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.
August 18, 2015


What is it that makes the difference in winning and losing?

The All Blacks' winning mindset. The role of pain in change.
I would like to make a comment about the recent international rugby match between the All Blacks and the Wallabies for the Bledisloe Cup. In the previous game the All Blacks played poorly making very uncharacteristic mistakes and showing a distinct lack of urgency. Last night's game was the reversal. The change in attitudes and tactics made a dramatic impact on the game and the Wallabies were never going to win it.
The thing I want you to think about is -- what was the catalyst for change? Simply, if you ignore the statements made by the All Blacks after their loss last week in which they said they were out of passion, what really transpired was that they did not have enough desperation. They had lost the edge which often defines a team or a person.

Often a loss, if interpreted correctly, can be the right trigger that stimulates the desperation to win. The challenge is that this trigger can often cause two reactions in people -- either of depression or the other of anger. Of the two, in my opinion, anger is the better as it causes people to take action. Depression can cause you to shut down and see no way out of your predicament.
Understanding how pain can help you to take action is one of the keys to changing your results. Now here is the caveat: You must use anger wisely. Revisit your strategies and tactics, practice these changes and then take action. Many people, when they get angry, just react and lash out. Anger has to move to controlled aggression. Anger, without control, will not help you to change your results.
The other lesson here is, often people in sales or teams that are winning consistently lose that edge and settle. I see it with many sales people, with many managers and CEOs . They don't recognize the symptoms of being in a comfort zone. The one clue is their fear of taking chances and their inability to make decisions. The habitual pattern is often they say "the time is not right to change" or "we are comfortable in what we have". They often aren't aware of those words coming out of their mouths. And talking of words coming out of their mouths, if you noted the sentence that Michael Cheka said - "we don't fear failure".

I can tell you categorically, that one sentence may have played a big part in the mindset of the Wallabies failure. When I have worked with smokers to quit or with people who want to stop gambling, the language you use is critical to the actions that are taken by the individual. The unconscious cannot process the negative. So what it hears is "we fear failure". So "I don't want to smoke" really is "I want to smoke".
Pain is a great stimulator to change if utilized correctly.
July 31, 2015


In NYC today I had the good fortune to meet Luke Rockhold the #1 ranked UFC fighter in the middleweight (185 lbs) division who is a contender for the title against the world champion Chris Weidman.

My 13 year old son is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu fighter champion and boxer. I spoke with Luke about my son's aspirations to eventually compete in MMA, and my concerns about head trauma. He said something quite profound "there are two types of fighters - the Warrior or the Strategist".

The Warrior goes out there and although he/she fight with their heart, they are not concerned with applying strategy.

The Strategist on the other hand, fights using their head. He said to me, "I don't go into a fight to get hit; as you see in my fights, I hardly ever get hit".  Consequently, a strategist will more likely win against the warrior.

This made me think about the people I train in sales. Some people really think about what they are learning and the deep strategy behind it; they apply the knowledge and techniques whereas some others, although well meaning, are still selling like 'warriors'; they are still not evolving and unable to get to the next level. In life, whether it's fighting in the UFC for a world title or meeting your sales targets, it requires a continual focus on knowledge acquisition and application of it.

I was pleasantly surprised by how nice Luke was and forthcoming with his knowledge, his willingness to engage with my son and in fact spar with him. This has changed my mind about how fighters at the top think and behave. It's not just brute force, they are constantly thinking, changing, evolving.

Good luck to you in your future endeavours and we hope you win the title!