Developing World Class Sales Teams
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By Richard White

I was working with a sales manager this week who was saying how difficult it was getting a few of his sales team motivated. When I asked him whether he had done goal setting sessions with his team he told me that he had but some of his team were ‘half empty’ kind of people and they could never work out what they wanted.

This sales manager was involved in technical sales where this can sometimes be a problem. People with a technical background often have a different way of motivating themselves to the archetypal sales person who will never have a problem telling you exactly what they want! This does not mean that technical people do not want things. It just means we need to adopt a slightly different approach when helping them find motivational goals.

At a very simplistic level, there are two different ways people motivate themselves. The first is focusing on what they want. People good at sales typically think this way. They want things and are motivated to move towards achieving them. You ask them what they want and a few minutes later they have reeled off hundreds of things and they have only just got warmed up! The challenge is to get them to focus on specific key goals and link achieving those goals to hitting their sales targets.

The second are motivated to move away from what they don’t want.  You ask them what they want and often they will struggle to tell you. Ask them what they don’t want and they will wax lyrical!

For example:

  • They don’t want to work for the rest of their life
  • They don’t want to struggle to pay their bills
  • They don’t want their kids to go to a state school

Finding out this information, however, is only half the story. You need to ask them what they want instead so that you can link it to their sales activity.

If they don’t want to work for the rest of their life then when DO they want to work until and how much will they need to have saved up to retire at that age?

If they don’t want to struggle to pay their bills then how much money DO they need to earn so that paying their bills would no longer be a struggle and they can actually start saving?

If they don’t want their kids to go to a state school – what school DO they want their kids to go to? How much would it cost per term?

People who think in this way can get just as motivated as any other person. They sometimes just need a different approach to get there.

These approaches to motivation tend to be fairly ingrained and take a lot of time and effort to change. It may be quicker to help them discover their goals by starting off with what they don’t want and then regularly reminding them of their goal and why it’s important to them.

The way people motivate themselves is something you should be looking out for during the recruitment process and there are ways to spot an individual’s approach to motivation by simply listening to the words they use. The benefits of learning how people are motivated go well beyong getting your sales team firing on all four cylinders. The ability to spot how people motivate themselves is something that’s also incredibly useful when motivating prospects to buy!

Focused activity is one of the fundamentals of sales success. This is a mini-course video with exercises designed to help you set your goals, get motivated and stay motivated. If you do the course yourself you will better understand how to work with your sales team to get them motivated. Feel free to let them do the mini-course too.

Click here to play the video

Think and grow rich is a classic motivational book. Written by Napoleon Hill and inspired by Andrew Carnegie, it was published in 1937 at the end of the Great Depression.  It is not a book about sales by any means yet it contains many lessons for developing our thinking for success in sales. It is a classic book about the use of the power the mind in order to achieve personal goals. It is one of the first personal development books I read. The language is a little different to what we use today but the things covered such as visualisation and affirmations are well accepted today.

The text of Think and Grow Rich! was founded on Hill’s earlier work, The Law of Success, the result of more than twenty years of research of individuals who achieved great wealth during their lifetimes.

Napoleon Hill studied the characteristics of these achievers and developed fifteen “laws” intended to be applied by anybody to achieve success. Think and Grow Rich! itself condenses these laws further and provides the reader with 13 principles in the form of a philosophy of personal achievement.

Reflected in these principles is the importance of cultivating a burning desire, faith, autosuggestion and persistence in the attainment of one’s goals. Hill also discusses the importance of overcoming many of the common fears that can adversely affect one’s thinking and potential.

Think and Grow Rich has sold consistently since its first publishing. According to one publisher, the book has now sold more than 30 million copies worldwide. Think and Grow Rich regularly appears on the Business Week Best-Seller List..

Open Think And Grow Rich

By Richard White

There is a coaching model that is very effective for coaching others but can actually be used to coach yourself if you are stuck with a problem and looking for a way forward. It’s called the GROW model and within the corporate environment it is often used to teach managers the basics of coaching.

The GROW model was developed in the UK by Graham Alexander, Alan Fine, and Sir John Whitmore. I was actually trained by Sir John Whitmore in the GROW model back in 1993. He demonstrated by coaching someone to improve their golf swing even though he was not a golf player himself.

It’s actually a problem solving process that helps people think through their problems and come up with their own solutions. This article is about how to use the GROW process to help us think through our own problems.

If you have been trained then why not use it on yourself? It will make you a more effective sales coach if you do.

Each letter of GROW represents a stage in the process.

What is your outcome? What do you want to achieve?

Use the SMART criteria to ensure your goal is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time bound.

You need to get to a position where you are very clear of what you want. Write it down and read it back to yourself. Tweak it until it is clear enough that if you were to tell someone else in one sentence they would understand your goal.

If your goal is qualitative – for example, “I want to feel more confident about public speaking” then consider a scale of 0 to 10 – Where do you want to be on a scale of 0 to 10 and how would you know? What evidence will you have that you have achieved it? What would you be doing differently?

If you were on a journey, this would be your destination. The one you program into your Sat Nav system.

What is your current position in relation to your goal?

Articulate it with the same clarity as your goal. If your goal is qualitative with a scale of 1 to 10 then where are you now along that scale.

Goal: By the end on September 2010 I want to be feeling 8 out of 10 in terms of confidence with public speaking so that I am able to stand up and give a presentation in front of the board of directors.

Reality: I am currently feeling 5 out of 10 in terms of confidence with public speaking and racked with nerves even thinking about it!

In terms of a journey, the reality is your current position in relation to your journey. Where are you going? And How far have you got left to travel?

This is about finding your best course of action in achieving your goal and involves considering your options.

Simply ask yourself ‘What are my options?’

You are looking to list as many options as you can, no matter how silly they seem. Do not evaluate them at this stage. Just get them down on paper. I always start with ‘Do nothing’ to get me going.

Keep the ideas coming by asking yourself questions like ‘What else?’

For example, when considering improving your confidence in cold calling your options might include:

  • Join a local public speaking club
  • Go to the library and read books on public speaking
  • Speak to people who have overcome their nerves and get tips from them
  • Get some hypnotherapy
  • Get a public speaking coach
  • Attend a training course
  • Etc etc

In terms of a journey its equivalent to considering all the different ways of getting there on time.

The final part of the grow model drives out the actions. It’s decision time!

Out of all the options listed, which of them are you going to do?

In order to decide on your actions you need to first evaluate the options and begin to eliminate them. In some cases you may end up with more than one action from your list.

In terms of a journey this is about deciding on your specific travel plans to get to your destination. It is your road map.

You may want to build in some milestones or check points along the way to ensure you are on the right path.

If you are looking to improve your sales coaching skills then why not give it a go – you could see your sales begin to GROW very quickly!

This is a recording of an interview between Richard White and Chris Mather, a very successful regional sales manager of a company that sells door to door. The idea was that there is probably lots of insights to be gained from a style of selling where rejection happens on a major scale. We were not disappointed!

There  are some amazing insights to be gained from this recording, not just in relation to rejection but also keeping statistics and self-motivation. It appears that there is more in common with top performers in door-to-door selling and other types of selling than we might imagine!

The sound quality in the first 20 seconds of this recording is a bit crackly. Please bear with it as there is some very important learning and insights to be gained.


What is procrastination costing your sales team? Leads? Clients? Sales? Procrastinating on generating leads, following up or even closing can be a costly habit in sales. So it might be worth finding out what's behind procrastination and what can we do about it.

In this recording Richard White interviews the UKs leading expert in beating procrastination, Nicole Bachmann. Nicole gives us some tips on what we can do to stop procrastination getting in the way of winning business. Although the principles apply to all parts of the sales process, Nicole focuses on cold calling as this is normally a major problem area for sales people.

By Ivor Murray.

Managing stress is all about taking charge: taking charge of your thoughts, your emotions, your schedule, your environment, and the way you deal with problems.
Since everyone has a unique response to stress, there is no “one size fits all” solution to managing it. No single method works for everyone or in every situation, so experiment with different techniques and strategies. Focus on what makes you feel calm and in control. Here are some useful techniques to try.

Just say no!

Always remember that you can say “no”. Many of us take on too much – and loading ourselves with more tasks when we are already stretched can only lead to stress. Accept that there is a limit to what you can do and stick to it.

Give your to-do list a makeover

Take a good look at your “to do” list. Prioritize the tasks that are really important, put the things that aren’t essential at the bottom of the list and see if you can remove any jobs entirely. A long “to do” list – often padded out with unnecessary items – can be stressful to deal with.

Say how you feel

Don’t be afraid to communicate your feelings. If someone is acting in a way that you find irritating, tell them in a calm, dignified and considerate way. If you bottle up your hostility, the situation is unlikely to change and you will end up feeling frustrated and angry.

Give and take

Accept the need for give-and-take. If you relentlessly stick to your ground, you will end up alienating people and find it hard to reach agreement. It’s better to try find a way of compromising so that each side feels that they have achieved something.

Look at how you spend your time

Good time-management is essential. When you’re not in control of how you manage your time, it can quickly lead to feelings of being overwhelmed. Planning ahead and deciding how you’re going to allocate your time can be an important factor in reducing stress.

Work on your attitude

Take note of the Serenity Prayer. “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference”. In particular, there’s no point in getting stressed about the things you can’t change – instead change your attitude towards them.

Change how you view problems

Remember that “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” Everyone at some time in their life will have major problems to deal with. Think of them as challenges and an opportunity for personal growth.

Take regular exercise

It’s been clinically proven that exercising can reduce the amount of stress hormones released in the body. Make a contract with yourself to exercise for 30 minutes three or four times a week. Yoga, jogging, tennis, cycling – there are hundreds of ways to exercise. Find one you enjoy and do it !

Watch what you eat

Have a good diet. Start your day right with breakfast, and keep your energy up and your mind clear with balanced, nutritious meals throughout the day. Try to stick to healthy foods, but don’t become obsessive about what you eat.

Reduce caffeine and sugar

The temporary "highs" caffeine and sugar provide often end in with a crash in mood and energy. By reducing the amount of coffee, soft drinks, chocolate, and sugar snacks in your diet, you’ll feel more relaxed and you’ll sleep better.

Get out more!

Enjoy an active social life. A network of friends you can talk to and rely on for support can be a great way of enhancing your well-being. Connecting with people will make you feel happier, optimistic and more positive about life.

A little bit of what you fancy!

Do something you enjoy every day. Make time for leisure activities, whether it be walking in the park, playing the piano or reading.

Have a laugh!

Keep your sense of humour. This includes the ability to laugh at yourself. The act of laughing helps your body fight stress in a number of ways.

Practice meditation

One of the most effective things you can do to combat stress is to learn to meditate. Meditation is a technique which gives a unique quality of rest to mind and body. It allows stress and tiredness to be released in a natural way, resulting in greater energy and enjoyment of life. Many doctors now recommend meditation to patients suffering from stress and stress-related conditions.

Using traditional methods, however, it can take many years of difficult practice before you gain control of your mind and attain meditative states. Fortunately, there are now modern meditation techniques that enable you to shortcut the learning process and put you on a fast-track to meditation.

Meditation Machines are small, light, highly-portable machines that use light and sound to gently guide you into a deep state of relaxation or meditation. In fact, with only fifteen or twenty minutes use of a Meditation Machine, it is possible to experience the same peace and tranquility as an experienced practitioner of meditation.

As you can see from this article, there are a number of ways of managing stress and preventing it from inflicting long-term damage to your physical and mental well-being. Hopefully, you can take some of these ideas and use them to create a healthier and happier life.

Ivor Murray is the MD of MeditationsUK, an innovative company that sells Meditation Machines – small, portable machines that use natural light and sound to gently guide you into calm, relaxing states of mind and body.
For more information about managing stress using Meditation Machines visit

How realistic are your goals? If you diligently follow the SMART formula for setting goals then your goals are just not big enough!! That is the conclusion  David Hyner of Stretch Development came to after interviewing over 100 top achievers who are all creating amazing levels of success.

In this recording Richard White interviews David on the 5 step model which he developed by boiling down all the wisdom generated from his research into an easy to follow process he calls 'The Massive Goal Principle'.

Posted by: In: Motivation 30 Aug 2010 0 comments

By Richard White.

The hair on the back of your neck stands on end and you feel strangely spooky. You have just seen and heard something that you are sure you have experienced before. Was it a dream? Was it a premonition? Was it an event just forgotten about? Science is still struggling to explain and reproduce the déjà vu phenomenon.

There is a different form of déjà vu that is simple to reproduce, although slightly less easy to explain. Top performers in most walks of life and especially in sport use it every day. It is a standard ability that we are all born with and most people use fleetingly without realising its true potential. It’s the ability to use your mind’s eye to repeatedly imagine what you want until it happens. At the highest level of sporting achievement, in activities as diverse as golf, football, running, karate, and even table tennis, sports coaches are seeing the dramatic improvements in performance that can come from using mental rehearsal. In this article we look at how you can start to harness the power of mental rehearsal to further boost your sales results.

Daydream your way to success

Mental rehearsal is as natural as daydreaming and a powerful resource to any sales person open minded enough to begin experimenting with it. Using mental rehearsal regularly, little and often, can have a profound impact on results. Mental rehearsal can be easily learned and can help improve many different areas in sales performance, such as:

  • Integrating newly learned skills and techniques so they become habitual;
  • Improving self image and boosting confidence;
  • Making personal and performance goals more compelling and increasing the likelihood of success;
  • Changing automatic emotional responses to certain events (including rejection);
  • Increasing performance levels of new skills, especially inter-personal skills; and
  • Preparing for sales meetings including potentially difficult circumstances.

Making sense of it all

The unconscious mind is the realm of the five senses: sight, sound, touch, smell and taste. When we experience things, they get stored in the five senses. When we recall a memory, we recall these senses. The secret that sports psychologists have discovered is that imagination works with the senses too and where performance is concerned, the unconscious does not differentiate between an experience that has really happened and one that has been imagined. Your mind is the only place where you are guaranteed to do things perfectly whilst you are still developing your skills. Real experience plus mental rehearsal can greatly accelerate your skill level. Amazingly, you can actually programme your neurological system to do an activity just by rehearsing it in your mind’s eye over and over again.

Sports coaches also encourage their performers to mentally rehearse winning competitions and events as they have found that we unconsciously begin to move towards compelling goals that we vividly imagine. The practice of mental rehearsal is supported by decades of research into personal success factors from all walks of life, including sales.

Become a director of your own movies

When mentally rehearsing, it is good to think of the process similar to creating a digital movie in your mind. This is not an ordinary movie where you are just a character. It is a virtual reality movie where you experience everything as if it was real. You have all the options available to movie makers such as freeze frame, cut and paste, fast forward. Changing some of the qualities of the mental movie can have a dramatic impact on how compelling the virtual reality experience is. Things like colour, brightness, zooming in and out, sound, texture, smell and sensations are all a matter of personal preference and something to experiment with.

In your movie you can slow down things that are normally performed for real in a split second (such as making eye contact) to a frame-by-frame basis if necessary. Alternatively, you can speed up things that take time to do in reality, such as giving a sales presentation. This way you can give the presentation in your mind perfectly hundreds of times in the time it would take you to do it once for real.

Design a happy ending first

Unless you are mentally rehearsing a fixed procedure, it is normally easier to start to design your movie by selecting the final scene first and work back to the beginning. The great thing about designing your own movies is that you can make sure you always have a happy ending! Here’s an example of a final scene from an important meeting with a hot prospect:

You imagine you are sitting in your car driving out of the customer’s car park. You glance over to the passenger seat where you can see a copy of the signed contract. You are on a high as everything has worked out just right. You congratulate yourself at how you skilfully managed to overcome the objections that arose and still managed to close the deal. You are looking forward to celebrating this significant deal with your workmates.

Now go back in time and create some more scenes from key parts of the meeting. Keep working backwards until you get to the beginning. Once you have all the scenes in place, play the movie from beginning to end. After running through the whole movie a few times you will be able to run through it much faster whilst still getting the same impact.

Getting into the mood

While you can do mental rehearsal anywhere, it seems to work best when you are relaxed and in a slightly dreamy state – Just like daydreaming. First thing in the morning is a great time – when you are just beginning to wake up and before you are fully awake. Snooze alarms are great devices for mental rehearsal! For most people mental imagery will come most easily in this state and for that reason it is prime time. There are other ways of getting into a dreamy state, however, which do not require a period of sleep first!

One method of getting into the right state for mental rehearsal takes less than five minutes for most people. Sit in a quiet area with your hands lightly on your knees, close your eyes and take some slow deep breaths from your diaphragm area. Breathe in slowly through your nose and breathe out slowly through your mouth. Focus your attention on the sound of your breath. As your breathing begins to get slower you will notice the sound of your breathing, you become aware of the sensation of your knees beneath your hands, the feeling of your legs on your seat and your feet on the ground. As you continue to relax, and focus your attention on your breathing you will notice how breathing becomes increasingly still and effortless.

With a little practice this state can be achieved very quickly, anytime and anywhere. This means you can use time before appointments, on a train or any spare moment you have to mentally rehearse something many times over.

Getting down to it

Mental rehearsal is easy for anyone to do and can produce powerful results. The down side is that it is also easy not to do. Just like in sport, non-directive coaching from a supportive and encouraging sales manager or external coach can really help to develop and nurture this all-important habit in others. The best way for sales managers to coach in mental rehearsal is to use the process themselves. Mental rehearsal can be just as useful as a tool for sales managers as for sales people. Whatever type of performance you are engaged in, why not make déjà vu experiences work for you?


  • Be clear about what you want to achieve before starting to mentally rehearse.
  • Get yourself in a relaxed ‘daydream’ state first
  • Begin with the end in mind. In your mental movie focus first on the happy ending, especially when rehearsing a meeting.
  • Mentally rehearse what you want rather than what you don’t want!
  • Experiment with the picture quality, sound, smells and tastes to make the picture as vivid and compelling as possible


  • Forget to take action. Mental rehearsal works best when combined with lots of positive action and an expectation of success.
  • Mentally rehearse something unless you will be happy with the consequences of its achievement.
  • Leave it until tomorrow! Remember that little and often is best.