Don’t Be A Pushover

If you ask most leaders or decision makers, they’ll tell you that they prefer not to surround themselves with ‘yes people’. Instead, they want to be challenged. Leaders want to know that critical thinking has been put into decisions—and that there’s value coming from the other side of the table.

It’s a big reason why The Challenger Sale, a training and sales approach based on the 2011 best-selling book, has had such success in recent years. Challenge works! However, there’s a key piece that’s often missing. Before we’re able to challenge, there has to be a relationship in place. There has to be a level of trust—it’s what allows us to challenge.

In sales or even from an internal managing-up perspective, there is so much value in challenging. It shows care, it shows thoughtfulness, it shows critical thinking and provides a valuable, different perspective. However, it’s scary. When a client says no, telling them they should buy shows purely selfish motives. If we’re able to find a mutually agreed upon goal—that’s the key. This is your Point of View, which we talk through with the Decker Grid. When your Point of View shows overall care for the person you’re talking to, or for the end result, that’s the sweet spot.

If you get to the point where you can challenge, collaborate and effectively pushback in selling, you have become a partner and no longer a vendor. When you get to this point on your team or with your boss, you are an asset—not just an employee.

A bounce is better than absorption, especially in this case. Find ways to show value by challenging your listener to think about or approach something differently. You will see advancement in your sales, or career, or influence.

(Just don’t forget to create that relationship and trust, first.)

Are We Defensive In How We Communicate?

When is being on your heels a good thing? And by that, I mean, being defensive. We’ve all seen it before in sports, most recently in the Super Bowl. One team is up, and then there’s a momentum shift and the tide turns. I’ve had sleepless nights while coaching my 4th … Continue reading

Yada Yada Yada

There is so much focus on the importance of storytelling in business. From brand to leadership to managing client relationships, storytelling has become the “silver bullet” for how to approach something better. This post is not about when or why to tell a good story. Instead, I want to call … Continue reading

Tail That Wagged The Dog

“Why does a dog wags its tail? Because a dog is smarter than its tail. If the tail were smarter, it would wag the dog.” I remember in ’97, when the movie ‘Wag the Dog’ came out—it got me thinking about things or people that control things, who really shouldn’t. … Continue reading

Top 10 Communication Moments of 2016

What a year. The Olympics. A Presidential Election. So much noise this year – a colossal communications cacophony. What, then, stood out? The moments. With such a divisive political, economic and social landscape this year, we found that people heard what they wanted to hear, and we also felt it … Continue reading

Connecting Matters to Sell…and to Influence

As we ramp up next week’s reveal of our annual Top 10 of 2016, it’s always an interesting effort to trim and tuck to make the list as robust and complete as possible. We consider memorable moments, and we also think back about the people who have influenced us. This … Continue reading

Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon

It’s a term that doesn’t get used often, although we all talk about it quite often. You know someone who bought a car or was thinking of buying that car. Then all of a sudden, they see the same car all around them and wonder what happened? That’s Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon, and it … Continue reading

Club Trip? Yes, Please!

So many companies reward their top people with a trip. Destination: Hawaii, Mexico, Sonoma or somewhere exotic that feels like a getaway. Earlier this year, I even saw a bunch of top medical sales professionals in Park City, Utah enjoying a club retreat (as we were on day 10 of … Continue reading

Did You Read My Email?

If you’ve ever said or sent that question, you need these email tips. What’s the matter with emails? We read (and write) them when we’re sitting at our desks, moving between meetings (or sometimes even during meetings), hopping on the subway, standing in line for lunch, watching Netflix or even … Continue reading

Too Much Executive Presence?

Many Fortune 500 companies have high potential (HiPo) leadership programs that work together over weeks and come together to deliver a final presentation on a project or idea to the top leadership and CEO. We sometimes get the chance to be brought into these programs to cultivate “executive presence” among these rising leaders. Over the course … Continue reading