Sales And Acknowledging Elephants In The Room

Sales has certainly changed in the last twenty years.

Previously the top salespeople were effective hard sellers, pushing the client into buying. It was widely felt that a good salesman could sell anything! It was the technique, the ability to get the potential client to sign on the dotted line.

Sales have fortunately evolved in the intervening years. It is working to show the client “value” and helping them buy the right product for them as opposed to you selling them what you have. People in sales have become educators and guides, helping people understand the product/industry and making intelligent, informed decisions. And of course, hopefully signing on with you.

But one of the most difficult challenges for anyone in sales is getting the potential client to sit down with you in the first place. The reason for that is because of that history, of what sales people used to be. It is widely acknowledged that public speaking is the greatest fear for adults in their business life. I haven’t seen anything to reflect this, but my money would be that sitting down with a salesman one on one would be a close second. We just do not want to be cornered by an aggressive salesperson.

I must confess I have that aversion. It is so bad, that when I go into a store and a perky salesperson comes up and says. “Hi, can I help you?” I immediately tell them firmly (but politely!) no. I have even gone into stores KNOWING that I would need some help and then having to scramble after them, yelling wait, WAIT, because I first told them no. Gut reactions. I have found out that I’m not alone  in  this.

So what is a salesperson to do?

Acknowledge the  elephant   in   the   room . It’s THERE! Why pretend it’s not?

The most common point is networking and you’re an insurance agent or financial advisor. You have a great elevator spiel about risk management or long term planning, yadda, yadda. People politely listen, nod and don’t give you an opening to go to the next step – making an appointment. Why? Because of the freaking  elephant  standing right next to you! He’s huge! The  elephant  of “I want you alone, so that I can corner you, put you  in  an uncomfortable position and make you do business with me”. Standing in front of it doesn’t hide it, it’s still visible!

So acknowledge it. Let the person know what you would like to do, that you want to educate them, not sell them. You are the knowledge expert. YOU are willing to take them through their situation (insurance, finances, etc) to better help them understand their situation. By giving the person a clear idea of the “value” of the meeting and reduce their fears of being locked away with a salesperson, you create a better opportunity for them to agree to meet you.

YOU HAVE THE MEETING; IT IS NOT OK THEN TO SELL!

Many salespeople make the mistake of then thinking that now that they have the meeting, they can then sell. NO. This is why you have difficulty in the first place! If you got the meeting as an Educator, conduct the meeting as an educator.

First let they (and you) understand their situation. There should be NO talk of you, your company or your product. This is the meeting you offered, where you use your knowledge to educate them on this topic.

One gent who I recently talked to let me know that his company who is training him open up the meeting with a description of the company and what it does before going into the “educating the consumer” portion. Well, ok. But here’s the problem. Why would the potential client give a hoot at that point? Also, you are now being watched closely to see if you are going to morph into that evil pushy salesperson. And now you’re blabbing about your company and its products. Are you crossing that line of selling? If not, you’re getting awfully close.

So now they have a clear idea of their situation. The next steps would be devising solutions if they have any challenges. You can then explain at that point products/features that you and your company may have. But remember you are still an educator. If the client mentions a competitor, be honest.

The competition is another  elephant . Acknowledge it. Embrace it. This is often where salesman begins bad mouthing their competitors spouting statistics and horrifying anecdotes. Pay attention to the client. Watch them stepping back not from the stories, but from you. Be upfront and honest about the differences. Worst case scenario would be that you don’t get that business. But what you did leave them with is the feeling that you were an honest broker. Not a bad position to walk away from.

The best sales job I had was when I was looking for health insurance. An agent sat with me and did the Risk Management process that all insurance agents now do. But this was the first time it happened to me. It was great! Acting as educator, he showed me where my insurance coverage was good, what needed to be looked at, etc. After one hour, I had a clearer understanding of insurance then I ever had. But the big IF was health insurance. As a small business owner, something I needed to get on my own. Not only was this agent aware of the competition, but he even gave me a number to call to get a quote from a competing agent! By those actions did he prove to be not only an educator, but someone looking out for my best interests? You bet he did.

But is that it? Just educate and hope they’ll want to go with you?

No. Although, if you did your educating right, you will have people WANTING to do business with you, just because YOU helped THEM. But, yes there often needs to be a push. But reframe the push. Again going back to my experience, the agent didn’t push me to close with him, but expressed concern that I get some kind of health insurance for my own safety. Did I know he wanted my business? You bet. Did I know he was being a little pushy to get my business? Absolutely. But he framed the discussion  in  MY interests (getting anyone’s insurance for my well being). So remember to be the potential client’s advocate. You can still throw  in  a line like – Of course I’d love to do business with you, but more importantly you should make the decision for your own….health, financial well being, safety, etc (fill  in  the blank).

So if you look at your role as an educator and an advocate, acknowledging those  elephants  that exist, you create a more positive relationship with people  in  such a way that they will want to do business with you and send business your way.

And as to my story with the insurance agent? Even though the other insurance was probably a couple of bucks cheaper, I went with him. I also transferred my home and car insurance with him. And I recommend him to everybody I can. Not because of the insurance, but because of HOW he educated me, acted as advocate for my needs and even recognized those  elephants  filling up  the   room .

The Subconscious Mind – The Elephant In The Room

I am going to try to help you understand how our subconscious mind operates. You may think you are very clever and always can express your feelings in words clearly, but unless you understand the nature of your mind, you are in for some unpleasant experiences.

First of all please understand that our subconscious mind reacts to words and not the meaning of the words.

Also please understand that this part of the mind does not depend on your beliefs either. You can be a Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist or a Jew etc, it does not matter. The words you use in your mind will stimulate it negatively or positively depending on the type of words you use.

Our subconscious mind also does not understand right from wrong or good from bad. While the conscious mind is discriminatory like when you say “I like this or I hate this”, the subconscious mind is non-discriminatory. It is a powerful neutral field of energy and will react in one way or the other depending on the words you use in your mind.

So if you say “I hope I will be fine”, you do not realize what you are doing. The word “hope” creates doubt in your mind. It is a negative word. How can you possibly feel well if you keep repeating that type of word? Now if you say and keep repeating “I am fine”, even though you do not mean it, you will feel a lot better.

In the same way, when you keep saying and repeating “I wonder what is going to happen?” or “Why didn’t he call?” you are creating doubt in your mind. You are sure to produce anxiety and panic in your system. But if you keep saying and repeating “Everything is fine” or “He is fine and will call later when it suits him”, even though you do not mean it, you will feel a lot better.

Please learn to understand that we are hypnotic beings. The words we use in our mind and what we hear from the outside world have a hypnotic effect on our mind. Negative words will make us feel negative and positive words will make us feel positive. The meaning does not matter to the subconscious mind.

So when a person asks “Doctor, am I going to get better?” can you see that the question is loaded with negatives? How can a person feel better if you keep repeating that type of question in your mind? Quite clearly this question arises out of underlying fear of not ever getting better. So how do we overcome this fear?

First of all, observe the fact that the healing power lies within every individual. It lies in our subconscious mind. All we have to do is to use this healing power to heal ourselves. Harboring fear in your subconscious always raises negative questions. Since the subconscious mind reacts to words, not the meaning of the words, give positive answers to these questions and say opposite to what you feel. Also keep saying and repeating in your mind phrases like “Every step and every breath I take, I am getting better and better, stronger and stronger”. You will be amazed to see the difference you will feel in your anxiety levels. Remember you do not have to mean what you say or even concentrate on the words you say.

Better still; get rid of the fears by learning to understand how you operate in your mind. Learn how to use the power of perception to transform yourself. You do not need will power to bring about changes in your life. What you need is a change in your perceptions.

Cryotherapy Benefits and the Big Elephant in the Room!

In this article I want to share the leading cyrotherapy benefits and the dangers to this alternative medicine!

Cryotherapy in a nutshell means cold therapy. When I mean cold I’m talking minus 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Imagine standing in this cold of air for 1.5 to 3 minutes? It doesn’t seem pleasant does it? What is even more bizarre is that people are willing to spend anywhere from $20 to $90 to do it.

If you are wondering how in the heck can the air get to negative 300 degrees. It comes down to using liquid nitrogen. It’s made from air and is cheaper to make than soda pop. Profitable business right?

Now you are thinking so many people are shelling out cash for this it must have some benefits right? What do you think is this hype or is there benefits to it?

In theory it can benefit someone when it comes to eliminating aches and pains, which nearly everyone has. The cause of the pain is inflammation. Think of a sprained ankle and swelling. How do you treat a sprained ankle, you put ice on it.

You see the connection right?

There is also a theory that your body effectively goes into survival mode when it rushes all the blood to your core. Some people feel the blood picks up extra nutrients normally held in storage.

Some people feel it can help burn unwanted fat, improve the immune system, eliminate cellulite and slow aging.

Of course these are all theories let’s talk about studies and proof. The bad news is that I couldn’t find any studies or proof that it helps. If you know of any please share in the comments below.

Now let’s talk about the risks. What do you think a big risk is? A big danger is frostbite, one small mistake and it could be bad. One lady in Texas received skin damage and is suing a place because she received wet gloves.

Until there is actual proof of benefits I would not recommend it. If you are interested in relieving pain from muscles, soreness, if you want to improve your skin, immune system, remove fat and slow aging there are much better choices with proven benefits.

One idea is omega 3 fish oil. Omega 3 reduces inflammation and this helps with pain management as well as improving the skin. There really are tons of benefits to this healthy fat.

Elephants in The Room

ACOs and other new acronyms have swamped the minds of physicians and healthcare business people alike since the terms were coined. The still new healthcare reform law continues to worry many and challenge others to figure out ways to play the game and win. While we scurry around chasing the regs and the new words and government agencies, while politics keeps moving the ball and shaping the healthcare agenda, the most central issues in healthcare cost/quality debate are not even discussed. It’s as though policy makers and business is saying “Hey, if we keep throwing new regulations at them, maybe they’ll stop asking really tough questions we can’t answer.”

Back in the 80s, the state of Oregon enacted Medicaid reform that took the breath right out of the rest of the country. Remember? The idea that a state would not list ALL medical services to ALL Medicaid patients was considered to be cruel and impolitic at the time. And the national debate about (1) whether healthcare is a right of American citizens, and if so (2) what healthcare services are “in” and which are “out” has grown virtually silent.

Instead, it seems we have entered the area of political intransigence. It appears that getting and staying  in  political office requires as little change as possible. So, very little seems to be accomplished or even discussed.

So what are the “ elephants   in   the   room ?” They are the issues of “how much” and “patient accountability.” Though it appears that the issue of whether we Americans are entitled to receive healthcare has been skirted, we are clearly missing any discussion on the issue of how much services. Oregon hit the issue head on, but nationally there appears to be no movement or even discussion of the issue. We don’t know who should get what. We just know we want to reduce the costs (ration).

Virtually every effort to reduce costs so far has involved the use of managed care organizations. The Florida Medicaid program pilot project that began in Broward County in 2006 has produced two clear results-reduced expenditures and huge criticism that managed care has reduced costs solely by reducing access and care itself. Managed care has become the “black hat” that politics won’t pick up. It’s OK for managed care to restrict access and care because it reduces costs, but it is politically impossible to directly address the issue of “how much.” We rely on managed care to do it for us, due to our political inability to tackle the issue, then blame the payers for their (wink wink) bad behavior. If managed care is profiting, it is only because they don’t mind profiting from our unwillingness to take responsibility for the issues they deal with on a daily basis-saying “no.”

The second  elephant  is the issue of patient accountability. There is none! What is the consequence of patient bad behavior? What consequence is there for refusal to exercise, quit smoking, etc.? None. We pay more. There isn’t a single provision in any federal law that punishes us for making expensive healthcare decisions or that rewards us for making cost saving healthcare decisions.

I liken it to having teenagers. Expectations with no consequences yields a predictable result of no change in behavior. Simple.

These are huge issues to tackle. So many different kinds of people, agendas and ways of seeing the issues. So, we don’t even try. Instead, we “hire” managed care to bear the burden of our failure to address and answer these issues. And we throw complex ideas like metrics and healthcare reform into the market, which only serves to distract us from addressing the root causes of our healthcare challenges.