as we prepare for season two of the Success Charger Podcast later this year!

[Get more info about the show and listen to our more than 40 episodes streaming now in iTunes or at www.SuccessChargerPodcast.com] It’s FREE!

Let’s Stay Connected!

Follow me in Twitter at @ideacharger for more updates, fun, and commentary. Or send me a brief note to let me know you read this article. We can also connect on LinkedIn…Just don’t SPAM me!

To Connect Faster Start With Why

For the last few weeks, I have been building new workshop to help sales organizations speed up their ability to open the door for new, profitable, lasting client relationships by exploring some relatively simple concepts that deliver results more quickly.

“Great and inspiring leaders of the world think
opposite of most everyone else.”
-Simon Sinek

For one of my clients, however, there was the critical request that a message of increased productivity be delivered while simultaneously preserving a high degree of personal autonomy central to the company’s culture.

In laying the foundation for this topic, I was reminded of this brilliant TEDx Talk from Simon Sinek, who suggests that many marketing and sales organizations have simply been telling their story all wrong. To understand why certain standouts have achieved rock-star-like status, he simply explains how they shifted the way they were telling their own story to customers.

In this talk, delivered at the TEDx Puget Sound in 2009, Sinek provides a simple explanation for how companies like Apple are able to connect more significantly with buyers by flipping the script on how they tell their story.  He shares that “great and inspiring leaders of the world” think opposite of most everyone else.  Explained by what he calls the Golden Circle, it’s revealed that the key to faster connection is to start with why you do what you do ….then explain how you do it …THEN share with the buyer what your product or service actually is.

Consider flipping the script with your prospects and customers this week by talking FIRST about WHY you do what you do.  We’d love to hear your success stories below in the comment section.  Let us hear from you!

Your Business Needs A Gut Check – Lori Harrison – Plexus Diamond Ambassador

Lori Harrison will gladly tell you she had no idea in the world she was building a business when she began sharing her story on Facebook to a bunch of her friends.  Today, she and her husband Jeddie Harrison are at the top of their game in a vibrant and successful business build on…well…southern charm and doing what seemed right.

Jeddie & Lori Harrison
Jeddie & Lori Harrison

Multi level marketing companies often receive a bad rap.  And while certainly there are some sketchy offerings in the “MLM” space, there ARE in fact several companies that do quite well.  Mary Kay Cosmetics comes to mind as a shining example of proof (You forgot about Mary Kay being one of the original MLMs didn’t you?)

I’m not here to say MLM is right for you.  It may very well not be.  The story I wanted to bring you, though, is one about authenticity, following your heart, and proof that sticking to your guns can make it possible to build a business…even if you don’t realize that’s what you are doing. For the entrepreneurial at heart, this is a story about “the dream” others around you cannot see.  The lifestyle you know is possible while others run the rat race.

plexusIn recent years, there is a newer player on the scene in Plexus.  Frankly, I didn’t know much about who they were until some friends simply shared a “pink drink mix” dumped into a bottle of water while we were at their house.  While we didn’t “buy in” as reps, I have to admit, some of the product has found its way into our house, and we use the supplements, too.  But that isn’t what this story is about. 

When our friends here in Houston cornered me about someone I went to high school with in Oklahoma over two decades ago, I got more curious.  Turns out, it was Lori…so in true Success Charger fashion, we booked her for an interview, and are bringing it to you here today!

Want to CONNECT more?

Lori’s Facebook Page (You might have to message her to connect…she’s popular and maxed out the “friend” numbers!)

Watch the FULL UNCUT INTERVIEW as it unfolded.  It’s on our show’s YouTube channel under “Success Charger Podcast”. There’s some goofy tech issues and deeper conversation.  It includes about 30-40 minutes of bonus content!

Please leave thoughts, comments, suggestions and whatnot below in the comment section!  PLUG IN!

2016 Gulf Coast Symposium on HR Issues – Notes

THANK YOU!

The 2016 Gulf Coast Symposium on HR Issues is underway, and I appreciate your attending one of my sessions.  As promised, this is where you will find slides, bonus materials and more, for the two sessions delivered on May 12, 2016 in Houston, TX.


No Budget, No Problem!
How Every Leader Can Continue to Develop Talent in ANY Economic Environment (9:00 AM, May 12, 2016)

As promised, this is where you can find the complete slide deck from my presentation.  It will be posted within a few days of the conclusion of the 2016 Symposium (Hey, I didn’t want you to look ahead at all of the awesome graphics, hugely important research findings and info BEFORE you had a chance to experience the session….Thanks for understanding!)

Until then, here is a list of the NINE KEY ACTIONS OF CONNECTED LEADERS.  Watch this site for details of a forthcoming podcast episode of the Success Charger Podcast (it’s free) where we will dig even DEEPER into each Key Action. (If you’ll scroll up to the upper right-hand corner of this page and leave your email address, we’ll notify you when the next episode is ready to go!)

  1. Always Demonstrate Empathy
  2. Focus on Outcomes – Not Hours
  3. Share Accountability
  4. Become a N.I.N.J.A.
  5. PRO-active > RE-active Coaching
  6. Maximize Transparency
  7. Encourage Innovation
  8. Develop Presentation Skills
  9. Model a Learning Culture

TOURNAMENT OF CHANGE
How to Experience Championship Results in Turbulent Times (3:45PM, May 12, 2016)

If you were with us in the Unique Zone at the 2016 Symposium, you know that this wasn’t a PowerPoint presentation AT ALL.  In fact, it was less of a “breakout session” and more of an EXPERIENCE. I hope you  had as much fun learning at the session as I did putting it together for you!

We’ll do our best to share some of the key elements here and I’ll load up the “promo PowerPoint” that was sent into the Symposium organizers ahead of time, too. Again, we’ll get it up on the site soon.


PODCAST

In the meantime, if you like to hear great stories, I invite you to check out my free, weekly show “The Success Charger Podcast with Scott Cooksey” available to stream or download from SuccessChargerPodcast.com , iTunes, Stitcher Radio and other fine podcasting sites around the interwebs.

You might especially like Episode 38 where I interview John Verdone of DDI (Development Dimensions International) about why he believes EVERYONE should become a facilitator.

Why Everyone Should Become A Facilitator [Ep.38]

Even with many years of experience developing leaders, John Verdone (Manager, Global Facilitator Excellence at Development Dimensions International) was struggling to describe just exactly what he did for a living. That is, until one day, when he happened to catch a certain story unfolding on a PBS-like television show and it all clicked.

People with strong presentation skills are viewed as better leaders and perceived to possess many favorable attributes reaching far beyond the realm of presentations. – John Verdone

In this interview, John stops by the podcast visit with host Scott Cooksey and shares what a study he commissioned uncovered about what makes a great facilitator; when learning really begins for adults; and why everyone should incorporate facilitation skills to build deeper, more meaningful connections with co-workers, clients and in your life.


CLICK HERE to watch the YouTube video that generated the connection between John’s exploration into “what makes a great facilitator” and this podcast interview.



 

Photo of John Verdone peering out airplane window.
John Verdone
Cooksey peering out plane window.
Scott Cooksey

In the outtake of today’s episode, John and Scott compare recent photos they’d shared online.

Except for the fact that they both appear to prefer seats on the left side of the aircraft, any other resemblance is most certainly coincidental.

Share your questions, kudos, criticisms, challenges, guests you’d like to hear interviewed or whatever is on your mind in the comments section below or email the show at podcast@IdeaCharger.com!


Host Scott Cooksey works with organizations and top leaders to help them build lasting, profitable business relationships FASTER.

He has lead leadership workshops around the globe since 2009, and regularly speaks at conferences just like the last industry-specific one you attended!

Learn more about how Scott works with leaders and organizations like yours at www.IdeaCharger.com 

If you like today’s episode, please share it with your friends and followers on social media!

Connecting Caregivers with Healthcare Coaches to Improve Profitability

Cariloop-2c-rgbThe financial impact of providing care to loved ones in the United States extends far beyond the actual costs of the health care.  Michael Walsh, co-founder and CEO of Cariloop.com just couldn’t sit and let that fact “work itself out”.  He knew something had to be done. Today, his company is bridging the gap between a dynamic, complicated health care system and families working hard to ensure their loved ones get the best care…without getting overwhelmed!

This episode of Success Charger explores what happens when being born into a family of entrepreneurs meets a challenging issue facing an increasing number people in America today. You guessed it…a company is born!

The Statistics:

  • 17% of workforce employees today are also considered caregivers for loved ones

  • Caregivers provide care for an average of 21 hours per week

  • $304,000 average lifetime lost wages are experienced by caregivers

  •  Employer cost per employee/caregiver is approximately $2110 per employee per year

Cariloop provides health care coaches to work with families to navigate the pressures associated with the challenges of work-life balance amid a dynamic, complex healthcare environment.

MichaelWalsh-CariloopMichael Walsh exemplifies what it truly means to “connect” families with solutions that make an impact on their lives in a positive way.  In it, he has created a business that does not feel like “work”, yet is making a difference in the lives of many!

Learn more about Cariloop:

On the web at  www.Cariloop.com;  call a coach today at 844-790-5667; or email them at helpme@cariloop.com

FOLLOW ON SOCIAL MEDIA:

@Cariloop – The Company
@WalshMichaelR Michael Walsh – Co-Founder and CEO
LinkedIn Company Page
Michael Walsh on LinkedIn

____________________________________________________________________

Success Charger Podcast is hosted by Scott Cooksey.  For information about having Scott speak at your industry or corporate event; leadership workshops; private coaching/events, please visit www.IdeaCharger.com

 

Re-Defining Today’s Business MAN with Dan Griffin (Ep 36)

The role of men in our society has been defined by centuries of history…and perhaps, to an extent, upon much mis-information.

In this episode of the Success Charger Podcast, Dan Griffin stops by to share his take on “The Man Rules” and why so often men..and women…get it all wrong.

 

Steeped in long-term work in the field of addiction recovery, Dan’s exploration of what defines men today has led to his authoring several books, speaking regularly around the country, and working tirelessly to defend the rights of men to be men…REAL men.

It just may not be what you  think. Give it a listen and sound off below in the comments section!

Follow Dan Online:

Dan’s Books:

Entertainment Never Sleeps – Tip Jones – Overdrive Entertainment [Ep 31]

During one, hot, Oklahoma summer in the mid 1980’s, MTV proudly played the Top Five at Five video requests from the day’s call-ins.  That entire summer, the same five music videos (back when Music Television actually played music videos en masse) came on like clockwork. One of those songs was “Tears are Falling” by KISS.

Fast forward to 2016, and one of my childhood buddies, Tip Jones of Overdrive Entertainment, found himself readying a venue for a KISS concert just an hour or so from where we’d grown up as the concert promoter and event agency responsible for making the show happen.  In a surreal moment, Jones texted the pal who encouraged him to get into the entertainment business in the first place to say “I can’t believe I get to do this for a living.”

In this episode of the podcast, Cooksey visits with Tip Jones as they unpack what it took to go from a third-generation retail furniture store owner in a small, Oklahoma town to one of the most in-demand concert and event management companies in the region.

Autograph's Authenticity Questioned In Family Dispute
Autograph’s Authenticity Questioned In Family Dispute

We talk everything from the economic impact of entertainment events to why companies and municipalities should use a professional entertainment company to manage their events to what ‘s really behind ticket prices and more.  Tip even shares a couple of moments he claims are the reason he got into this crazy business in the first place.

While sharing one of his most memorable moments with country music legend Charlie Daniels, Cooksey quickly jumped on the opportunity to settle a decades old family dispute.  It’s all explained in the episode.  [We will include some pictures here in the notes, but please click the link below to VOTE and help Scott SETTLE THE SCORE!]

Charlie Daniels Overdrive
Image provided courtesy of Overdrive Entertainment

Like the show?  Please share it with your networks.  Have questions for us? Want to leave a comment?  Ideas for other guests?  Just want to share your OWN awesome story?  Leave them all below in the comments section!

For more on how to subscribe to the show or to stream additional episodes, visit SuccessChargerPodcast.com for all the details!


 

HELP RESOLVE COOKSEY’S FAMILY BET:

CLICK HERE to cast your vote and help settle this decade’s old challenge in Cooksey’s family!

How One $1.2 Billion Company Wanted to Connect (Ep 30)

Over 100 years ago, a company was known as a distributor of industrial pumps.  Sexy, huh?  Today, that little company, DXP Enterprises, is known for that and much, much more by taking serious their relationships  connections seriously…creating $1.2 BILLION in sales during FY 2015.  Not too bad.

This week, we flip the script by listening in while Success Charger Podcast host Scott Cooksey gets interviewed by Curt Tueffert, Vice President of Sales Development for an internal podcast known as “DXP Sales Radio“.

With a sales force spread out across a broad geographic area, getting everyone who needs to hear an important message is tough to coordinate.  With their internal show, DXP Sales Radio, Tueffert is able to get a consistent message to his force of consulting sales professionals, no matter what.

Often interviewing outside experts, Curt was curious how DXP’s sales force could benefit in sales AND leadership by applying an emphasis of connection, each and every day.

We had so much fun recording the interview, I asked (and was granted) special permission to share our recording with you, the Success Charger listener.  I hope you’ll enjoy it!

If you like this, please share it with your management, sales leader, and colleagues.  Connection is a skill that can and will benefit EVERY organization. I have seen it impact companies of all sizes in remarkable ways!


 

Interested in having Scott in to deliver a speech or lead a workshop inside your company or trade organization?  Email him at podcast@successcharger.com or visit www.IdeaCharger.com!

Let us hear from you!  Like this episode? Hate it? Think of someone you’d like us to interview?  Email us atpodcast@ideacharger.com!