Posts in Sales Person
The Art of Knowing When To Stop instead of Start

One of my all time favorite leadership books is Good to Great by James Collins, I remember being in my early 20's and reading the book for the first time, it has remained a resource for me for over a decade.  During my last read through the book, a concept stuck out to me that I had not really noticed before.  Now I am sure it was because I was not ready to see the message, funny how life works that way, when the student is ready the teacher appears.  The book centers around many wonderful topics, and the principle I want to share with you today is the art of the "stop, doing list".  Isn't it intuitive for us to create a "to do list" that informs our actions throughout the day, of course! Collins suggest that we consider what to stop doing to really allow for true and dynamic discipline. 

I love his thoughts he noted down on the topic found on his blog,

Each time the New Year rolls around and I sit down to do my annual resolutions, I reflect back to a lesson taught me by a remarkable teacher. In my mid-20s, I took a course on creativity and innovation from Rochelle Myers and Michael Ray at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and I kept in touch with them after I graduated.
One day, Rochelle pointed to my ferocious work pace and said, "I notice, Jim, that you are a rather undisciplined person."

I was stunned and confused. After all, I was the type of person who carefully laid out my BHAGs (big hairy audacious goals), top three objectives and priority activities at the start of each New Year. I prided myself on the ability to work relentlessly toward those objectives, applying the energy I'd inherited from my prairie- stock grandmother.

"Your genetic energy level enables your lack of discipline," Rochelle continued. "Instead of leading a disciplined life, you lead a busy life."

She then gave me what I came to call the 20-10 assignment. It goes like this: Suppose you woke up tomorrow and received two phone calls. The first phone call tells you that you have inherited $20 million, no strings attached. The second tells you that you have an incurable and terminal disease, and you have no more than 10 years to live. What would you do differently, and, in particular, what would you stop doing?

That assignment became a turning point in my life, and the "stop doing" list became an enduring cornerstone of my annual New Year resolutions — a mechanism for disciplined thought about how to allocate the most precious of all resources: time.

Rochelle's challenge forced me to see that I'd been plenty energetic, but on the wrong things. Indeed, I was on entirely the wrong path. After graduate school, I'd taken a job at Hewlett- Packard. I loved the company, but hated the job. Rochelle's assignment helped me to see I was cut out to be a professor, a researcher, a teacher — not a businessman — and I needed to make a right-angle turn. I had to stop doing my career, so that I could find my real work. I quit HP, migrated to the Stanford Business School faculty and eventually became — with some remarkable good luck along the way — a self-employed professor, happily toiling away on my research and writing. -Jim Collins

Article can be found on Jim's Blog, Click here to see full article

Often when we create a new plan to ignite change, that plan is often coupled with initiates and tasks to set us on the new path  and direction.  In pausing to reflect about other possibilities, one suggestion that Mr Collins makes is that of evaluating what can potentially be stopped instead of started.  Making the choice and having the discipline to stop is a high level demonstration of self awareness and discipline.  Like he talks about in the article,  busy can be a state we find ourselves in and without the proper discipline, can end up not accomplishing a whole lot even if we feel like we are and instead we are delusional to the reality we have created.

As you create plans for next year, business and your own new year goals, consider what you could stop doing instead of adding in more new initiatives.  Ask yourself the 20-10 rule that collins mentions, what would you do differently?  

The hardest part of change is having the motivation and discipline to sustain the change, and a large force can be a person to support that process.  Reach out to me, I love to support people amidst change and would enjoy hearing about your plan and how it is going. Send me a note below, and let's talk about what you are going to STOP doing. 


Name *

Lindsey Rainwater, also known as Lindsey RainH2O, is a sought-after business consultant, leadership coach, writer and presenter to the fitness and wellness industry. For more information about Rainwater, follow her on Twitter @LindseyRainH2O

A New Context for Sales; Welcome to the World of Business Development

The past month I have been "un packing" the idea that sales people, in the way we have come to see them has evolved to a new role, one of business development.  Before I dive into the next phase of being (or becoming) a business development professional, I want to emphasize the importance of these fundamental shifts in thinking about the role differences. 

My belief is that the role of "sales" is evolving into the role of business development. I whole heartedly believe that people have reached a place of not being able to be sold, and as a result are requiring much more from the people guiding or weighing in on their buying cycle.   

Today's buyer is savvy, smart and has a computer, in their pocket!  These facts are the ones that beg of anyone that considers themselves in a sales position to dramatically change their perspective.  The entire context of the customer/ buyer relationships has shifted and the future is about being a well positioned resource for your potential customer.

Below are the topics I have covered in the past 5 weeks, click on the text to see the article:

I for one am in total celebration of this shift in thinking and it is one that requires from us a complete over haul in thinking.  Seeing the world as an opportunist and creator, thriving relationships and met needs. 

What do you think about this paradigm shift? Do you think the role of old school sales tactics is a thing of the past?

This topic is one that really excites me, if you would like to chat about it, Click here to IM me and start a conversation! 

Lindsey Rainwater, also known as Lindsey RainH2O, is a sought-after business consultant, leadership coach, writer and presenter to the fitness and wellness industry. For more information about Rainwater, follow her on Twitter@LindseyRainH2O

Why Walking Away From Potential Business Can Be the Best Thing for Your Business #WakeUPWednesday

“Good is the enemy of great. And that is one of the key reasons why we have so little that becomes great. We don't have great schools, principally because we have good schools. We don't have great government, principally because we have good government. Few people attain great lives, in large part because it is just so easy to settle for a good life.” ― James C. Collins

Mr James Collins is a wise man, and in his book Good to Great he talks about aiming for great instead of settling for good enough. This idea is very easily applied to prospecting potential customers in the world of sales and business development.  There might be lots of “good” prospects out there but only a handful that will be great parters for your organization long term. 

One of the biggest mistakes I see salespeople make is thinking everyone has potential to be their customer.  When you want to sell something and you really believe in your product it is easy to imagine how everyone could benefit from what you are providing.  Also, this mentality can be the fastest way to missing “great opportunities” and settling for good ones.

The reality is that there will be plenty of people that will not be your customer, and for good reason.  Your product offering and customer maintenance structure might not be the right fit for them. Recognizing and knowing when to walk away is what separates good sales people and great business development professionals. 

The fact is that if someone is a difficult prospect to work with pre-sale, imagine the headache they will create for your company once they are on-boarded. These types of sales end up costing your company more money long term. Short term, you might have made your commission, but long term it is not worth it for everyone involved.

The mentality shift that is required to walk away from the wrong potential for the sake of a short term sale is the same as the abundance vs. scarcity mentality.  When your thinking is scarce the belief is that you must sell to someone because if you don’t, another might not come along, you will miss your quota, the thinking is narrow.  The abundance thinking mentality is one that says there is plenty, and by doing the right thing and walking away from the wrong deal you are fighting to close, another door will open and the quota will be met and the pipeline will broaden.

In the start up community, some of the most successful business’s are the ones that choose to pivot letting go of what was for the potential of what is to come.  This abundance in thinking makes way for the opportunity, walking away from a prospect that is not the right fit for your product is the same exact concept.  

A few books you would enjoy if this context shift in thinking interests you are Good to Great, a classic and Abundance by Peter Diamond. If you send me a message and inquire I would be happy to send you either book as an amazon gift.  

I am very passionate about sales people pivoting to be business development professional, educating, researching and focusing on being strong industry resources. 

Please let me know how your business development career is going, do you find that by walking away when it’s right to do so that you create new opportunity? I would love to talk with you about your experiences. 

Lindsey Rainwater, also known as Lindsey RainH2O, is a sought-after business consultant, leadership coach, writer and presenter to the fitness and wellness industry. For more information about Rainwater, follow her on Twitter@LindseyRainH2O

The Ultimate Guide for Business Development Professionals to Become Industry Influencers #TotallyTrendyTuesday

Mr. Malcolm Gladwell, the best selling author of the book Outliers suggests that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert at any one task and to be considered a master at that craft. This level of fine tuning can take anywhere from five to ten years of dedication depending on the time you put into it.

As a Business Development professional, regardless of your industry, you will begin to be seen as a resource as you build long term relationships with your customers. They will begin to rely on you for more than the product you are affiliated with, and they will see you as a comprehensive resource for your industry. It has been my experience that having influence and being an industry resource is of incredible value; but where to start? How does one begin to create meaningful influence within their industry and build their 10,000 hours towards mastery?

Here are some of the ways I went about the process of creating influences and helping people along the way.

Practice and Share Your Journey.

On of my favorite ways to connect with people is on my blog! if you look back to the beginning of my blogging history about every 3rd post I wrote about what I was literally doing. You see, I was practicing and sharing what I was learning and teaching, simultaneously. I did not wait until I had everything figured out, I started writing as I was learning. Start with your own blog and begin sharing your findings. Once you feel comfortable with that, begin looking at possible speaking engagements or writing for a trade journal or local publication. Be willing to share your findings, expecting nothing in return, building rapport with anyone that finds your work. It was by sharing what I was doing that I learned more, and by way of sharing it with you, created value.

Read, Research and Invent.

In order to be a resource in your industry you must know what is going on and begin creating your own predictions as to where the industry is headed. One of the most attractive attributes of an industry influencer is they are not afraid to predict the future! Being a predictor is more about being willing to notice what is going on and share your own perspective on possibilities and be less concerned about your accuracy and more excited about your willingness to talk about it. Another way to expand your perspective is to read about what others are saying. Spending even 10 minutes each morning reading can sharpen your sword for the day ahead.

Mentor and Be Mentored.

Simply put, finding someone who knows more than you do as well as someone who knows less and then joining arms is so incredibly valuable to your life! I have found my favorite moments are when I am sitting across the table or on the phone with someone and I hear the gears “click” into place for someone and they “GET” what message they were meant to get. Being on the giving and receiving end of that is total soul food. If you feel you are under qualified to mentor, trust me, someone out there knows less than you and are looking to be helped in the same way someone is looking to help you. Giving without expecting anything in return is the best juice to keep the flow of your life going.

Like Mr Gladwell talks about, it requires patience to be willing to hone your message/craft. Today’s world moves so fast, we are all racing to an imaginary finish line that does not actually exist. This whole deal is a journey, and it has been my experiences that openly sharing your journey is one of the fastest ways to influences your network and create value for the people you meet.

Lindsey Rainwater, also known as Lindsey RainH2O, is a sought-after business consultant, leadership coach, writer and presenter to the fitness and wellness industry. For more information about Rainwater, follow her on Twitter @LindseyRainH2O

How to Win Buyers and Increase Your Influence by Solving Problems instead of Pushing Products #TotallyTrendyTuesday

Everyone has the friend that is known for interrupting.  You know, the one that interrupts you mid-sentence while you’re telling a good story to tell you ALL about them. By doing this, they think that they’re “relating to you”, while in actuality, what they’re really doing is hijacking your punch line and demonstrating that they’re horrible listeners.

As annoying as that type of listener is, a close cousin to the interrupter is the listener that is listening with an agenda.  When you listen with an agenda, you listen waiting for the person talking to walk you into your Segway to your product pitch or what you want to talk about instead of validating what they are talking about. This is a very common attribute displayed by many people in sales.  All too often, prospective customers feel comfortable enough to start down the path of their real problems, and as soon as the sales person hears the “in” they JUMP right into the middle of the story and hijack the conversation over to the land of products and solutions.  When most of the time, the prospect is wanting to be heard, understood and empathized with, solutions and products might fit down the road, but to start, they are simply wanting to be heard. 

I truly believe that salespeople are not filled with malicious intent when this type of scenario plays out. A lot of what guides this type of behavior is product excitement and a true desire to solve problems for people.  But just like the way you handle a first date vs a marriage of ten years, you ease into it and you “court” her BEFORE you ask for her hand in marriage, and get to know the person before you hop into products pitches. 

The Foundation of any relationship is communication, while listening is truly the juice that provides the flow between two people.  I would argue that the best sales people/business development professionals are the ones that know how to listen and then ask great questions keeping the conversation about the prospect.

Want to talk with me about this topic? Click Subscible

Everyone has problems; have you ever had a hard day increasing sales while providing a safe place for people to talk about their problems? Most people haven’t, because if you help create solutions to their problems by listening, you will have a customer for life.

A very practical and simple way to focus on listening is to make the conversation about the prospect. This sounds simple, but how do you do that? Here are a few tips to hone your listening skills:

Make Eye Contact
By focusing your attention on the prospect, it allows for a calmer mind and increases your listening ability, if you find you drift off, bring yourself back by way of eye contact. 

Practice selfless listening
When you find yourself wandering, think positively about the person in front of you and practice empathy, instead of letting your mind wander to how your products will fix their problems, bring your attention the the literal words they are saying and what the meaning is behind their words. 

Create your own meditation habit. 
Part of being a good listener is having a quiet mind and in my experience the best way to learn to quiet your mind is with a regular meditation practice.  Headspace is a great app that guides you through a wonderful ten minute per day meditation.  Fantastic for beginners or anyone really. 

When you are focusing on evolving your leadership as a business development professional, focusing on listening will help your ability to solve problems. 

Lindsey Rainwater, also known as Lindsey RainH2O, is a sought-after business consultant, leadership coach, writer and presenter to the fitness and wellness industry. For more information about Rainwater, follow her on Twitter@LindseyRainH2O