The Perfect Script

The question I have been asked more than any other over the last 20+ years is, “What is the best script to use?” There are approximately 23 billion books on writing cold calling scripts. They are really just variations on a theme.

The perfect script

The reality is there is no such thing as a perfect script. In fact, sales trainer Gary Hoy and I discussed this very thing when I had him on the podcast. Telling your salespeople that the script you are giving them is “THE” best script is completely demoralizing to them if they don’t get instant results.

Now I’m not suggesting for a minute that scripts aren’t important. A true pro knows that there are certain words and language patterns that lead the prospect closer to an appointment. They also know there are things that will drive the prospect away kicking and screaming.

If your organization has scripts they want you to use, by all means, you should use them initially. Just know that any script will fail way more often than it succeeds. After you have had your teeth kicked in 100 times or so, you will slowly get better.

 The Best Script Ever

I stated above that there is no such thing as the perfect script, but can I give you the best script ever? The script that I have seen set more appointments than any other was,

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Personal Growth Plan

Are You Planning On Growing This Year?

All growth begins with personal growth. ~ Les Heinsen.

Girl Growing

I first heard Les say this from the platform at a very large sales conference.  It made an impression on me, but I didn’t realize how much it shaped my career until much later.

Helter Skelter

I have always enjoyed reading and learning, but I haven’t always had a conscious, well-formed plan. In fact, most of the books I read were chosen because of the shiny cover jacket on the shelf of the bookstore or the rack at the airport. It is amazing to me that I was able to retain as much as I did since I was bouncing all over the place.

It wasn’t until I was listening to a John Maxwell Maximum Impact Club recording that I put it all together. John was talking about how one of his early mentors asked him what his personal development plan was. John hemmed and hawed but eventually had to admit he didn’t have one. This was my story too! I didn’t have a plan either.

Wandering In The Wilderness

As I have led thousands of independent agents and leaders, I have found few of them work on self-development at all. In fact, according to Tony Robbins and Chet Helms,

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What makes you special? The remix…

You are special aren't you?

In sales, you must answer all objections, spoken or not. -Tim’s sales axiom #16

Standing Out

Whenever you are meeting with a prospect, the largest unspoken objection/question they have is, “What makes you and/or your product special? Why should I spend my time, money and attention with your company?” Most salespeople try to build their presentation around this question but use platitudes. “Our service is unparalleled.” “We have superior products.” “Our biggest competitive advantage is our people.”

The problem with these platitudes is

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Can I Vent For A Second?

Most outgoing voicemail messages SUCK!

Today’s blog post may or may not help you, but I promise it will make me feel better! And it’s a lot cheaper than an appointment with my therapist.

Annoyed man on phone

You are a sales PROFESSIONAL, right? So why do so many “professionals” have horrifically bad outgoing voicemail messages? It drives me bat $#*! crazy.

If you ask anyone who has ever worked for me,

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Later… Liar

Do you lie every day?

I didn’t coin the phrase “Later – Liar.” It was something I heard in a speech by a senior leader of a very large Voluntary Benefits insurance carrier. I will not reveal their name to protect the innocent-ish. It took me a few days for it to really sink in, but once it did it has haunted me ever since.

Later - liar woman with pinocchio nose

I don’t know about you, but I often promise something in the moment and then forget (or choose not to make it a priority) to deliver on time.  Douglas Adams, author of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, once said, “I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.” I can relate.

When I Say:

“I’ll get that report to you in a bit,” it really means,

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You Are Not Going To Like This

Lack of Time vs. Lack of Priorities

I don’t know if you noticed, but as Americans, we are busier than ever. More things are competing for our time. There has been an insidious spread of bringing work home via our smartphones. Constant access to email and texting has irreversibly blurred the line between work and home life.

Dr with hour glass

The fact that we take less vacation time than any other industrialized nation on the planet has been well documented. 54% of Americans end the year sacrificing multiple days of unused vacation time. What choice do we have? To stay competitive,

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Are You Running a Deficit? By Bryan Yager

An Article I Wish I Wrote

“The way to develop the best that is in a man (woman, child, employee, any person who is important to you) is by appreciation and encouragement.” – Charles W. Schwab

Bryan Yager sent out the following article to his tribe as part of his Monday Morning Minute series.

I  met Bryan 14 years ago while living in Boise Idaho. We hit it off immediately as we share many of the same business philosophies and beliefs. Over the last 5 years I have twice hired Bryan to work with my leadership team. Both times he absolutely crushed it! Bryan appeared on the Success Is Voluntary podcast 4 years ago (listen here) to talk about the importance of strategic planning. The comments and feedback were incredibly positive!

Are You Running A Deficit?

Sometime today, take a brief minute to reflect on the most important people in your life, both personal and professional. It is likely, even probable, that one or more of those people are discouraged by something going on in their life, right now, as you read this short commentary. Think about it, almost all

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What Makes You So Special?

The Surprising Answer Of High Performers

“What makes you so special?” It’s a question that is asked of high performance sales people all the time.

Of course it never is actually asked like that. It usually sounds more like, “What is the secret to your success?” Sometimes it is asked with honest curiosity. More often though it is asked with an underlying current of jealousy. As in, “I’m smarter than you. More educated than you. Why are you more successful than I am? There has to be a reason…” But people can’t just come out and say that  of course, so they ask,

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Pick A Lane

It will save a lot of damage

I recently met a friend of mine for coffee. Sally (not her real name) wanted to pick my brain as to some ideas for her business.

Pick a lane

The Situation

Sally gave me the following rundown of her many endeavors as she explained her situation.

  • Sally runs a very satisfying small business that fortunately breaks even most months, even after pulling out a small salary.
  • Sally is involved in a network marketing company that she earns o.k. money from every month. She hasn’t started to recruit other reps but she does believe passionately in the product and has several loyal retail customers.
  • Sally helps some friends of hers by working with their customers via the internet. The amount of money from this “job” is fairly negligible and it takes her 10 hours a week to accomplish.

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Tame The Beast

Your Cellphone is For Your Convenience

I’m guessing you have a smartphone. In fact you are probably reading this article on said smartphone. Isn’t the technology that you hold in your hand nearly miraculous? In the last three years the lovely Dizzy D and I have traveled to Europe twice. We went to countries we had never traveled to and where we didn’t speak the local language. Because of my iPhone (I’m not an Android infidel) the trips were almost flawless. We visited Italy for 22 days and spent 10 days in Portugal and Spain. I used

Man going crazy on phones.

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How Do You Know?

Do you really want to know?

In sales we often are so driven by emotion that we don’t stop and really analyze what is going on in our business. We just bebop through our day doing the activities we think will drive our business forward. We end the day on a high. We have accomplished every thing on our task list. We made two DM presentations that we feel really good about. We even found time to make a bunch of new contacts that we are convinced will turn into new customers. It seems our business is about ready to explode. Well to borrow a phrase from ESPN commentator Lee Corso,

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You Are A Leader (Like It Or Not.)

“Leadership is influence; nothing more, nothing less.” - Dr. John C. Maxwell.

I have heard dozens of people try to define leadership. Most of the time they were doing it in the context of what makes a great leader, great. Dr. Maxwell is paraphrasing the accent Chinese proverb, “If a leader doesn’t have anyone following him, he is simply taking a walk.” To lead, you must have people that are following!!!

Leadership Success Is By Working Together Like Gears

The reality is that you and I have worked for good leaders and those that couldn’t lead a starving man to a steak. As you move through your career, the thing that separates those that thrive in their organization, versus those that languish, is they have learned how to lead. Sometimes they have the position and authority to lead. More often they have the moral right to lead based upon their contributions. Contributions to their customers…. Contributions to their company…. Contributions to their boss…. And most importantly….Contributions to their peers.

True Leaders Often Don’t Have The Title

Ask yourself this, have you ever been in a meeting where one of your colleagues drove the conversation even though they weren’t the “boss?” Of course you have. We have all been in that meeting. Why do you suppose that happens? I have an idea… You don’t have to be the “boss” (or named leader) to lead.

In fact, if you wait until you have the title, you will never be the leader. In my career I have had the privilege to promote over 200 people to leadership positions. Guess what I based EVERY SINGLE ONE of those decisions on? That person’s CURRENT influence. Sure, performance and work ethic had influence in the decision. But overwhelmingly I have looked to promote people that others were already following. Call me lazy, but I have always wanted to run with those that were already running.

Tim’s Six Leadership Tips

So how do you gain influence with you boss and your peers? I have six, sure-fire ways to gain influence and join the leadership ranks of your company.

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