April 17, 2019

Two Habits That Help Serena Williams Achieve Success (That Salespeople Can Learn From)

Serena Williams is a giant in the game of tennis. She’s on the verge of becoming the most successful female player of all time.

And even now, as she nears the twilight of her career, she’s still a major threat in every tournament.

Why is that?

What habits does Williams have that set her apart from her peers? And more importantly, what can you, as a sales professional, learn from her?

Here are two habits.

Habit #1 – Unbreakable Focus

Nothing can pull Serena Williams’ focus away from her goal.

That ability to zone in on what she wants and keep working towards it has defined her since she was a child. When she first learned how to play tennis, she did so on broken courts while surrounded by poverty.

She did not allow any of it to distract her. Serena made no excuses. Instead, she set her goal and followed a simple plan to achieve it. Her ability to focus, no matter how tough things get, helps her to succeed.

There’s a simple lesson for sales professionals here. If you’re trying to do too many things at once, you can’t focus. Keep your plans simple and maintain your focus to achieve your goals.

Habit #2 – She Knows How She Works

Serena Williams has a high enough emotional intelligence to know exactly how her body works.

Watch her on the court. When she’s not moving well, she’ll start jerking her limbs around to activate her energy. She’ll even scream at herself to move.

Most people wouldn’t do that. However, Williams knows that these little techniques work to change her state of mind and get her back on track.

You may not need to use the same tricks that Serena uses. However, you do need to find ways to change your state of mind when things aren’t going your way.
April 16, 2019

What Can Sales Managers Learn From the Two Secrets Behind Pep Guardiola’s Success?

Any soccer fans out there will likely recognise the name Pep Guardiola. He turned Barcelona into a soccer powerhouse before moving to Bayern Munich and doing the exact same thing.

Right now, he’s the manager of Manchester City. And he’s achieving just as much success there as he has elsewhere.

He’s an elite soccer manager who achieves success wherever he goes.

But what can a salesperson learn from him?

Here are two secrets to Guardiola’s success.

Secret #1 – He Adapts to Every Situation

Soccer is a fluid game. Every manager sets out their tactics before the match. And on occasion, an opposing manager gets the better of Guardiola’s team during the first half of a game.

Guardiola doesn’t just plough ahead with the strategy that isn’t working. Soccer star Dani Alves says that Guardiola will sit quietly in the dressing room and think for a moment. Then, he’ll spring into action and devise brand new tactics based on what he’s seen in the first half.

Salespeople can do the same thing. If you’re struggling, take a step back and assess the situation. Is there a common issue that’s stopping you? If so, how can you adapt to overcome that barrier?

Secret #2 – He Keeps it Simple

All too often, we overcomplicate what we’re doing as salespeople. Scripts get longer and more convoluted as we try to sell all manner of products.

Guardiola says that keeping things simple is key to his success:

“The basic concept…was that doing the simple things well gave you a 75% chance of winning.”

Keep your plan simple. Get all of the small steps right and you’ll increase your chances of selling more.
February 25, 2019

Donald Trump – Negotiator or Salesperson?


3 Secrets about Negotiation Skills You Probably Don’t Know (And The Difference Between Salespeople and Negotiators)

If there’s one consistent thing about Donald Trump, it’s that everybody has an opinion about him.

But love him or hate him, there’s one thing that you can’t deny. Trump has spent his life doing deals - financial, political and personal.

It appears that Trump enters every negotiation with an agenda. He knows what he wants to achieve and he has a plan to get it. In fact, he chases his agenda relentlessly until he finally gets what he wants.

He’s not looking to sell you anything. Instead, he’s negotiating to achieve his aims.

That’s something that many people don’t understand. Selling and negotiating are not the same thing. Here are the reasons why.

The Differences Between Selling and Negotiating

The differences between salespeople and negotiators come to the fore during a negotiation.

More often than not, the salesperson ends up on the losing end. That’s because they don’t understand the key differences between a negotiation and the setting they’re more familiar with.

Difference #1 – Negotiators Have Principles

A salesperson is usually only focused on achieving a sale. That means their discussions almost always come down to one thing – price.

The salesperson wants the sale and the customer wants the best price.
If the customer isn’t sold on the price, the discussion ends.

However, negotiations have principles. Each participant goes in understanding that they want to achieve something. That means they need to set the principles of what the deal needs to be.

A good negotiator sets principles and values that benefit both parties. They’re firm on their principles in terms of what they need from the deal. However, they also know that they need to create a deal that’s fair for both parties.

Difference #2 – Negotiators See Things From All Perspectives

Again, this comes back to the singular focus of a salesperson. They’re so focused on getting a sale that they’re not seeing the situation from all perspectives. That means they can’t think creatively in order to strike a deal.

This almost always leads to them just lowering the price to get a better deal.

Negotiators can see the deal from every possible perspective. They’re looking to satisfy the other party with more than just the product. For example, there’s an interesting phenomenon in negotiating. Often, the other party feels more satisfied if you ask for more from them. That’s because you’re asking for a deeper commitment, which makes them feel more valued.

A salesperson often asks for less, which makes both them and the deal they’re striking less valuable.

Difference #3 – Negotiators Understand All of the Issues

In sales, you only need to know two things:
* The other party has a pain point.
* The other party has the ability to buy.

Once a salesperson establishes those two things, they jump straight into trying to make a deal. They have something to sell and they’re trying to convince the other party that they can solve their problem.

As mentioned, negotiators see the deal from an array of angles. They understand they’re trying to get more out of it than a sale. And they also know that the other party may have several issues that they need to confront. This understanding allows them to come up with more creative solutions, even when price is a sticking point.

What Do Negotiators Do Differently?
An Expert Negotiator Knows Their Exit

The regular salesperson operates out of need.
They need to achieve the sale, which means they’re going to cling on even when things don’t turn out well for them.

An expert negotiator doesn’t enter a negotiation with that sense of need. At no point will they allow themselves to appear desperate. They know exactly what they’re bringing to the table and how they will create value for the other party.

As Trump puts it: “The worst thing you can possibly do in a deal is seem desperate to make it. That makes the other guy smell blood, and then you're dead.”

The negotiator also knows exactly what they require of the other party if they’re to create value for them.

This means they have an exit point. If the other party won’t provide what they want out of the deal, an expert negotiator has the emotional strength to walk away.

This proves much more effective than the desperate acts of the salesperson. By walking away, the negotiator is telling the other party that they know just how much value they offer. They are also telling them that they know somebody else will give them what they want to get that value.

When they exit a deal, they often create a situation where the other party wants back in to the point where they offer what the negotiator wanted all along.

The Negotiator Negotiates on Multiple Issues

As mentioned, salespeople often zero in on price as the one area they’ll focus on in a negotiation. However, most people consider more than just the price when they’re looking to strike a deal.

The negotiator understands that, which is why you’ll rarely catch them negotiating on a single issue. That’s haggling instead of negotiating.

The negotiator knows that the other party will challenge them on multiple levels, from quality and performance through to the support they offer. If they experience push back in regards to price, they can immediately jump to one of these other levels to show that the value they offer is worth the price.

The Negotiator Can Handle the Choking Point
Eventually, the deal will hit a tipping point.

That’s when you’re most likely to choke. Your mind starts to panic as you look for a way to close the deal.

This is an emotion and you need to learn how to manage it before you can become a great negotiator.  Expert negotiators handle the choking point better than most people.  They are able to remain calm during negotiations, where others might panic.

The Final Word

Expert negotiators have the emotional resilience needed to handle the pressure of the situation.

They always set their principles before negotiating and know what they want, what they offer, and when they’ll walk away. They’re never desperate and are able to negotiate on multiple levels.
So do you think Donald Trump is a negotiator or a salesperson?

Either way, watching how high profile deal makers use, or don’t use, these  approaches can help  transform you from a salesperson into a negotiator.

Frontier Performance can help you. We’re offering complimentary training to selected prospects. Just head to our website to find out if you qualify.

April 11, 2016


How do you deal with highly emotional people who make all their decisions based on knee jerk reactions?

My answer: “it’s not easy”. For one thing, these people usually refuse to see it from any other viewpoint than theirs. They have to be right and they often make it a bigger problem than it is or even imagine that it’s a problem when none exists. The problem is they are a hostage to their emotions, so all their decision making gets filtered through this process. Imagine a sieve and the only things that can get through this sieve are negative thoughts, emotions and perceptions. What doesn’t get through are the positive outcomes or looking at a situation through a different viewpoint or a different lens. The chances of actually thinking about the situation from a different angle are limited, therefore so are the solutions.

So the key question is, what can you do with this type of person?

It does require patience from you and you have to be willing to look at what they have said and show them how else they could look at this situation. The chances of this working are, honestly speaking, very low. I don’t want to give you a rosy picture that you can turn this person around, because they often don’t want to listen to reason. In their mind they fabricate the worst situation and it becomes their reality. In addition, if they are in the company of others who share that same personality type, they can join forces and make it a ‘me-against-you’ type of scenario.

At the end of the day if this person cannot see it from your viewpoint the chances of them coming around and actually having an intelligent conversation with you are remote.

So, what can you do?

My suggestion is to walk away. They are not worth the effort. If you have done the right thing, in good faith, and have not harmed them in any way, walk away. If they don’t have the emotional maturity (or, as I call it, the emotional IQ) to deal with this rationally, there is not much you can do. Walk away. Have compassion in your heart for these people, maybe some sympathy and love if you can muster it. Often these people can be spiteful and talk behind your back, ignoring all the good things you have done for them. Don’t get angry with them; there is too much hate and anger in the world as it is. Just walk away.

The sad thing is many of these people are in positions of power and they abuse this position. From my experience, it is often because they don’t have the skills needed for that position. The social skills they have are sadly lacking in substance. You see, it takes a lot more to be a leader than reading numbers; it takes the ability to think and not over react. A knee jerk response is often an overreaction. Sometimes the overreaction hides something else going on in their lives, it accumulates and then they erupt. Often you will see these people calm on the outside but inside they are churning with anger because they don’t have the ability to address the underlying problem in the first place. They often display a passive aggressive personality.

At the end of the day it’s your choice to walk away; if they don’t want to return your calls or emails, be satisfied you have done all you can and move on. Read one of my previous articles on “When to Move on”.
April 07, 2016


Not an easy answer to come up with for many people.

How do you find out what you really want to do? What is the one thing you want to do that you enjoy the most, have fun doing and would perhaps do it even if you didn’t get paid for it?

Many people go through life without really figuring this out and they kind of accept that this is the way for most people. Therefore they usually live unfulfilled.

There are two main components to figuring out what you want to do:

  1. Does it make you happy when you do it?

  2. Are you consumed by it?

The key question is whose responsibility is it to figure this out?

Often the “THING” you love, finds you. I have seen this with many people. Does luck have anything to do with this? YES, absolutely. People who know exactly what they want, and find it, are truly blessed. You will often find such people at the forefront in their profession because they have been doing it for 15 to 20 years and now are masters. Think of the sports stars who have been practicing their sport since they were 4-7 years old or a musician who is a child prodigy.

As children we need guidance; children don’t actually know what they are good at. I know with my 14 year old son we tried several sports before he found his calling, all by accident. At the age of 7 he went to a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class and from there it became an obsession with him. There are significant benefits for children who find a sport that they love at an early stage. From discipline, to learning to take instruction, to developing a competitive spirit and problem solving. Whose responsibility is it to guide the child? The parents’!

So if your parents did not have the knowledge to help you or at that situation in life it was difficult, what can you do now?

I find the ideal way to think about this is to reflect and go back into your childhood and think about all the things you did that you liked and didn’t like and then ask the question "WHY?". Write the two sets of answers down and then reflect on them, visualise these memories. This is an exercise that you want to spend time on. After all, you are trying to find out what you really want to do, so give this the appropriate time to reflect and gather your thoughts. Some of you may get a quick answer while others may require more work on this. There is no easy answer to this question. The only suggestion I have for you is that you have to work on this and if you do this exercise honestly, it has the potential to change your life.

From my perspective, I had a burning desire to help sales people because of the pain I went through to get really good at what I do. I got tired of well-meaning sales managers sending me to sales courses that after a while were just spitting out the same message. They weren’t giving me the answers I needed to grow and improve and I was hungry for the knowledge, so I took it upon myself; it was a compulsion to find out what made me tick and what made others tick and how I could get people to say yes to me more often. I wanted answers.

Back to you - when you think about what you want to do and can be happy doing, you also want to examine the reality of your situation (I don’t know what stage in life you are at). Sometimes what we want to do is not possible to do immediately but that doesn’t mean you have to give up on it. It just means you have to make it happen gradually; Rome wasn’t built in a day. The reality of life is it is not always possible to change one’s situation quickly. You have to plan, keep on asking the key question – “will it make me happy if I did that?”

Think about how you build a house - one brick at a time. That is how you build the life you consider your ‘ideal’ life. From personal experience I know it is worthwhile to spend time on this, the benefits far outweigh the accepting, the status quo.
January 11, 2016


I was in my car with my 18 year old son and we both noticed a road sign, you know, the ones giving you directions or advising you that there is a delay up ahead. This sign was very different in that the message was clear and easy to understand.

Plan your trip, manage your future

Very succinct, very direct. Quite opportune as well since it is the holiday season in Australia and many families are on the road, going to their holiday destinations. The curious thing about this is, how many people actually spend enough time planning their holidays versus their business lives?

Let us take a simple example. Planning a driving holiday:

Some of the things we do prior to starting our journey are:

  • Research about the destination

  • Read reviews about the accommodation

  • How long it will take to get there

  • Plan for any contingencies

  • Work out how much money we need

  • What we are going to do and

  • When will we be coming back?

Just like planning a short holiday, we need to plan how to achieve our goals. I just ran a workshop on the Psychology of Goal setting for some of the top real estate agents in the country and what was evident was the gap between where they are now and where they want to be.

What are some ways to understand what the gaps are?

  •  Start to examine the shortcomings in your planning

  • Examine everything you do on a daily basis, write it down

  • Examine where you spend your time, what activities or actions you do on a daily basis

  • Do these actions hinder or help you to achieve your goals or outcomes?

If you were planning on losing weight or wanting to get fitter, you would be writing down everything you eat and the amount of calories you consume on a daily basis versus how many calories you burn. The lesson here is simple; you need to write down a plan of the end goal or outcome first, then work a plan or steps that will get you there. Too many people make the mistake of trying to think of all the actions they need to take to get to the goal. You just end up either getting confused or irritated and lose interest fast.

All you need are a few simple steps. To give you an example, we were planning to take my son for a tennis tournament in Newcastle. Here was our plan:

  • What do we want? - Comfortable place, 2 bedrooms, cooking facilities, in Newcastle, close to the tennis courts

  • What needs to be done? - Book accommodation, research places to match our needs, i.e. shops, eating places, handy to beach, washing facilities, etc. Bonus if they have a pool and gym.

  • When do we travel? - Leave on Jan 16th and return on Jan 21st.

  • How much money do we need: $ XX

Now I know this is a simple plan, but if you keep the plan simple, most goals don’t become mountains either, just aim for small steps that get you to your destination.

  • Think about what you need to do to get you closer towards your goal/s.

  • Plan what you are going to do on a daily basis, all the important actions that will get you there.

What is the secret to getting your goals?

Just think about my road trip to Newcastle. Do you think other people have taken the same steps as me to get to Newcastle or any other road trip with their families?

If you answered YES, you are right. Similarly, getting success is not reserved for special people, it is for everyone. It can be as simple as my road trip to Newcastle. The only people who won’t achieve success are the people who do nothing.

Just like the person who prays to God every night, wishing to win the lottery; and finally God responds by telling him, “I can help you get the winning ticket, BUT you got to buy the ticket first”!

You see, achieving your goals is a series of doing the right actions. Know your Goalbefore you start taking any actions and then PREPLAN your actions.

There is only ONE variable here; TIME!

If I had a faster car I probably could have got to Newcastle faster, but did that matter to me? No, I wanted to enjoy the journey with my family. It might matter to you; everyone’s needs are different. So don’t judge, don’t compare yourself to other people; there are too many variables you can’t control. The only things you can control are your thoughts and your actions.
November 12, 2015


I was in NZ last week conducting a number of training sessions as usual. While I am there I stay with my parents and usually in my household we have very challenging Q&A on human behaviour. My father is a retired Plastic Surgeon and during this visit, over dinner one night, we got into a discussion about “beauty”, specifically “is beauty skin deep?” I asked him, after he had performed a surgery, did people change their perceptions about their outer beauty and did it affect their inner mental attitudes about themselves? My father’s reply was, sometimes no matter what you do on the outside of a person, the inner person still harbors doubts whether they are beautiful or not. He couldn’t be more right.

It got me thinking. How many times have you been around physically attractive people and yet you couldn't wait to get away from them? It was almost as if being around them just made you feel uncomfortable. On the other hand, some people may not be that attractive on the outside, yet after talking to them only for a short while you are totally absorbed by them!

The self-esteem of many people is very fragile indeed. People are often very critical about themselves; the first though that comes into their head is a negative thought about themselves. So how does one change that negative thought or raise their self-esteem? This is not something that can be changed overnight and it actually requires a person to understand how their environment has shaped and influenced their psychology, their thinking.

For example some people (not all) put on weight or begin to smoke in order to deal with self-esteem issues. This doesn't usually start overnight, it is usually a gradual process. You eat more than you should or eat the incorrect foods and reduce your exercise. The same thing happens with smoking. You don't usually smoke a whole packet on the first day, but slowly increase the amount of cigarettes you smoke. After a while you don't really pay attention to the increase in the number of cigarettes consumed as it is now a habit. Your life thus far is an accumulation of habits.

As another example, let us say you wanted to run a marathon, you wouldn't be able to do it after just training for 3 weeks! People want a quick fix, yet they fail to realise that 90 percentage of behaviour is based on routines. The problem in developing your self-esteem to combat either stress or burnout requires an understanding of your own behavior and the components of emotions.

Developing inner beauty or as I would prefer to say - becoming comfortable in your own skin - needs one to truly understand what makes you tick. Once you have an answer to this question, life becomes easier on all fronts. Understanding the components of emotions and feelings will give you the awareness of control and focus. It will make everyday life easy whether it is your job in sales or your professional and personal relationships.

My father highlighted the fact that working on the physical is so much easier than working on the mental state or the psychology of a person. The emotion, feeling or thought a person experiences often has a strong power over them; you can't physically hold it and break it but you can bend it and mould it to whatever shape you want. It is like sculpting a piece of clay.
September 25, 2015


I often get asked how to get over the choking emotion when the negotiation or deal is on the tipping point. The answer most people expect is something that will not require much work or something that works instantaneously. I'm afraid I will not be able to offer you a quick solution for something as complex as this.

From my experience, no one ever gets over this; they just learn how to manage this emotion better than most. A lot of it also comes down to the environment that you were bought up in; some people are just better at handling this genetically. This is similar to talent that people are born with, such as speed or athleticism or mathematical or music ability. Some things you either have or you don’t. I know this may not be the answer most of you are expecting; however, good news is that it is possible to develop abilities to overcome this.

Some of you may not know but when Roger Federer was younger he often had melt downs on the court, breaking racquets, storming off the court when he was losing. Look at him now! He worked to overcome this behavioural pattern and it took him about 5 years to develop this ability. He was relatively a late developer, winning his first grand slam at age 22. Most of the successful grand slam winners usually win between the ages of 18-20 years. Nadal won the French at 19 years and Pete Sampras won the US open at age 19!

Much of our response to situations is triggered by our habitual way of responding to these situations. These triggers are often ingrained within our unconscious thinking by the environment which we were exposed to or brought up in at a younger age. Of course difficult experiences, eg when you may have lost a deal, have also contributed to this response. Unfortunately, when you face a similar situation you respond in a similar way, because you don’t have the training to change that response. You panic, you don’t think and you respond without thinking.

In the following article I will provide some examples of high performance thinking.

I have had requests from many people wanting to find out if I run programs that help in stressful environments, to help better handle stress and burnout. Normally I run these programs as a specialised session for companies. Because of the demand, I will run my first public course in November, limited to 20 people only. If you are keen to know more about it or to attend, please send me an email at
September 11, 2015


After my previous post “When do you move on?” a number of people have responded and asked me "what do you do when you realise you have to move on?"

Once you are clear that the chances of anything happening with that person are next to zero, you should:

  • Step back

  • Get rational about the whole situation and

  • Think!

I can say, from personal experience, I often review the conversations and the meetings I have had and find that I can learn from them.

Having a clear understanding of your sales process specific to the industry is of prime importance. The central theme is, did you tell the client what the next step was going to be? If yes and then if the client did not commit to the next step, YOU have a problem! The one word Commit is worth its weight in gold and requires precision in preceding events.

If you know your sales process, what I call opportunity realisation occurs and it follows a logical progression culminating in getting the deal, beginning the relationship and delivering your service or product.

If the client does not commit to the next step, warning bells should sound in your head. It is then time to ask yourself and the client - Why Not?  Was it something that was missing in your selling process or was the issue at the client’s end?

In either case, at this stage you can decide to keep in touch with the client for future sales; if you find out why they are not interested in buying now, maybe that knowledge will help make a sale at a later stage.

If the problem was with your process, make a note and add to your mental sales checklist.  We all make mistakes; the trick is to learn from them.

If you would like to improve your sales results, download our FREE eBook "How to Increase Your Sales in 90 Days" by entering your details in the box below.

September 03, 2015


The funny thing is, the people who need to change the most aren’t open to it; often they don’t even know it and seem to live in a bubble. I am sure you have encountered many people who are like this. I certainly have! …and they can be a challenge to work with. Can you get this person to open themselves up to thinking in a new way or even to listen to you?

What you can do is, first learn to spot this person, then make a decision to either persist or move on. So, what are the signs that allow you as the sales person or manager, to pick or read these signals?

The key skill is tuning your listening skills to hearing what they aren’t saying.

Some of the signs are:

  • They are not willing to listen to you at all

  • They are unreasonable

  • Most of their sentences start with an “I”

  • They can’t seem to back up what they are talking about with facts and usually have no in-depth knowledge of what is actually going on with the team or themselves or their business

  • They often make irrational decisions that are primarily very emotional

You can get fairly quick at picking this up based upon daily experiences.

In my experience, if the selling cycle is longer than usual or they don’t take up an offer that virtually every other person has, you know what you’re dealing with. At this stage I have often decided to not spend any more time with these people as they are hard work and often have unrealistic expectations. You can often regret working with them. At some stage you have to pick up stumps and go to another game.

The choice is always yours and yours alone.