You’ll Never Be Successful Unless You Can Master This One Thing

There’s one key habit you’ll need if you want to make the most out of anything in life.

shutterstock_248863174The management training program here at NCG, Inc in Trumbull is centered around preparing our participants for a successful career in business. The topic of this blog post is one we discuss frequently at our firm, and something we consider crucial for any professional in any field.


Question
:  What differentiates the people who earn above average success from those who fall in the middle? Why do some people become total rockstars in their fields and others remain totally unknown? Why do some entrepreneurs run thriving businesses while others struggle to pay the bills? Why are some individuals constantly growing and improving while others are stagnant? There’s an answer that is all-encompassing and actually quite simple. Are you ready for it?

Answer:  Successful people do the things unsuccessful people don’t want to do. Successful people don’t want to do them either but they do them anyway.

BAM! You can take a moment to take that one in!

We’d argue that those 2 sentences contain the key to success in any aspect of life.

By nature, human beings steer clear of anything that is uncomfortable, anxiety-producing, difficult, or painful in one way or another. While perhaps this makes sense from a biological evolutionary perspective, avoiding “pain” is actually one of the worst things a person can do in life. Why? Because often, the right thing to do is actually the hardest.

Most people don’t feel like waking up extra early in the morning to exercise before work; yet, this would be a healthy habit for any individual to establish. Most people don’t particularly enjoy going to the dentist; but, doing so prevents unnecessary tooth decay. Most people would rather not put on sunscreen at the beach, but the SPF helps prevent skin cancer.

Perhaps you noticed that there was a common coupling of words in the previous paragraph. “Most people.” The majority of the population feels a certain way about uncomfortable tasks, but only a small minority pushes past those feelings in order to do what is best for him or her. So, it goes without saying that if you want to achieve “above average” success, you have to be willing to do the things that most people are not.

So the next time you are fretting about whether you should take the extra time to plan your week even though you’d rather be watching Orange is the New Black; or the next time you stay late at the office helping your team instead of meeting your friends for happy hour; or the next time you move your paycheck into a savings account instead of spending it on a new outfit… stop and ask yourself if you’d be happy having the average success that most people have.

We invite you to take this on as a personal challenge. The next time you are struggling with the decision to do something difficult, go ahead and tell myself “that is exactly why I should do it.” Tell yourself, “most people wouldn’t do this, so that is exactly why I will!

Let us know how it goes!

NCG, Inc is on Twitter and we’d love to connect! Follow us @NCGIncMarketing.

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You Need to Master This One Thing if You Want to Be a Sales Rockstar

Never — we mean NEVER — start a sales pitch without establishing a rapport.

shutterstock_221143450In order for any business to succeed, it must master the art of driving revenue, AKA sales! We consider sales training to be an essential part of the management training program at NCG, Inc because it prepares our future branch managers for the necessary business skill of making money. Here you will find some great tips that will help you become the rockstar at sales that you’ll need to be if you’re seeking a successful business career.

Building rapport and establishing a mini relationship before discussing your product is an absolutely essential element of the sales process. If you’re struggling with this psychologically or you’re unable to put this into action, NCG, Inc is here to help!

“In theory, I’d like to build rapport, but the customer would rather that I cut to the chase…”
If you’ve had this thought before, in many ways you’d actually be right. Anyone you are pitching likely wants you to be efficient with your words. He’s busy, he doesn’t care what you have to say (YET), and he wants you to get a move on. HOWEVER, if you actually just cut to the chase without establishing a connection, you’re almost guaranteed to get a “no.” So yes, skipping the rapport might be faster, but your customer will miss out on a great offer and you will miss out on a sale.

It’s important to remember that establishing trust is 99% of the battle when it comes to sales. To give yourself even a modicum of opportunity to close a sale, you need to start your interaction off on the right foot. If you come across as pleasant, likable, and genuine, your customer will form a positive impression of you — which in turn, sets the stage for an extended conversation, and eventually a sale.

“That sounds easier said than done… How do I actually come across as pleasant, likable, and genuine?”
The easy answer here is to simply be yourself. Understandably, some people get nervous when they’re getting ready to make a pitch, so they feel unnatural and uneasy no matter what. Here are some specific things that you can do to make a positive impression:

  • Smile and laugh! Don’t be so serious.
  • Keep your volume and tone of voice friendly, but never overly so. Pretend you’re talking to someone you’ve known forever. A customer will spot immediately if you sound overly cheerful.
  • Make eye contact. Looking down or to the side will create distrust.
  • Practice relaxed body language. Keep it professional but don’t be too stiff either.
  • Pro tip: Share something personal.

“Why should I share something personal… and what should I share?”
The reason to share something about yourself is because it builds trust. Unless you’ve known your customer for many months, they probably know very little about you. Especially if you’re making a cold or warm pitch, it’s important to recognize that your customer views you as a “salesperson” and not a “person.” That is, until you change that! It’s easy to turn yourself into a “person” by telling the customer about yourself. Here are a few ideas to get you going:

  • You walk into a customer’s office and see a picture of his family on vacation. You say, “That makes me so excited for the vacation I’m going on with my family next month during my little sister’s school break!”. Now your customer knows that you are family-oriented and that you have a younger sister.
  • Fourth of July weekend is coming up. You say, “Are you getting excited for the 4th? My fiancé and I are going to see the fireworks in New Haven this weekend!” Now your customer knows that you live in the same community and that you are getting married.
  • You’re working with a customer at an accounting firm. You say, “I’m sad to tell you that Accounting was actually my worst subject when I was at Yale!” Now your customer knows that you went to a great school and that you’ve studied (or attempted to study) what they do for a living.

So why do these work? First, of all, it paints a small picture of you and reminds the customer that you’re a regular person with a life like she has. But second of all, each of these examples are just enough information to lead to questions from your customer, which will turn into a nice conversation! “Where are you going on vacation?”; “When are you getting married?”; “What did you study at Yale?”; and so on. You get the idea!

The more natural and normal of a conversation that you can have with your customer, the faster you are able to build trust. Instead of asking awkward questions and getting short answers and eventually a “no,” try these tips and challenge yourself to build a real and genuine relationship before getting to business. Happy selling!

NCG, Inc is on Twitter and we’d love to connect! Follow us @NCGIncMarketing.

 

Recognizing the Difference Between Skill and Will: An Essential Task of Leadership

The Management Training Program at NCG, Inc provides hands-on training and leadership experience to all of its participants. In learning how to manage a group of people, whether small or large, there are common obstacles that all leaders face. For this week’s blog post, we decided to delve into an interesting topic of leadership.

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Credit: Bizior Photography

If you’ve ever led a team, the following scenario will likely look familiar to you: You’ve got a team member with loads of potential. Let’s call him Ed. He seems bright, he’s got a solid education, he comes from a great family, he dresses sharp, he’s got tons of charisma… BUT… he doesn’t perform. You monitor his progress and he seems to be consistently dropping the ball. You wonder to yourself: “How can this be? Suzie, who doesn’t have half of his attributes or advantages, is totally kicking his butt!” Now it’s time to play doctor and diagnose Ed. Why is this apparent stud not getting the job done?

Our natural instinct, more than likely, is to assume that he lacks motivation. He’s sharp, he’s been successful before, so he’s simply failing because he isn’t bringing a strong work ethic to his current role. Right??…

NO! Not necessarily!

What we’re less likely to consider is that Ed is struggling with his new responsibilities because he lacks the essential knowledge to perform. He’s outside of his comfort zone and doesn’t know what he’s doing. What Ed needs, in this scenario, is most definitely not a pep talk. What he needs is actually a lesson. He needs the information and the practice necessary to perform at a higher level.

The ability to correctly distinguish between “skill” and “will” when it comes to the Eds of the world is a trait that all successful leaders possess. It’s easy to get frustrated with the members of our team for not carrying their weight, simply because we forget to verify that their toolboxes are filled with what’s needed to complete the job.

What are the consequences of failing to coach Ed correctly? This part should be obvious! We miss out on getting to work with them in their full glory. Not only do we fail to unleash their potential, but we often lose them as team members altogether. This is a lose lose situation that is easily avoided by an accurate diagnosis.

This is a phenomenon expertly addressed by Ken Blanchard’s Situational Leadership theory. Here at NCG, Inc we are big fans of this framework, and we highly suggest it to anyone looking to improve his or her leadership abilities.

As we head into the new week and the final week of May, we encourage you to think about this concept in regard to the people you manage. Our Trumbull-based team wishes you a successful week and we can’t wait to hear your feedback about how an awareness of “skill” versus “will” affects your coaching style.

Follow NCG, Inc on Instagram @NCGinc (easy to remember, right!)