Thursday, May 21, 2009

Why seminars, training and workshops fail!

Closing the "Knowing - Doing Gap"

Have you ever tried to learn something new and it just doesn't stick? You send lots of energy on learning new skills and better habits, but you keep falling back into your old way of doing things. Most of us lack effective strategies for retaining and applying all the helpful information we take in (like this blog!).

In his book Know Can Do!, bestselling author Ken Blanchard and Paul J. Meyer, founder of Leadership Management Institute, use the storytelling method to explain why this occurs and how to be a more effective learner.

Know Can Do! chronicles a motivational/leadership author who is frustrated by the "knowing-doing gap" - The chasm between all the great ideas and advice digested from books, seminars and workshops and the actual actions and behaviors we do. All too often, in spite of their most sincere efforts, what people learn just doesn't stick. It's an endless source of frustration for individuals and for organizations as well.

This gap is one of the key reasons the "training budget" gets cut when a business looks to trim expenses.

Seeking a way to close this gap, the author sets out on a journey to find a solution. He soon meets a legendary businessman who teaches him the three reasons people don’t make the leap from knowing to doing:

  1. Too much knowledge—information overload
  2. Too much negativity—an inadequate filtering system
  3. Bad habits—an inadequate learning system

The key to overcoming these roadblocks, the author learns, is spaced repetition. Important information must be repeated over time if it’s going to impact behavior.

People who have mastered learning are free to be creative and make big things happen. In fact, John F. Kennedy once remarked that "leadership and learning are indispensable to each other." This book helps people at all levels develop the mind-set and the skill set to achieve extraordinary results.

Know Can Do will show you how to avoid information overload by learning "less more, not more less." You'll find out how to adjust your brain's filtering system to learn many, many times more than ever before, ignite your creativity and resourcefulness with Green Light Thinking and master what you've learned using spaced repetition.

At last, an answer to the question, "Why don't I do what I know I should do?" Read this book and you will!

PS - Sales pitch - this is what LMI has been doing for 43 years. So you can either try and do it yourself or you can partner with someone who has perfected the process!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Is Your Sales Force Wasting Valuable Time and Effort?

This is a great article on how to increase sales by increasing productive behaviors.

Is Your Sales Force Wasting Valuable Time and Effort?

If you want a winning sales force, here are answers to some questions, courtesy of the book Building a Winning Sales Force. Written by Andris A. Zoltners, Prabhakant Sinha, and Sally E. Lorimer, the book offers powerful strategies for driving high sales performance to maximize results.

As the authors observe:

Are important customers getting enough attention? Many salespeople spend too much time with comfortable and secure accounts, while others spend too much time catering to small but demanding client segments. Yet, a company’s most important customers aren’t always its most loyal or most difficult ones. Make sure your sales force is devoting ample, proactive attention to high-potential and high-profit customers.

Are important products getting enough sales effort? When given an option, most salespeople will focus on products they find easy or fun to sell. They’re also influenced by contests or incentives aimed at boosting short-term sales of specific products. As a result, products with strategic importance sometimes get overlooked. Strive to balance your sales force’s time and efforts between established core products and exciting new ones.

Is the sales force engaged in the highest-impact sales activities? Time spent on planning, training, travel, and other activities besides selling should help make salespeople’s time with customers more valuable. When salespeople waste hours sitting in sales meetings, answering internal e-mails, feeding data into awkward CRM systems, checking their sales numbers against incentive payouts, chasing invoices, and crafting sales proposals that could have been adapted from company boilerplate, the company loses money.

Do salespeople have appropriate expectations? Even the best salespeople are likely to misallocate their time if they are unclear about what the company wants them to do and expects them to achieve for each customer, market segment, or product. Clearly communicate priorities and objectives to your sales force and provide salespeople with goals that encourage desired behaviors. Also, measure how salespeople are spending their time and tracking their sales and provide them with ongoing feedback on these metrics.

Do salespeople have the information they need to do their jobs? Sometimes salespeople know what the company wants them to do, but lack the information they need to do it. If salespeople are not sure how to go about identifying good prospects, for example, a mandate like “develop business with new customers” offers no guidance. To keep salespeople informed, invest in developing and maintaining up-to-date customer databases. Provide quick and easy access to detailed product information and arm salespeople with the high-tech tools and the bandwidth to leverage the information they need to do their jobs better.

Do salespeople have the skills and knowledge they need to be successful? When salespeople know what the company wants them to do and have the information they need to do it but continue to avoid important customers or products, they likely lack confidence and specific sales skills—such as how to negotiate effectively or how to close a sale. The remedy for both is targeted sales force training and coaching.

Are salespeople motivated to do what the company wants? Lack of sales force motivation is one of the most notorious wasters of time, sales talent, and potential profits. To get salespeople motivated, tie incentive plan rewards and align the criteria for nonmonetary recognition, like membership in the President’s Club, to the desired sales activities. Another effective motivational strategy is demonstrating to the sales force how a failure to grow business leads to lost market share, insufficient word of mouth among customers, and a decrease in long-term income for salespeople.

Do you have the right salespeople in the job? In some companies, sales resource misallocation is a matter of having people with the wrong capabilities or characteristics in the job. The solution is improving recruitment and retention of top performers. Start by changing your hiring profit to reflect the capabilities and characteristics of your best reps. Evaluate current salespeople and encourage those who lack what it takes to succeed in your sales organization to seek other jobs. Finally, work on changing your sales culture so that salespeople with the right capabilities and characteristics will want to join and stay with your company.

(From Building a Winning Sales Force: Powerful Strategies for Driving High Performance by Andris A. Zoltners, Prabhakant Sinha, and Sally E. Lorimer. Copyright 2009, Andris A. Zoltners, Prabhakant Sinha, and Sally E. lorimer. Published by AMACOM. is published by AMACOM, a division of American Management Association. For more information:

About the Author:

Andris A. Zoltners is a professor of marketing at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a founder and co-chairman of ZS Associates.

Prabhakant sinha is a founder and co-chairman of ZS Associates where he has consulted on sales effectiveness for more than 200 firms in North America, Europe, and Asia.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

And the beat goes (Speeding) on!

And the beat goes (Speeding) on!

Every single day we get bombarded with messages about how "business has to change!"

There are a TON of "You have to's" like...

  • You have to do more with less
  • You have to think outside the box
  • You have to increase your activity level
  • You have to outperform the competition

The buzzwords go on and on (and on.) BUT, how do you tap into your resources so you can achieve all the "have to's"?

LMI has the answer!

Three Very Simple Keys to Success


Become Goal-Directed

Goal-driven people focus on the critical few instead of the important many.

The economy can be robust or slow, on fire or dried up, it makes NO DIFFERENCE. Take the "noise" out of the system and be free to say "no" to good intentions and "yes" to great actions.

  • Goals produce focus.
  • Focus produces drive.
  • Drive produces results!

It’s that simple.


Implement an Accountability System

We have to accept the fact that we are responsible for our own economy.

Yeah, yeah – nobody wants to be held accountable - whether it is in business or life. Our natural tendency is to look to the government, our "boss", the consumer, our spouse or even "the devil" for someone to be responsible.

We can't control the market, the government, the consumers or even the "devil". We can, however, control our action, behavior and attitude.

  • Accountability is the road to higher achievement.
  • Higher achievement produces higher results.
  • Higher results give you greater success!

It’s that simple.


Instill a Positive Expectancy

A "can do" committed to success NOW attitude is the motivation to make goals and accountability work.

You get what you expect. Positive expectancy is the spark that ignites the passion and builds commitment.

  • Positive expectancy creates resolve.
  • Resolve overcomes daily obstacles and roadblocks.
  • Overcoming “noise” delivers results.

It’s that simple.

Yep, these three keys ARE simple, but it’s extremely hard to put them into practice. Studies show that only 3% of the population uses these keys all the time.

You probably recognize these individuals. They’re the "lucky" folks. Things go right for them. They don't join "the sky is falling" bandwagon. They have a clear head in the midst of negative messages. They face reality with clarity and purpose.

How do you become part of the 3%?

NOW WE CAN TALK ABOUT THE SIMPLE ANSWER -- combine LMI’s unique process (implemented by 100,000’s of individuals across the world) with your desire to improve. You will develop the three keys to success that will last you a lifetime.

Are you a "3%"?

Join the next LMI Catalyst Club to move your performance to the next level or would you like to become one of the elite! Join the LMI Catalyst Club to begin the journey.

Michael D. Diercks, Regional President, LMI - Serving Columbus for 40 years!
(614)823-8150 - - -