Employee development has been an issue since the dawn of time.
I’m willing to bet that the first employer went to bed one night and said something like, “what more can Henry do?” -or- “I should also teach Henry to milk the cows.”
It is natural to want the most and the best from each employee. Excellence IS the standard in successful companies.
How, EXACTLY, do we empower or motivate employees to want to participate in employee development?
Employee development is participation required. You can’t will them to improve.
I’d like to use the notes of a talk I gave to an inbound telemarketing company. I was asked to speak on empowering the employees to improve their numbers and overall performance.
Ownership at this time was very frustrated due to less than 1/3rd of the staff doing most of their volume. The other 2/3′s, even though they were in the same office, in nearby cubicles, for whatever reason, were not motivated to perform.
To set the stage, this company was in the travel business, but didn’t sell travel. They set appointments for other travel companies. They didn’t take a credit cards or sell the actual traveler anything. They simply set appointments in a specialty, niche travel field, for other companies.
The techniques I offered to aid their employee development can be used in ANY COMPANY.
Below is part of the transcript of my meeting with them…
What does this company do?
It sets appointments.
More-over, this company “SELLS” appointments. Each rep here sells themselves first, then sells the prospect that they should set an appointment with their local travel agent to get information about the services you are brokered to promote.
Even though you never collect money, YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY SELLING.
I’d like to start by telling you upfront what my goals are and why I was asked to speak. My goal is to get each of you to increase your performance at least 30%, to maybe as much as 300%.
I’d like to spend the next 30 – 40 minutes proving to you that you can easily improve your performance and results with nothing more than a little effort in a few areas you may never have thought of.
Now, so this is fair, I’d like each of you to write down the amounts of your last 2 checks on a piece of scratch paper.
Now add them together.
Now, write down what those 2 weeks would have added up to if they had been 30% larger.
What would you have done with that 30%?
Is there anyone in here that doesn’t want a 30% raise?
O.K. Good, I’m in the right room.
Let’s get started.
You guys are Sales People.
You are selling the following:
You are a legitimate company.
You, yourself, are a professional.
They should go to get the information so they can benefit.
My first goal today is to convince each of you that we are all salespeople.
We sold our spouse on marrying us, we sell our kids on behaving, we sell our banker on loaning us money, we are ALWAYS selling something.
My goal is to get everyone to understand that since you are going to sell something for the rest of your lives, you may as well get better at it.
Question for you. Who gets paid the most in every industry?
The best, the professional, the expert, correct?
Everyone in this room knows that the professionals of every industry get paid the most. It’s safe to assume that the professionals of every industry have studied the most and practiced the most. That’s how they became professionals.
What if I told you that there is a very simple formula for becoming a “PROFESSIONAL” sales person.
If we are going to sell the rest of our lives, wouldn’t it make sense to become a professional. Especially when I show you how simple it can be.
The fastest way to become the best, is to study the best.
Almost every professional I’ve ever met, either studied under the best, like a mentor or a coach, or they had a great teacher they could indirectly study, or finally, they read up on the best until they became the best.
The problem is that we don’t see professional sales reps walking past our house every day, and even if they did, would they have time to stop and teach you what they know?
Since most folks can’t afford hiring a personal sales coach, we default to the next best thing, their reputation and their legacy.
You will find that in almost every field, the professionals, the best of the best, leave a legacy.
Either someone writes a book on them, makes a movie out of them, or they write their own books.
This brings us to the most under visited room in the world.
Does anyone know what the largest and emptiest room in the world is?
There’s talks in the professional circles that this room is so big, they may even vote it into one of the 7 wonders of the world.
Anybody know what the largest, most under-visited room in the world is?
It’s “the room for improvement”
Do we not all agree that everyone wears a yellow construction hat that reads,
Did you know that statistically only 18% of people read a book after HIGH SCHOOL.
Even worse, less than 2% of the 18% are related to topics on self improvement.
Is anyone here perfect?
Does anyone here have all the answers?
I’m going to try to paint 2 pictures today.
The goal of both pictures is to get everyone to start reading and listening to information about becoming a better “all-around” sales person.
How about becoming better and more proficient at getting your ideas across to your spouse and children.
How about becoming better at gaging your callers personality type so you can model them on the phone and set more appointments.
How about becoming better at selling your banker on lending you money for a home, or a car. How about becoming better at understanding what the banker will be thinking about you before you get to your appointment with him or her.
How about being able to tell in the first 30 seconds of a call you take, what the callers hot button may be?
How about simply becoming a better all around listener.
It makes life so much easier and SO much more profitable.
I’d like to paint 2 pictures that can set the tone for this topic.
I’m Taping up a picture of a Jeep and a Lexus on this waxboard.
Now, before I explain what these pictures mean, I need to ask for a degree of patience. Explaining this point takes a little time, and a stretch of imagination on your part, but it’s fun, and you’ll definetely get the idea when I’m finished.
Which would you rather have, a Jeep or a Lexus?
Now I’m drawing them going up a mountain with logs scattered on the rough mountain road the whole way up.
Now, if you had to navigate this mountain, which vehicle would you rather have?
Which vehicle does a better job?
If I can get each of you to picture yourself as a vehicle, I think it’ll make it easier for me to explain just how simple it can be to become a professional sales person.
If you knew you had rough terrain to navigate, the Jeep obviously makes more sense.
The reason almost everyone in this room switched the type of vehicle they want is because the application of the vehicle became different, or should i say, was newly recognized.
From today forward, I’d like each of you to start considering that the income you earn is tied to the type of vehicle you chose to drive, or mentally become.
Now I want you to write down that a Lexus equals traditional education. High School, College, Masters, P.H.D.
Now, please write down that a JEEP equals studying under mentorship, or self training through the legacy of the professionals in your industry. That means you are reading up on and / or studying under a proffessional sales rep.
Mentorship and book / seminar learning is a MUCH MUCH bumpier ride, but it gets you straight to the top.
One of my goals, where ever I go, is to leave with everyone looking at themselves as a Jeep.
Along with painting a picture of what type of vehicle you are, I’d like each of you to realize that you are all providers. Even if you live at home with mom and dad, you may be a provider of time, a provider of ideas, we are all providers in some capapacity. Most of us in this room are also financial providers.
I’d like each person to realize how much they can grow in a VERY VERY short time in the area of communication and selling. If my talk today can help each of you grow only 10% in each of these areas, some of you can double your income.
Remember, our objective is to see ourselves as a Jeep, because life is nothing but bumpy.
Traditional education is great, but it takes forever, costs a ton, and it is simply not for everyone.
The reason I like the Jeep analogy is because they represent ruggedness, sturdiness, and they can take a beating. I’ve never met a mature adult, that at some point in their life, hasn’t taken a beating, financially.
I’m going to show each of you a path today, that if you can look at yourselves as a Jeep for a while, that in a very short period of time, you can upgrade that vehicle to a Jet Airplane and literally fly over the logs on the road, and the whole mountain altogether. If each of you gets focused for a short period of time you can all catapult your incomes, surpassing all of those in your industry, including your boss and your ownership here.
I’m going to take the next 5 – 7 minutes and show you why many people, some of which do not even have a high school education, are becoming very wealthy for themselves and even being looked at as an expert in their field.
When it comes to making money, through a process some call “the cream rising to the top”, our society seperates itself into roughly 5 income categories, or as I refer to them, 5 uniquely different income vehicles.
WE put OURSELVES into the vehicle of our choice.
NOBODY FORCES US TO PICK ANY OF THESE 5 VEHICLES.
HERE WE GO.
The following income statistics are based on 2003 data.
The first vehicle is the vehicle of hard knocks, lets call that, no high school education. That vehicle in this country earns somewhere around $18,000 per year.
The second vehicle we see people driving around in is the G.E.D. cruiser, or the high school education. Studies say that the average high school educated income is around $23,000.
Our third vehicle of choice is the College Grad’s ride, the $42,000 sedan.
Then of course there is the M.D.M., the MASTERS DEGREE MACHINE, cruising out of school earning a cool $69,000, not bad.
Then we have the luxurious P.H.D. pulling into the valet at the opera at $94,000.
Finally, category number 5, we have “The Professional’s Ride”, the boat, the jet, the limo.
Average income of the “Professionals” of the world is over $200,000 per year. They are Golfers, Sales Reps, C.E.O.’s.
They are simply the best of the rest in whatever they do.
Did you notice the category of Sales Rep in that description.
When you ask people to rank the top income earning categories, or job titles, you will almost never hear people guess, “SALES REP”, yet in almost every industry, every country, “professional” sales reps earn hundreds of thousands, even millions a year.
The whole point of my talk can be summarized in the next 60 seconds.
Are you ready?
The first 4 vehicles–
No High School education
High School Education
are related to very time sensitive, labor intensive, school related, blocks of a persons life. To get a masters or p.h.d. you HAVE TO sacrifice major amounts of time in your life. Yes, the incomes jump each step of the way, but the time and money commitment jumps exponentially as well.
What’s great is that the last category, category number 5,
has nothing to do with a school, or a block of time, it has to do with being “Professional”.
The definition of “Professinal” is “one who is an expert of their field. The definition of “Expert” is “one who possesses special skill or knowledge gained through practice”.
I love sitting down with intellectuals who tell me how well they are doing and I slowly weave into the conversation 5 – 10 of my friends, half their age, half their education, out earning them 3 to 1.
They get very uncomfortable, and sometimes upset.
Our society brain-washes our work force that income is tied to traditional education. That is simply not the case.
The question of the day is,
“How is it that uneducated entrepreneurs, high-school educated sales reps, and college educated executives occupy 3 of the top 10 income earning spots in our country?”
Why do 82% of all millionaires not have a College education?
How were there 5000 millionaires in 1905, yet only a tiny percentage had any education at all.
Traditional education has literally no association with income. NONE.
How are uneducated people out earning all these folks with MASTERS and P.H.D.’s.
There are currently more billionaires under 40 years old, then there were millionaires 20 years ago.
When Aol bought TimeWarner, the 55 year old executives of TimeWarner found themselves getting interviewed by 25 year olds to keep their job.
They may have been only 25, but they were “Professionals” at what they do.
The question really is, how can we go from being young, or uneducated, or say, not the most successful, to catching up and passing up all of those in our field.
It’s very simple. All of the successful people, that became “Professonals”, submersed themselves for a period of time into their own version of the “room for improvement”.
“The room for improvement” is what a lot of professionals spend time in, many without giving thought to it.
Here’s a couple quick examples.
I couldn’t imagine going a week without reading Inc magazine, Business 2.0, books on my industry, or listening to a work related cd in my car. Craving industry knowledge becomes personally contagious. In the beginning I hated reading, but time after time I’d apply something I just read and my income shot through the roof. My first sales job I read 10 books and passed 696 of the companies 700 sales reps at 22 years old. I couldn’t read enough after that.
The first year that Tiger Woods won the Masters Golf Tournament he immediately called his success mentor, Michael Jordan. He said, Michael, I just won the Masters, what should I do now. Michael said what’s the worst part of your game? Putting, said Tiger. Michael Jordan told him to put the champagne down and go putt, and he did.
Every position and industry has experts that can be studied and modeled.
Every person in any position and industry can jump on Google and find resources, books, cd’s, dvds, e-books, video clips, articles, an endless array of materials that could be studied to improve each person in a company.
Let me give you the best word picture for what I’m trying to get across. This is one to remember and teach all your kids.
I learned a huge lesson when I was younger that if we sharpen our minds, we are sharpening our mental saw as we carve our way through life.
Let me explain.
There’s a business phrase,
“To know and not to do, Is not to know”
I would be willing to bet, each of you in the room would agree, that if over the last 2 months you had read 8 books on the topic of sales and telemarketing, your numbers would be a little better than they are right now, would you agree?
If you all unanimously agreed your numbers would be better, why isn’t every rep here reading a book a week? Why aren’t there “Success” magazines laying all over this office? Why don’t we see motivational posters on the walls of all the businesses I speak at?
The psychological reason is the following,
“To know and not to do, Is not to know”
Everyone knows that if they read up on their own industry each and every week, over time, something would rub off and you’d be able to perform a little better. If you got a little better, even just 1% better each week, eventually you’d be 100% better and producing twice as much.
“To know and not to do, Is not to know”
means that you have never lived through, or witnessed, an actual experience of the byproduct of intense self improvement.
It means that you didn’t live under the roof of a parent that went to law school, or med school, at a late age, and got an EXTREMELY high paying job as a result.
It means you didn’t have an older brother, that while maintaining his day job, he studied how to build computers every morning and every evening, 7 days a week and eventually owned the largest computer building company in the world.
It means you didn’t live next door to a guy that started a used book store out of his basement and garage. You didn’t see him literally working 20 hours a day, seven days a week, with U.P.S. trucks pulling into his driveway, sometimes 20 times a day, only to eventually own the largest online bookstore of all time.
Had you had first hand experience “witnessing” any of these situations where someone put 1 – 2 years of extreme, concentrated effort, into a project and literally pass everyone in their field, statistics show you would be more prone to study your given field of sales throughout your life.
Let’s say you had a friend or relative that had the same income for 5 – 10 years. You show up at their house and they have all new furniture, an inground pool, 2 new cars, and they tell you they just got back from Hawaii. You ask incredibly, “Did you win the lottery?”
Your friend replies, “No, believe it or not, I went to a seminar on how to be a better salesperson. The seminar came with an online training course and a recommended list of 6 books I should read. I read all the books, did the course online and now I sell 3 times more than anyone in the company.”
Wouldn’t you want to read those books?
You WOULD because you’ve WITNESSED, first-hand, the results.
But, To know and not to do, is not to know.
There would still be some of you that wouldn’t want to read those books, but then again, most of you wouldn’t leave without the titles.
Your friend didn’t go get a masters degree, or a p.h.d..
Her income went through the roof because she made a decision to be a “professional” in her field. She made a decision to be the best she could be.
Studies show that professional athletes have a much higher tendency to keep studying a topic the rest of their life because they have first hand experience studying and preparing intensely on a previous topic and witnessing “professional” results.
I’ve never met you in this room, but not even knowing you I can bet that the majority of you walk into work thinking, “I really need to make money this week, I’m going to make as many calls as humanly possible.”
I’ve proven for 15 years that I can take 2 people at the same points in their careers, let one work really hard for 6 months, 50 hours a week, and mentor the other one, 5 hours a week, letting them work only 35 hours a week, and the 35 hour a week rep WILL ALWAYS PRODUCE MORE.
Here comes the part I want you to teach your kids.
I’ve told this story, more than any other story, in all my years owning businesses, coaching and consulting.
A man named Bob, pulls up in his drive-way and sees his neighbor Larry, laboring away, sweating bullets on a beautiful fall day, chopping down his dead little oak tree in his front yard.
Bob can tell his Larry has been out there a while so he stops by to say hello, and more importantly, offer up his saw sharpener, as he can tell from a distance his neighbors saw is old, rusty and dull.
The neighbor has been sawing his 8” tree for over an hour.
Here’s the conversation, literally.
“Hey Larry, sweating bullets I see, I’ve got something I think will help”.
“Can’t stop right now. I gotta get this tree down by tonight.”
Bob says, “I can see that Larry, but I’ve got a tool here that could really help.”
Larry says, without even looking up, “NO THANKS, IN ANOTHER HOUR OR SO I SHOULD BE DONE.”
To Bob’s amazement the neighbor just continues to labor away, WORKING VERY HARD. Frustrated, Bob goes in for dinner.
After dinner, Bob comes back out and the neighbor is still sawing away, not even 2/3′s done.
Bob couldn’t stand to watch a moment longer and he literally pushed the neighbor out of the way, took the saw out of his hand, sharpened the saw and in less than a minute had the tree cut down.
What’s the point?
The neighbor had the right tool the whole time, it simply wasn’t sharpened.
Each of you has the right tool. You have all set some appointments here, at some point, or you wouldn’t still be here.
Each of you is the tool. You simply have to sharpen your skills.
Most sales reps and telemarketing reps make the same mistake Larry was making. They think working harder is the answer.
They think if they just keep sawing, they will eventually win.
This is simply not the case.
There’s a great chance most of you in this room have had multiple jobs in the last 5 years.
Just sawing away is NEVER the answer.
You each have a saw of some kind, you just need to sharpen your saw.
Please write this down.
In every industry, there is an uneducated millionaire.
That means that in every field, every industry, if someone takes the time to sharpen their saw, and be the best they can be by modeling the best in their field, they can pass up anyone in the corporate ladder, including the founder.
The great separator of income has always been those who strive to perfect their craft.
Dr. John Maxwell occupies more shelf space at Barnes and Noble and Borders book stores than any author in history. He has 14 New York Times bestsellers. He’s also the highest paid speaker in the world today.
The theme to almost every book he writes is, Leadership.
Someone asked him one time what he credits his success to.
He said it’s very simple. “For the past 31 years, 6 days a week, I have either read for an hour, listened to a cd for an hour, or watched a program for an hour on business, management, self-improvement, or employee development.”
I’d say this would be the foremost expert in understanding the power of spending time in “the room for improvement.”
I’d say Dr. John Maxwell made a decision at a young age to keep his saw as sharp as humanly possible, would you agree?
Does this make sense?
Here’s the great news.
You are very easily sharpened. Here’s the biggest point.
Here’s one you want to write down and eventually teach your kids.
Sharpening the saw, for the saw, is very painful.
If you were a saw, would you enjoy the process?
If you are a rep in any industry, the process of sharpening your skills can be very painful, only because the sharpening is usually done during off hours, meaning nights and weekends.
As we all know, nights and weekends is our time to replenish and cut loose, NOT STUDY.
It goes against everything we know.
Remember, traditional education is done 9 – 5 as well.
Study, after work hours, what’s the boss thinking? is the typical reaction.
Studying your job on nights and weekends is so foreign to most people, yet it is simply the SECRET to ultimate success in any field.
Show me a professional, IN ANY FIELD, and I will show you someone that has pulled many all-nighters because they wanted to.
Show me a professional and I’ll show you someone who passionately wanted to be the best.
It just feels wrong to read a book about work at night, doesn’t it?
Not to the experts in their field, they seem to be always reading, always going to seminars, always having business cd’s playing in their car.
If you look at sharpening your saw as part of the process going in, it is easy.
If you go into becoming a professional that it might be a bit inconvenient, you are better off. Nobody rub-a-dubs their way to the top.
You can’t buy it, you have to earn it.
I tell people all the time, I dare you to read the 3 most popular books in your industry and see what happens.
For most of you, you’ll be hooked.
Usually 3 books in a row and your numbers are through the roof and much more consistent because you simply don’t know what you don’t know.
If you look at it as extra credit, or punishment, your dead before you begin.
So, how do we sharpen our saw.
Room for Improvement holds 4 main tools to help:
Books, seminars, cd’s from outside sources like a book store, and company material (cd’s and training materials, company website, that kind of thing).
Let’s start adding tools to your tool belt to help you sharpen your own saw.
The first thing we have to do to help you sharpen your saw is to show you that it can be sharpened.
Remember I said I wanted to paint 2 pictures.
Let’s act out the second picture.
Everyone turn around and face the back of the room.
Seriously, everyone, turn around.
Now, ball up a ball of piece of paper and throw it at me over your shoulder.
Look where all the balls landed.
Why didn’t anybody hit me?
Because you couldn’t see me, you were facing backward, or away from me.
You all threw your best throw, BASED ON WHAT YOU WERE LOOKING AT, CORRECT?
BASED ON WHAT YOU SAW, YOU DID YOUR BEST.
Here’s a drawing of a stick figuring walking, but facing backwards. So he is, in essence, walking backwards.
Did you know the average sales rep goes through life facing backwards. All the accounts they sell, the type of customers they call on, the amount of hours they put in, and the books they read are all based on what he or she has done in the past.
Here’s a different way to look at it. When you go for a new job, what do you hand them, a resume.
A resume that looks back at your life. I can guarantee that the last job and the next job you apply for will be based on you looking back on your life and figuring out what to do next.
Reps that excel, reps that come into an office and pass people like they are sitting still, are reps that go through life facing forward.
They come into an office not caring about what they’ve done in the past, they focus on what can be done, who’s the best in the office they can watch for a while, what are the best books related to this new position. Their whole mindset is forward focused.
When it comes to sharpening your saw, I want everyone to go home tonight and write down what they think their income would be monthly, 6 months from now, if you went home and read a book a week, or heard a cd a week in your industry.
Here’s a few references to get you started for the hungry ones.
Cold calling techniques that really work
Red Hot Cold Call Selling
One Minute Salesperson
One Minute Manager
University of Success
But, I want everyone to start with the book…
The magic of thinking big
The whole book is about proving to you that your past has nothing to do with the future, he doesn’t just say it, he proves it.
Write these 2 quotes down.
Successful people do what unsuccessful people aren’t willing to do, they let go of their past.
Knowing what I want is one thing, Knowing what I’m willing to give up to get it, is everything.
So far I’ve established that the most unvisited room, is the “room for improvement”. Most people hate taking their work home. Most folk hate reading.
I’ve also established the fact that every industry has “industry experts” that may not be traditionally educated but make the most money in their given field.
I’ve established that our workforce choses to place themselves in 1 of 5 income categories.
Remember we choose these. We have free will.
What’s worse, if 3 to 6 months from now, if you don’t apply the techniques I’m speaking of here and you run into short term financial challenges, I believe that you chose that. You chose to keep yourself working with a dull saw.
I’m rolling out cold hard facts that this country has 5 tiers of income.
H.S. Ed. 23K
Remember, we choose which of these we want to be in. It’s a choice. We can choose to just work 9-5 and see what happens, or we can choose to pursue every ounce of information there is about setting appointments and selling, and see what happens.
I want to drive home the point though, that we all, to a degree, go through life backwards, and we all could improve a bit on what is possible.
Here’s proof you are gaging your future on your past.
Everyone write this down, I will make $1,000 more in 2 weeks than I made last week.
Be honest, how many in here had a feeling like, yeah right.
By show of hands,
That’s pretty much everyone.
That means you are judging tomorrows performance, off of yesterdays performance.
Brian Tracy, a foremost author in the field of psychology of achievement, did an exhaustive study of what is called, “Hockey Stick” income.
He had a team study 300 people that made the same income for 20 years or longer that all of a sudden were in a category of income 10 times more than they had every been in.
They studied them because they continued to earn that new income and never went back down to their old income bracket.
Brian Tracy was compelled to find out how 300 individuals, who had an average income their whole life, could all of a sudden, be in the upper income brackets of our country.
The summary of the study was something called an income barometer. We become what we think we are worth. Those individuals reached a point in their lives where they said, “Enough is enough, I’m worth more than this” and they began a journey of self improvement and mastered their field.
Whenever someone “masters” the field they are in, they will be at the apex of income in that industry. They will set the bar. That is a fact. This is not theory, it is a fact with alternate studies now published by 2 Ivy League schools.
Write this down.
What I’ve done so far has nothing to do with my income over the next 6 months!!
The book “magic of thinking big” will prove that to you.
The 2nd greatest tool I can offer you is the second best-selling book next to the Bible in history.
“How to win friends and influence people.”
Our U.S. Library of literary congress says “How to win friends” is the second most influential book ever written, only next to the Bible.
You may want to read this book.
There is one chapter in the book about the 3 c’s, never criticize, condemn or complain. Dale Carnegie, a multi-millionaire, 70 years ago, talks about how he had never met a successful person that ever criticized, condemned or complained.
Just dwell on that statement the next 24 hours.
Again, the goal of this meeting is just to get you to agree that you are going to have to be “on a mission of continual learning” to be extremely successful.
You don’t just show up, work hard, put your 40 hours in and leave legacies behind to your family. It takes a little extra.
I dare you all to start “the magic of thinking big”, tonight.
Let’s review by writing down 3 short phrases.
I don’t know what I don’t know.
I can if I think I can.
Yesterdays performence has NOTHING to do with tomorrows results.
Growth Consulting for Today