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.)

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

I Don’t Need to Prep. I Can Wing It.

Does your calendar look like the above? Many do. Just yesterday I was talking with an executive about an upcoming meeting. A few minutes into the conversation, he realized, “Whoa. This is a way bigger deal than I thought.” This is a critical week for meetings, as we’re all squeezing … Continue reading

A PowerPoint Paradigm Shift

Ever get into the rut of doing what you’ve always done because it’s comfortable – or because it’s the way it’s always been done? I’m talking about presentations – specifically the ones where you use PowerPoint. We were reminded of this when a client recently shared that he led a … Continue reading

Influence with a Point of View

What’s your point of view? It’s not a “nice to have,” it’s a “need to have” – and let me tell you why: It’s hard to argue with getting better results. But don’t just take my word for it. Recently, a self-proclaimed “Decker Super-Fan” (for reference – she’s taken Communicate … Continue reading

Don’t Waste Time: What’s The Point?

Get to the point, or I will walk out of this meeting. It’s an aggressive approach, but this strategy works for Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to keep meetings moving. I love that the Washington Post shared this insight because we can all learn from it. The busy CEO has no … Continue reading

Learn from TED Live, featuring Bryan Stevenson

Our heads are still spinning from last week’s TED Live conference (we streamed it live into our headquarters all week and took down tons of teaching points and notes). What does that mean to you? You’ll get applicable bits of TED to learn from – we’ll be sharing highlights from the … Continue reading

5 Tips for a Successful Sales Kickoff

Enormous hotel. Matching notepads and pens galore. Hundreds of people riding the fence between vacation and business attire. Yup, I’m talking about a global sales kickoff meeting. Every VP Sales knows the importance of a successful kickoff, but how do you ensure engagement, education, and excitement about new products and the … Continue reading

What the TSA would say about your next presentation

Lately, the best thing about FedEx Office is the commercials. Thanks to our Program Leader Maria Ralph – who’s constantly on the lookout for examples of good, bad, and ugly communications – here’s one of the best from FedEx Office’s latest campaign: You need to be airport security for your … Continue reading