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 relationshipsconnections 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!
“If your to-do item requires more than one step…it’s a project”
Under the rule established by the above quote, all of us – including YOU- manage projects each and every day. In this 60 minute episode, you will learn that not only are projects important, but that managing doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, it’s quite simple if you are willing to employ a few important techniques.
Several years ago, while I was presenting for a very challenging client in Chicago, IL, a man with a tremendously addictive smile sat in the back of the room. At the end of the day, he approached me with great enthusiasm for what was, in his words, “a rather successfully facilitated day” I had just completed. A connection was made…and in this episode, I reconnect with Andy Kaufman, PMP to discuss the art and opportunity of successfully managing projects.
If you think project management is boring…This episode is going to change your mind about projects and project managers. It is JAM PACKED with solid ideas anyone can use to become more effective at almost anything you do!
In this high-energy episode, we discuss many aspects of projects including:
Why you SHOULD talk about risks…and how often,
Using the “Two Week Rule” for checkpoints,
How projects are influenced by the psychology of pursuasion,
Navigating the “Planning Fallacy”,
Book recommendations and
Much, much more….
During this interview, Andy offers a discount for any of our listeners who enroll in one of his eLearning courses using the discount code, here is the special link to GET ANDY’S ESSENTIALS COURSEand use the coupon code cooksey-50 to save $50off of the course enrollment!
[In full disclosure, Andy is providing me an affiliate referral fee for anyone who uses this link, but he is paying me out of his proceeds and with no additional cost to you. Just being transparent here…]
To learn more about Andy Kaufman, hire him as a speaker, bring him in to work with your group or just read some of his articles, check out his website at www.i-leadonline.com.
In July of 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed into law the Morrill Land Grant Act as a sweeping effort to create agricultural colleges across the United States. In 1890, a full 17 years before Oklahoma was to become a state, the institution now known as Oklahoma State University was established in Stillwater, OK.
In December 2015, I had the opportunity to sit down with the Chris Batchelder, President & CEO of the Oklahoma State University Alumni Association. In short, this interview was a lot of fun.
While the conversation begins with some context of the current state of Oklahoma State University today (27,000+ students; huge influx of out-of-state enrollment; excitement, and so much more), we quickly dove deep into the role of the modern-day alumni association.
The primary role of any alumni association is connection. For those of you who have heard me speak, attended one of my leadership workshops, or regularly listen to the podcast, you have heard me say time and again that “connection” IS the most important skill every person should master.
Here’s just a few highlights from the interview:
How alumni associations can partner with the athletic department of their school to do more than just ask for money
The unique role (and signficant differences) of university foundations, athletic departments and alumni associations
How alumni associations are serving the career transition needs of seasoned employees (not just recent graduates)
so much more!
The OSUAA is alive and well with over 105 active chapters and “watch party” groups serving it’s base. Did you know that 80% of Oklahoma State alumni members live within 50 miles of an active group?
Are you active in your own Alumni Association? What is your experience with Corporate Alumni Groups? How do YOU stay connected with others who have a common, emotional bond to a time or place? We want to hear! Share your stories and associations below!
To book Scott Cooksey to speak or lead a workshop at your organization, check out www.IdeaCharger.com!
Building on the momentum of recent weeks, in Episode 24, host Scott Cooksey shares how 2016 is off and running with intention and purpose.
Sharing how he practices what he suggests on the show, Cooksey reveals his “ONE BIG GOAL” for this year, shares what he is doing differently to achieve it, and why making time for your family and loved ones is important NOW….while you are building the life and business you really want!
One important fact to remember is that “nobody is responsible for your success but you” and further more, it is not anyone else’s responsibility to make sure YOU get what YOU want.
The only question that remains is: What will you DO about it?
The simple questions and steps you need to take are all included in this podcast episode. Just remember that you don’t have to be perfect right away, but you MUST move the needle in the right direction.
Share YOUR “Big Goal” for 2016 in the show notes at www.IdeaCharger.com/Episode24 and if you haven’t listened to Episodes 21-23, and you’re at the point of wanting to (re)gain control of your own life and business, this would be a great time to give these lessons a listen.
This week’s episode is short on show notes, but HUGE on energized thinking.
Listen in as Scott checks in from the road in Dallas, Texas, on the eve of his first client workshop of the year!
We will be talking about his concerns surrounding the current trend toward “big data” and how it seems to be driving lot of questionable tactics in business; password frustrations & how a recent, ill-advised laptop purchase reminded him how much his network was really worth….and prompted a new “hide the electronics when irritated” policy for 2016.
It’s fast. It’s furious. It will hit home for you.
Scott Cooksey works with organizations and individuals to (re)energize their business and more rapidly produce profitable, lasting client relationships through a variety of offerings. Find out how Scott can work with you or your team at www.ideacharger.com and, of course, keep listening to the show!
Welcome to 2016! Following a little downtime with family over the Christmas and New Year’s break, I didn’t originally plan to release an episode this week, but alas….I was completely inspired by the blatant lack of great customer service from a major airline during my travels.
Let me be clear.
I have had some WONDERFUL customer service experiences from a number of travel and related service industries. Everything from the unexpected free rental car in Little Rock from National Car Rental (I’m just glad they didn’t call the police because the SUV I was driving was technically “missing”) to the presidential suite upgrade at the Marriott in south Texas (the only perk of checking in after midnight followed by an early departure later that morning) to the exceptional on-board service from Judy McClure (of then Continental Express airline).
Here is the FOLLOW UP…three years later (Yep….Judy did it AGAIN!)
This holiday, however, even in the midst of multiple social media posts (one including my preschool daughter asleep on the floor next to her tablet…exhausted from the delay – and THAT was JUST TO DROP OUR BAGS BEFORE SECURITY!) despite the remarkably executed actions of a few (and I stress FEW) employees, United Airlines simply flat-lined on customer service overall making it easy to bid farewell to 2015.
You are not responsible for HOW your customers wind up at your doorstep or WHAT HAPPENED to them before you arrived, but YOUR RESPONSE WILL DETERMINE WHAT HAPPENS NEXT. There is only one word you need to master: EMPATHY.
[This podcast includes a live recording FROM THE AIRPORT with all the details of a horrible experience….at this posting I am STILL WAITING for United Airlines to take me up on the offer to meet with them at Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport. [I made the offer to United via the “what else do you want us to know about your experience on December 28th, 2015” question of their annoying post-flight survey – I even provided my cell phone number, email address and offered to drive 22 miles to the airport to meet with them to explain….Hey, at this point, I’ll even offer them ONE FREE TRAINING SESSION if they’d invite me to meet with a group of their supervisors and/or airport reps.]
Have a travel nightmare (or awesome customer service save) story of your own? Share it below in the comment section!
First of all, I want to wish a sincere “Happy Birthday” to my Dad. For all the years he has offered me advice, each year brings the time between him dishing it out to me actually taking action on it shortens. If only I could have HIM create a podcast and record it just for you…but, alas, he claims to be retired.
This coming year (or really ANYTIME you are up to the challenge), I want you to upgrade the people with whom you spend the most time. I know, you are required to be at work and interact daily with Ashley from Accounts Payable, Michael from Marketing & Stanley from Shipping…but that’s not who I am talking about. No, not your loved ones, either. The unfortunate truth about your family is that most of your waking hours aren’t spend with them, either. It’s the people you CHOOSE to spend your discretionary time with each week.
“We become the average of the five people with whom we spend the most time.”
– Attributed to so many different people on the internet, let’s just accept this as FACT, shall we?
A couple of years ago, I committed to meet with a group of colleagues who are all speakers, facilitators, and experts of various topics on a monthly basis. While our businesses were, by trade, quite similar, how we each go about running them varies somewhat. Each of us is at a different stage of maturity with our business (some might argue in general as well)…but committing to get together regularly and hold each other accountable for progress has proven a worthwhile exercise. Over these last two years, we have seen the ups and downs of one another’s practices, and been there to lend support, friendship, ideas and sometimes just a listening ear.
One of the members of my group is a sales leadership consultant, speaker and fellow podcaster, Jim Jacobus. In fact, it was Jim who challenged the members of our group to each launch a podcast of our own….so I owe him a THANK YOU on behalf of each of the listeners of the Success Charger Podcast for his encouragement for me to even launch the show in the first place.
I am a listener of Jim’s Podcast, and in a 4-part series he started on November 19th, 2015, he has again encouraged me to raise the bar.
Sometimes it is just better to send you to the source, than try to explain what I learned for myself. My challenge to you this week is to download and listen to the four-episode series Jim produced on the “Four Questions You Should Ask Yourself Each Year”.
My wife and I have taken these four questions and are carving out a few hours this week to sit down and discuss what they mean to us in the context of our marriage/family as well as both of our careers.
Here are the links to the episodes on Jim’s Podcast, and I hope you’ll find them as helpful as I did. (HINT: If you are short on time and just want to cut to the chase, he does a nice, albeit brief, recap on the fourth episode….but I’d recommend listening to all four. They are about 20 or so minutes each.)
You can also find these on iTunes Podcasts: Search for “In The Sales Arena” or via this link (Epsiodes 64-67)
If you have been in business for very long, then you most certainly have experienced the typical “next year, our goal is to do more!” Or, “this year, our goal will be $X million dollars in sales!” [A number seemingly pulled out of thin air, or worse…a number simply a percentage greater than last year’s total.] This is precisely the reason you should never set goals. Let me explain.
“More” is not a strategy!
There is no creativity in goal setting today. Too often, what often gets construed as strategic planning, is not much more than wishful thinking. In short, people are lazy.
insanity- Taking the same action over-and-over again, each time expecting a different result.
Unhappy with the fact that the company’s sales results were essentially flat for a number of years, a company president shared with me once that “he wanted more”. Isn’t that exactly what conventional wisdom says a company president should say? In fact, it is exactly what that same company president had said in each of the previous five or six years…each time with the same result- roughly the same amount of sales as the year(s) before. Are you surprised?
Activity Alleviates Anxiety
Filled with desire to achieve a new result, do you ever feel paralyzed & uncertain what to do? Research indicates that learning occurs in four stages (Read: Unconscious Competence- A Lesson From Sesame Street). To first learn a new skill, or achieve a new result, one must first take a new action to discover that you likely don’t know what you don’t know- and you need awareness to turn that newly discovered knowledge into action from which you can learn. Once you took that first step, did the outcome bring you closer to or farther from your desired result? Adjust. Try again. It certainly beats the analysis paralysis which prevents so many people from experiencing a change in the outcome of their efforts. Do something, even if it is wrong!
Where SHOULD You Focus?
To achieve big results, you must have a vision. To have a vision, you must allow yourself to detach from your past failures and engage with an image of what your new success looks or feels like. Go ahead. Get a vivid picture of success. What would be different if you achieved success? How would it look? Feel? Smell? What would people notice most about you?
Now, before you get overwhelmed with the natural feelings of “but I don’t know how to get there”, simply bask in that vision for a few minutes. Hey, take an hour!
Welcome back! Feels good, doesn’t it? Now, write down a list of new actions (short term) that would lead you closer to that vision becoming your reality. Want a new job? Apply for a new one every day for a month. Want to lose those extra pounds you gained over the holidays…four years ago? Decide to go for a walk for 30 minutes every day.
Recent, widely-quoted research seems to suggest that mastery of a skill occurs once you have exercised that skill for 10,000 hours. Becoming an “expert” is a lofty goal. [For those counting at home that is spending 12 hours a day, every day, for 27 months; or by spending 30 minutes a day for nearly 55 years-if you have that kind of time.] No matter your level of commitment each day, proficiency in any skill only comes from experience. There are no shortcuts!
Focus on building new behaviors. Experiment with new behaviors and identify the correlation with your vision. As you take more and more deliberate action in the correct direction, that vision will begin to come into focus. Celebrate the small victories. Track your progress toward the greater desired result. Just don’t gauge how well you are doing with a pass/fail mentality. Focus on moving yourself in the right direction. The big, satisfying goal will just seem to “happen”.
ACTION: Share a big goal publicly with others as a motivator to keep yourself accountable. Take a minute and describe your big vision below. Even if nobody reaches out to you to check your progress, YOU will remember it was posted here and the discomfort of complacency will encourage you to take action each day.
Set goals. Make resolutions. Change. Do something different. Each of these concepts have a common thread. They are all about altering behavior and establishing expecations. Remember, I don’t think goal setting works (well, sort of…).
Recently, the following quote was shared with me, and it sparked a conversation which got me thinking.
@LeadershipBEST: The best way to see Faith is to shut the eye of Reason ~ Benjamin Franklin
When I read this, I immediately honed in on the aspect of the words “Faith” and “Reason” were both capitalized. My perception of the quote was that having faith (from a spiritual perspective) was exclusive of being able to apply reason when explaining the “un-explainable” or something one does not fully “understand”. Dianne Reilly(@LeadershipBEST) and I had a pleasant exchange regarding the quote, and I learned her perspective of the quote was less about the religious aspect of faith and more about “acceptance” of topics that affected us in life in a more general sense. By being open-minded to her thoughts, I began to think about how the quote was truly relevant to us both, even while the implied meaning of the exact same grouping of words (the quote) appeared to mean something very different to each of us. (Thanks again, Dianne, for the great back-and-forth!)
A few years ago, I was working on a customer-retention project for a client who was incorporating a newly purchased product line into his existing business structure as a new division. The client and I agreed to a list of expectations, assigned various performance incentives to our contract, and set a course of action with a lofty goal of 95% customer retention.
The challenge we encountered, however, became a flash point upon discovery that I had relied on the implied quality of data, regarding the list of existing customers. Almost immediately, it became evident that there was a fair amount of missing data (phone numbers, addresses, and other customer specifics) which made it impossible to contact the customer (a metric we were relying on to trigger the performance bonuses). In my mind, to gauge the success rate to which we’d agreed, the base number used in the calculation should be adjusted to remove 1) a small group of specific customers the owner asked I NOT contact- as he wanted to reach out them himself, and 2) customers with completely missing data that neither a postcard, email, nor phone call were possible for contacting. Seems reasonable, right? Well, the client disagreed with my assessment. While we had agreed on the percentage, we were not explicit in discussing how to handle the poor data set in thecalculation of that percentage. Though we both sought success, a dispute over the calculation of success ultimately led to the early termination of the project, when the client refused to pay out the incentive for the achieved 95% goal, based on his view on how the ratio should have been calculated.
The term “goal” is often used as a substitute for “expectation” or “desired outcome”. If you think about it, desired outcome is really somewhat subjective. Have you ever heard of a boss, team leader, or company owner who was upset when a “goal” was exceeded by 50%? How about when a boss consistently demands “more”, but shouts disappointment when the sales team turns in a result $1 greater than last year. They thought they hit the goal. Often times the boss had something else in mind. From the other side, what about the media reaction to a sports team who quite handily whips their opponent on the field? The superior team wanted to win (the goal) but often find themselves blasted by critics for being unsportsmanlike. Confused? You should be. Expectations, however, should be clear. By both sides. Every time.
How to Beat Your Goals Every Time
There are two simple ways to beat your goals every time:
Set your goals too low. Know what you are capable of (or worse, what you already know you will achieve) and set the bar right there. Doing this creates an artificial feeling of accomplishment that likely fills a short term desire of feeling successful, yet rarely delivers the long-term satisfaction and success truly successful people seek.
Focus on Changing Behavior-
To continually and successfully blow away your goals (and I’m talking about those big time expectations you have), the key is to focus on changing your behavior. Here’s what I mean:
Instead of setting an artificial goal:
“I will beat last years number.”, or
“I will lose 35 pounds this year”, or
”Sell 20% more than last year”
Focus on activity-based goals, instead:
I will log my food intake daily, focusing on making healthy replacements in my diet.
Each week, I will meet face-to-face with two new contacts.
Attend one professional association meeting a month. Already attend one regularly? Commit to attending a second meeting each month, even if it rotates among several organizations. Just get out there. (And stuff some business cards in your pocket, because you’re going to be looking for new people to meet up with in those one-on-one, face-to-face meetings!)
Commit to show up for work (even if you work from a home office or a local coffee shop) 15-minutes earlier each day.
Strive to work out (walk, bike, run, weight train, SOMETHING) 30 minutes a day, at least 4 days/week.
You get the idea, right? By focusing on what you can DO (what you can control), you will achieve lofty goals beyond your wildest imagination (what you can influence by taking appropriate action).
So, let’s start a discussion below about one or more of the new activity-based goals you will be focusing on, starting right now! Go ahead, post your ONE BIG GOAL!
[Article originally posted by Scott Cooksey at CookseyConnects.com]
Your Bio Was Intriguing, but Your Content was Incongruent
Listen in to these tips and the story that inspired it all by clicking the player above!
As a busy professional, I’d imagine you would agree with me that if your general opinion of meetings was published as a book, the title might be something like “Stop Wasting My Time”. Each week,hundreds thousandsmillions of meetings likely occur around the globe. How in the world can you be sure the ones you choose to attend will be worth the time invested?
How to Choose Meetings You Should Attend
Is it a “required” meeting? If this is a standing appointment, you may still choose to “pass” from time to time.
Weekly sales meetings are a good example. A well-run organization should appreciate that if you are not in the sales meeting because you are on an actual sales call with a customer or prospect, that is a good thing.
However, if the meeting is your quarterly or annual review with your boss to discuss your performance, expectations, or special project you are being asked to head up, then this one probably is a meeting you should attend.
Did you call the meeting? Few examples in the world are more disrespectful than the one person who does not show up prepared (or, at all) for a meeting is the very person who called it. If you called it, you had most certainly show up (prepared) or respectfully cancel the meeting with plenty of lead time. [Trust me, the attendees will appreciate getting some unexpected time back.]
Is the topic relevant to you? Take a look at the information regarding the presenter or the topic and decide if that message is relevant enough to your current projects, responsibilities or interests to take the time to attend. If it is relevant, and you believe you will learn something from it, I’d say your attendance would be worthwhile.
Who else do you expect to attend the meeting? One of the best ways to get in front of a client, prospect, or influential person is to “happen to bump into them at a meeting” and learn you have a “shared interest in a topic.” One of my most fun meetings occurred on a Saturday morning, 28-mile bicycle ride when nobody else showed up except for me and the director of an economic development team. We showed up to ride bikes, but learned a lot about each other’s business, too!
Geography If you live in a large, metropolitan area, the idea of “just across town” can literally mean an eighty-mile round trip, or worse- getting caught in a crushing traffic jam at least one-way of your traverse to attend the meeting. If there is a 60-minute meeting that requires me to spend an hour or more in transit when I have no other business in the area or the above questions are void of compelling answers, I will likely skip it, no matter how much I “support the organization”. It’s simply not the best use of my time.
Recently, a monthly group I have been recently attending (I even spoke to this particular group a couple of months prior) announced their program speaker. I went down the list above and determined that given the reputation of the speaker (he was quite credentialed) and the opportunity to network with a few people I expected to see there, that I’d make the 40 mile drive (one-way) “across town” to the meeting. The lunch was tasty (maybe I should add a “culinary options” question to the list above as sushi is a definite plus for this particular meeting). The conversation fed my creative brain with some ideas for my new program under development – another plus. But…. to say the featured speaker was running a little late would be an understatement. He arrived about 10 minutes before the scheduled end of the meeting.
As If That Wasn’t Enough…
The moderator for the event acknowledged the promised “running time” for the meeting and informed the late-arriving speaker he could still have 10-minutes to present. [Again, as a speaker who has traveled extensively, I understand that things happen. I was annoyed, but kept an open mind. “Let’s see what he can do with 10 minutes”, I thought.
Here Is Where He Lost Me
With great anticipation, and a hurried introduction, the presenter jumped right into his presentation. I suppose the elephant in the room was his tardiness. Without any explanation, he just started into his presentation….that he did not appear to tweak one iota. How do I know that, you ask? His opening statement…I mean he built it up as a cardinal rule for meeting speakers…was “Rule #1″…. He spent three minutes (30% of his time) touting (are you ready for it?) the importance of arriving early at every speaking engagement to build connection with his audience! If that wasn’t enough, he then paused (remember, he’s only been given ten minutes to present) to shout out an order to the restaurant employee quietly clearing the table for an order of coffee…”black.” I quietly packed up my notes, stood up, nodded to the meeting facilitator, and hit the door. What a hack! [I later learned he went straight into a sales pitch from there.]
I have been on the fence about this particular group for a while. I had made a specific point to attend, as this speaker had worked with some of the biggest names in the business. His materials touted him to be “America’s #1 Expert on Sales“….too bad I didn’t stick around to hear his pitch! [Note: He was there to promote an upcoming event to which he was selling tickets…I will NOT be attending.]
If you call a meeting – show up ready for it. If you attend a meeting – know why you are there. If someone wastes your time – question whether it is important enough for you to attend the next one. And, if you are ever the featured speaker for a meeting, make sure you show up early to build some rapport with the audience or stop wasting my time!
Article previously published by Scott Cooksey at CookseyConnects.com