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9 Ways My New Optimism Is Helping Me Win More Sales

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Over the last 12 months, I have worked very hard to become even more optimistic than I was before. While it has been a slow ride, I have started to see in recent weeks, a massive compounding effect that is helping me build a sales funnel and win opportunities left right and centre.

That is the reason why personal development is so important, and if you follow my lead and become more optimistic, you too can see an increase in sales within your business. Remember that whatever you do, you’re a sales person no matter what and so if there is one thing you can do to increase your effectiveness ten-fold, it’s to learn the art of optimism and the advantages that come with it.

Below are the nine ways that my new optimism has helped me win sales and how you can mirror my actions to achieve similar results.

 

1. Giving me more confidence

When I started being more optimistic, I found that I was meeting prospects with a lot more confidence. The state of mind that I was in felt refreshing and allowed me to have better posture and a stronger tone in voice. I walked into meetings saying to myself “Tim, you’re going to win this prospect over and even if you don’t, you have another person to add to your network who could introduce someone to you down the track.” When I went into a meeting knowing that I couldn’t lose and no matter the result, there was a benefit, I found that my sales and conversion rate began to increase.

 

2. Crushing objections

Objections are a common occurrence in sales, and my newfound optimism helped me to overcome them. When you’re presented with an objection, it’s best to draw on your optimism because most objections are worse case scenario’s that will probably never happen. Try using a compelling story that demonstrates to the prospect that the objection can be overcome.

This only works though if you believe the objection can be overcome yourself. At the same time be honest with the prospect and tell then that sometimes the worse case can happen but that you’re confident that you have a solution for that as well.

 

3. Making me stand out from my competitors

After submitting a proposal, it’s almost guaranteed that a competitor is also going to pitch for the business. What I found was that my optimism helped me stand out, and there was a connection between me and my potential client. The other competitor would usually just go in and pitch the typical solutions whereas my presentation was less about product and more about whether there were synergies between us.

My optimism helped me to think differently and I started telling my prospects that if they came to me it would be more than just buying a product, it would be like joining a community and they could cross-pollinate with other like-minded businesses. This conversation then led to the question, “am I already dealing with a company that the prospect might want to sell too?”

Mentioning this to the prospect then showed them that coming with my solution might even allow them to sell to a prospect that they couldn’t normally get in front of through an introduction by me. All of this came from my newfound optimism that made me think up ideas and solutions that were out of the box.

 

4. Allowing me to inspire the prospect

The optimism that I have now found allows me to get in front of a prospect and inspire them to do something. Inspiration often starts with some form of optimism. You have to be able to see things better than they are to be able to inspire someone. At the end of the day all any prospect ever wants is to be inspired and deal with someone who can help share their future through a feeling of rapport. You need to come across as a thought leader in your field and as a person that’s writing the rules for your industry. If you’re not being optimistic and getting dragged down, your level of influence will be next to zero.

 

5. Speeding up the sales process

Since my new optimism entered my life, I have found that the average sale time has decreased for some opportunities. I credit this to the fact that my optimism demonstrates an undying will to help any way I can and ensure that the implementation of the solution will be a success. Trying something new for the first time can be quite nerve racking, especially when it can affect a businesses revenue quite drastically if things go wrong.

When a prospect is on the journey with someone who is optimistic and believes in what they are doing, a lot of the unease disappears. When someone says yes to a product or solution, they have no idea if the outcome will be what they want, but they usually make their decision from a feeling. Optimism helps generate a positive feeling in the prospect that will make them say yes in a shorter amount of time, providing it’s used in an honest way.

 

6. Having prospects call me to follow up

As a result of being optimistic, I now find the prospects are following me up rather than me necessarily needing to chase them. This happens because when the prospect phones you it’s like ringing a friend so it’s not exhausting, and the conversation flows effortlessly. The moment that this trust is established, providing you deliver on what you say you will, it’s very likely that you will be doing business with this person for a long time.

 

7. Winning the sometimes unwinnable deals

I had one case where I walked into a meeting, and the client said to me, “Thanks for coming Tim, but we are not keen to meet anymore, just send me your brochure and we might give you a call in a few weeks.” The conversation went from here to them signing with me a few weeks later. While I am not exactly sure what changed my circumstances on this deal, I know that it came from their business feeling like they had reached a wall and me showing them what an optimistic future could look like.

As soon as they got a whiff of my optimism, and every objection they hit me with had a calm and relaxed answer, the deal was in the bag. It’s these types of scenarios that show me the power of optimism. All this company wanted was to feel good about their business and make a change for the better.

 

8. Giving me the fight to follow up

Muhammad Ali - Giving us the fight to follow up in salesAny form of selling is hard. You have to put up with lots of rejection and sometimes very negative people. It’s this reason why the power of optimism helps you to soldier on and not think about what could go wrong. There are so many deals that I go into where there are a hundred roadblocks in my way, but my optimism allows me to handle each one as they come up and not stress about the outcome. If I look back quite a few years ago when I didn’t have as much optimism, I was often closing off opportunities after one or two conversations because I didn’t have the will to push through.

I would even focus on the price or what my competitors were doing rather than just focusing on providing a solution that is presented in an optimistic way. I worked out that it takes around seven legitimate follow-ups on average, for a prospect to proceed with a solution. If I am closing the opportunity off after one or two contacts, then I am probably not being optimistic enough as to the odds of me winning.

I find myself now holding onto deals in my sales funnel that have been in there for more than a year and then actually closing some of these as won. What I found is that no competitor, after that much time, would ever think that that prospect would go ahead, yet I did so when they are finally ready, I get the call – no one else.

 

9. Getting me more introductions

What’s probably the best thing about optimism is when you show a prospect the light at the end of the tunnel and they finally reach the end of that journey with you, they are ecstatic and want to introduce other business owners and their family and friends.

What this means for you is that you are going to have even more deals that you can win, and they will be warm without you necessarily having to go on the same gruelling journey. As you move through the years, and your optimism compounds further, you will see a direct impact on the number of introductions you get and your close ratio.

Glass Half Empty Or Half Full - Inspiration

Flickr xclarexbearx

 

Final Thought

So there you have it, it’s time to learn the power of optimism and change the way you think. Optimism won’t just help you in a sales environment; it will help you in all aspects of your life. From now on when you’re presented with a difficult situation try and approach it from the position of optimism. If you find this hard, then get someone who you know is optimistic to give you their view. Remember that every challenge exists because there is a lesson on the other side. Even if you fail, you still get the free education that comes with the journey.

If you have some of your own stories on how your optimism has helped you, then please feel free to share them in the comments section below or on my Facebook Page.

 

Tim is best known as a long-time contributor on Addicted2Success. Tim's content has been shared millions of times and he has written multiple viral posts all around personal development and entrepreneurship. You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.net

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. carol dunlop

    Aug 3, 2015 at 12:35 am

    Attitude is totally everything. If you go in thinking you can’t of course you want, but if you go in like you said and KNOW that you can’t lose, boy does that change the outcome, in your mind AND in real life. I have recently concentrated on this very thing and am seeing great results. Thank you for sharing.

    • Tim Denning

      Dec 30, 2015 at 2:46 am

      Thanks Carol for sharing your experience!

  2. Rose Costas

    Jun 18, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    Thanks Tim for this amazing post. It is so very true how being optimistic can make things happen. I think one of the main reason is because when you are positive you will look for solutions more readily. You want to win and will do what ever it takes to see things through.

    • Tim Denning

      Jun 18, 2015 at 11:42 pm

      Thank you Rose. Optimists still see problems and negativity too, the only difference is they spend 95% of the time on the outcome and the positive and maybe 5% on the negative. If you follow these tips you will become a magnet for people wanting to do business with you and be around you.

  3. Robb Mann

    Jun 18, 2015 at 11:20 am

    “Success is not the key to happiness.
    Happiness is the key to success.
    If you love what you are doing,
    you will be successful.”
    – Albert Schweitzer

    • Tim Denning

      Jun 18, 2015 at 11:40 pm

      One of my favorite quotes Robb, thank you.

  4. Robb Mann

    Jun 18, 2015 at 11:16 am

    Tim,
    Thank you for sharing these benefits to optimism, I totally agree with you. I own a small tile store and experience the same benefits of optimism. Focusing on sales encompasses so much of our lives, right? Like you said we are all in sales!

    I’m curious as to what strategies you employ to keep yourself optimistic in this… less than optimistic world we find ourselves?

    For myself, I ask questions like “What/who am I grateful for today?”, “What am I excited about today?”, “What am I looking forward to today?”, etc.. I ask these questions in the morning and it really helps me to get my mindset in the right place for the day. My optimism soars. Also, like what happened this week, a potentially very costly problem comes up, I remind myself “we will come to a great outcome”. This reminder comes from my belief that most problems hold promise of great opportunities, we just need to find them! In my situation this week, my optimism kept the project on track, encouraged everyone involved, and we did come to a great outcome, all while we had a real problem to address.

    Again, I appreciate you elaborating on the benefits to our sales efforts and I’m curious about some of your strategies.

    Thank you,
    Robb Mann

    • Tim Denning

      Jun 18, 2015 at 11:39 pm

      Happy to share anytime Robb. The strategies I do to remain optimistic are to read powerful books everyday. I try and do at least ten pages each day. I also come on to Addicted2Success where I find my daily inspiration. In terms of gratitude, I write a list of 3 things I am grateful for each day which forces me to find the good.

      When a costly problem occurs it’s actually a cost that is in the form of education. You won;t make that mistake again I promise you. When people talk about the IP of a company they are actually talking about the lessons your business has learned which is what makes it valuable.

      The other thing I do is to stay away from people that pull you down. I don;t allow them to take up my time and find anyway to keep my exposure at an all time low.

  5. Lawrence Berry

    Jun 18, 2015 at 3:51 am

    Optimism is a great tool for success and I can see why it has helped you in so many ways. I also think optimism is a great confidence booster because when you go into a meeting where you think you already have won the client over, you present in a way that will see you predictions come true. You speak with a little more enthusiasm and passion, and this projects to your potential client. They begin to believe in you. I think everyone should learn to be optimistic, but also realistic to an extent, otherwise disappointment and discouragement would follow.

    • Tim Denning

      Jun 18, 2015 at 4:37 am

      Spot on Lawrence. Optimism is one of the most powerful success tools I have come across. It’s always better to see things better than they are. You can almost always train your brain to see the best in a situation if you have the will power.

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Success Advice

The Three P’s You Need to Master to Become a Better Leader

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Leadership
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I have been a fan and a student of Steve Jobs, Ray Kroc and Jack Welsh for many years. It is very valuable to find similar traits in these great leaders and aggregate them, basically come up with some common denominators of their leadership success. By doing so, we can then begin to reflect their great skills into our own leadership profile. My goal here is to give you some very quick and applicable tools to modify your behavior for greater leadership skills.

Here are the 3 P’s for you to develop greater leadership skills based upon my findings:

1. Passion

If there is one thing that I found in most leaders, it is passion. They love what they do, they love talking about what they do and they love getting others involved in what they do. Passion has different ways of emoting. Some people move very quickly on stage with arms flaying, voice pitching from a diminuendo to a crescendo with 100 giant television screens behind them.

Remember Steve Jobs when the iPhone was being introduced? I’ve seen other people standing behind the podium speaking from written notes but the emotional intensity in the room grew thick and reaching the level of static discharge. I’ve seen everything in between. There is an old saying that we have a leadership theory and that is, “if you think you’re leading and you turn around and no one is following, you’re just taking a walk!” It is passion that prevents that from happening.

“Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.” – John D. Rockefeller

You may be asking yourself how you can develop more passion in your life and in your leadership repertoire. The answer to that is fairly simple but the application can be somewhat deceptive in its apparent simplicity. If you wait to feel passionate before you act passionate, you’re allowing outside circumstance to control your emotions. However, if you begin to act passionate even if, by chance you don’t feel it, you will begin to. Thus, it is better for us to act our way into a new set of feelings than it is for us to feel our way into a new set of actions.

2. Planning

All leaders are planners; it’s a requirement of the job. By virtue of leading it means that you must be planning for the future. Planning can in fact be learned and is not that difficult of a process. If you want to become a better planner study chess. Notice I did not say play chess, although that will be the natural outcome of your studying. Study chess and notice how the minds of the great masters develop a strategy and implant tactics around that strategy. Chess is an amazing process to develop planning skills.

Another thing you can do is think about how you planned your last vacation, or even a weekend getaway. Think about the steps you took, the research you did based on those steps and their outcomes. Both the study of chess and personal planning will assist you in developing planning for your leadership skills.

3. Persistence

Leaders never give up! If there is something they want, they find a way around, over, or through the obstacle. Too many people never develop their full leadership birthright because of the mental script running through their minds saying, “It’s too tough for me. I Should just go home and get a good nights sleep.” Leaders know that the only possibility of failure is in giving up. If you fall down 10 times but get up on the 11th, you have not failed 10 times – you have succeeded. Period!

You may be wondering how to develop that no nonsense, I will not be denied attitude of persistence. The real question is not how do I develop persistence, but how do I develop the courage to go after what I want? Persistence is a by-product of courage! When there is something that should be yours, developing the impassioned desire to obtain that through raw courage will develop sheer persistence.

“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” – Colin Powell

Maybe I should’ve included a 4th P with this article. That of POWER! The best thing I can say about power is that if you want a more powerful leadership dynamic, develop a repertoire that contains passion, planning and persistence. The three of them combined will be a powerful leadership punch that should lead you to getting what you want and assisting others in believing that they should follow you because there is great value in you leading them.

How do you define a leader? Comment below!

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Success Advice

The Secret Power of Storytelling That You Need to Know

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What does the power of storytelling mean to you? Do you visualize your mom or dad telling you a bedtime story, or do you think about an enjoyable summer read? Every single conversation that we have with an individual or group is us sharing a story about the past, present and future. If we have a product or service that we offer to others, we tell a story about it when we do a pitch or a presentation.

The reason why we tell stories is because we know the power of stories. We know how being able to tell a captivating story can affect and change the lives of the people for better or worse. Hitler used stories about the Jews in the 1930’s which caused Germany to rally the youth and the German people to go to war, and in England, the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, used the power of stories to rally the British in a movement of never surrendering to the Germans.

Not everyone knows how to tell stories

Our abilities to tell captivating stories is one of the greatest assets we possess. However the problem is that not everyone has the skills to be a good storyteller, and the ability to be a good storyteller is critical in our success whether it’s in our personal or business life.

The power of storytelling goes way beyond just our everyday conversations, it goes far beyond simply giving facts and data. Stories emotionalize information. They bring life and depth to otherwise bland material, and they allow people to connect with the message in a deeper, more meaningful way.

Tony Robbins, the world famous motivational speaker and strategist interviewed Peter Guber, the Chairman and CEO of Mandalay Entertainment whose films has earned more than $3 billion and over 50 Academy Awards nomination. Guber stated “emotion combined with information becomes memorable and actionable.  Where were you on 9/11? Chances are that you can remember exactly where you were when you learned about the tragic events that transpired that day. But if you had to think where you were the day before that – that memory is probably hazier. Because information attached to pain or pleasure creates an emotional connection that resonates within you.”

He goes on to also say “Keeping in mind that a story is not a monologue, but a dialogue, helps you to give your audience proprietorship. They become emotional owners of the story you are telling. Then they become advtes –oca of your product, your service, your business, your brand.”

The power of storytelling can transform lives when useful and relevant information is combined with emotions. The next time you speak to another person regardless of the situation, remember you are being a storyteller, because you are in the process of transferring information to that person or group.

“Stories are a communal currency of humanity.” –Tahir Shah

Our most powerful tool

Our ability to communicate effectively is the most powerful tool we have, and when we strategically use our communication skills to transfer bland information into masterful stories we also have the power to transform lives.

If done correctly, our stories will have a massive effect on our listening audience. It will inspire and influence them. It will move them to act. So never underestimate the power of storytelling. Make it relevant–connect emotionally, create a dialogue, and you will see why the power of storytelling is the most powerful tool you have.

Don’t just take my word on for it, Look at some of the greatest leaders throughout history

You will see that they all had the ability to tell stories and bring people together through their words. The greatest motivational speakers in the world use the power of storytelling to emotionalize their audience, because there is no quicker or more effective way to get your audience engaged.

Les Brown who has been one of my mentors and one of the greatest motivational speakers that has ever lived, uses stories masterfully. He shares stories about his upbringing in Miami, and how he and his twin brother were adopted at birth and he is somehow able to transition those stories into whatever relevant topic needs to be heard by his audience, but he first draws them in with his stories.

“Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.” – Les Brown

Jim Rohn, Zig Ziglar, Earl Nightingale, Tony Robbins, the list is endless, but one thing they all have in common is their ability to tell stories masterfully. Some of the greatest philosophers have told us that there is a blueprint for success, and obviously storytelling is part of that blue print.

There is no greater power that we possess than the ability to transform regular words into captivating stories that can take your audience on whatever journey you want to take them on.

Being a great storyteller is like being a puppet master, because when you can draw people in to your stories you will have your audience on a string taking them on any emotional roller coaster. The secret power of storytelling is to be treated with respect, because with great power comes great responsibility, and this power should only be used for good.

Do you enjoy storytelling? If so, do you have any techniques or advice to share? Let us know in the comments below!

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Success Advice

5 Signs You’re on the Right Path to Success

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Every successful person had his own moment(s) of doubt. The road to success is full of obstacles and sweet hardships that will frequently make you stop and ask, ‘Am I on the right track?’ Even legends and billionaires had moments like that. Just imagine how 62 year old Colonel Sanders felt when he was rejected time and time again trying to franchise his famous chicken recipe.

It felt harsh and I bet he stopped, at least for a moment, to question his entire existence, not just the success of his business idea. But I also bet that there were probably some signs that told Sanders —and any other successful person— ‘You`re going to make it, just hang in there.”

Here are the 5 signs that will tell you whether you`re going to be successful or not:

1. You’re good at the consistency game

I don`t like the fable of the Tortoise and the Hare, and I believe that a restless hare would smash them both, but there`s a reason why that slow tortoise crossed the finish line; It`s called consistency.

Success eventually favors the most consistent, and if you`re not disciplined with the things that make you successful, then your chances to succeed are slimmer than Marlon Brando`s chances of winning the lottery (Marlon Brando is dead, and one of every 175 million tickets wins the lotto).  

Systems and routines (i.e., consistency), predict success, so take a look at your habits. Are they positive? Do you practice them regularly? If the answer to both questions is “Yes,” then sooner or later you`re going to be successful.

“The road to success and the road to failure are almost exactly the same.” – Colin R. Davis

2. You stopped having a toxic relationship with money

Success is no longer a zero-sum game to you; opportunities are everywhere, and there`s room for everybody to make money, including you. When you check the news, the success of other people no longer makes you envious. A celebrity buying a new mansion or a $150 million contract for a LeBron or Federer-like athlete, doesn`t bother you but instead makes you believe there`s plenty of money out there for ambitious, hard-working people like you. When you switch from worrying about not having enough money to having faith that you will make the money you want, then you know you`re on the way to success.

3. You know the right people

Another sign is having a big social network. I read it somewhere that business owners prefer to hire those they know over those who are skilled. Sounds skewed, I know, but it helps a lot if you combine your technical skills with excellent people skills. To want success is more like wishing to enter a nightclub on a busy Friday night. If you know the bouncers or have enough skills to befriend them, you won`t stay long in the line. The same thing happens in business, the more people you know, the easier it will be to find the right job, get proper funding and save time waiting in the line.

Social skills will help you more than you can ever imagine. There`s a guy I used to work with, he`s not that good looking, but he`s the slickest I`ve ever seen. When that guy hit rock bottom, he dropped out of school, bought a one-way ticket to Dubai, became a real estate agent and made his first million before reaching 30. I`ve also read about Michael Bloomberg who used to come to work at six in the morning to distribute coffee and tea to CEOs who come to work early when others are sleeping. For $.99 each, Bloomberg befriended at least a dozen bigwigs who later helped him launch a billion dollar business after he quit Wall Street.

4. You know what makes you tick

The successful people are better than most people at understanding themselves and overcoming —to a greater extent—the five foundations of poverty: sleep, fear, anger, laziness, and procrastination. They have worked on themselves so deeply and have made so many mistakes that they now know their soft spots as well as what motivates them.

Do you know what makes you sad, angry or excited? Do you know when you`re more likely to cheat on a diet or skip a workout? What are your strengths? Can you motivate yourself at will? And how? Having answers to most or, preferably, all of these questions will help you tap into your full potential and sets you on the path to massive success.

“All progress takes place outside the comfort zone.” – Michael John Bobak

5. You have faith

Faith in the yet to be seen, is a huge sign of success. When you think about the future, there should be a positive energy around you that says “I`m gonna make it.” You may not know exactly when you`re going to succeed, but you`re sure it’s a matter of time. This faith, or certainty, comes from having a solid plan – It`s when you know your goal, how you`ll achieve it, and how you`re going to react if things go south and deciding to believe in the unknown

If you think about it, hard work doesn`t always come as the first cause of success. It`s the faith that you`ll achieve the goal that makes you work hard, and thus, achieve the goal. I was reading a book on Michael Jordan by Roland Lazenby —who also wrote Kobe Bryant`s biography— and it stopped me that part of Jordan`s extraordinary success goes to expectations.

He expected every single ball he shot to go in. Jordan used that mindset over and over and didn`t stop when one of his shots was missed. He merely understood that even though nobody wins all the time, believing you`ll win every single time makes you win most of the time, which is enough to get a career like his. The most prominent success sign is the certainty. To believe, and act, as if you`re going to succeed, and then let that belief lead manifest into actions.

What are some things you do to say on track? Comment below!

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Success Advice

Instead of Always Trying to Be Right, Do This Instead

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A colleague of mine was obnoxious, over eager, and completely out of line. Yet, all of this was overshadowed by the fact he was just plain wrong. If he were to go through with it, it would derail the company by at least 6 months. Yet, arguing with him when he was in this state was of no use. While hitting him over the head with the laptop seemed appealing for a second, it was probably not a great long-term strategy for the business or my laptop.

Galileo once said, “You cannot teach a man anything, you can only help him find it within himself.” This is especially true when it comes to emotionally charged matters and negotiations.

When you are right, you become attached to that idea. It’s so clear, how can they not see it? Yet, your meticulously clear logic might as well be written in braille as your focus intensifies on proving yourself right, instead of reaching an agreement.

Below are 3 ways you can step out of your emotions and help someone find the right answer when money and time are on the line:

1. Separate the Person From the Issue

Imagine if a four-year-old child was adamant about something. You wouldn’t try to reason logically for hours in such a case. When trying to speak through a person’s emotions, often you might have better luck with the four year old.

In order to break this barrier you must stop seeing them as the problem and see the issue at hand. Instead of seeing the other person as stupid or obnoxious, try viewing them as simply lost or misguided. The job now becomes not to prove them wrong, but to guide them to the truth. Adopting this mindset changes your entire approach as you get out of your own emotions and take control of the situation.

“Each of us guard a gate of change that can only be opened from the inside.” – Stephen Covey

2. Show Them A Mirror

Somewhere in between trying to hammer a point, both sides usually forget to listen. No matter the situation, you must make sure that person is never you. Instead, shift the focus from “me vs you” and make it completely about the other person. Really listen and validate their emotions, creating enough trust and safety to begin a real exchange. Make sure they feel heard and slow the conversation down. When you slow the process down, you also calm down.

Remember, it’s not what you say, but how you say it. About 93% of communication is nonverbal, thus maintaining your body language immediately provides an edge. A playful (not childlike or mocking) voice puts someone in a positive frame of mind, where they are more likely to collaborate and problem solve.

Always remember to repeat back the most important three words from their sentence and make them elaborate on whatever they said. The more a person is allowed to speak, the more they feel heard. The more they feel heard, the more open they are to receive new information.

3. Lead With Empathy, Not Sympathy

Taking the time to make sure the other side feels heard and understood does not mean you bend to their will. It does not mean you give up, agree, feel sorry for, or even compromise. Empathy is the ability to recognize another’s perspective and the vocalization of that recognition. This is the difference between empathy and sympathy.

When you can label a person’s emotions in an argument, you seize the chance to discover what is behind those feelings. As you begin to drill down, you gain leverage. This should be done very gracefully. Instead of saying, I think you’re angry and being stubborn, trying saying, It seems like you are feeling frustrated because you really care about this and wish it was moving along quicker.

“Sometimes all a person wants is an empathetic ear; all he or she needs is to talk it out. Just offering a listening ear and an understanding heart for his or her suffering can be a big comfort.” – Roy T. Bennett

Using labels, you mold their feelings into words, moving information from the emotional part of the brain to the rational. Whatever behavior a person may be presenting, there is always an underlying feeling triggering it. Your job is to make the person aware of that feeling. The faster you do this, the faster you eliminate the risk of a complete breakdown in communication.

After their emotions are labeled, asking how or why calibrated questions allow them to solve their problems for you. In order to do this effectively you don’t need to study every type of calibrated question there is, but rather adopt a specific mindset. You are not their opponent, but a guide, leading the lost to the truth. Your truth.

In my case, the presenting behavior of my colleague was an obnoxious know-it-all attitude. However, the underlying emotion was fear of falling behind. Once I was able to stop asking the question, “Why is he doing this to me?” and focus on looking deeper, the conversation took a turn. The conversation was no longer about my ideas versus his, but about him and his fear.

Instead of arguing with me, he spent the rest of the time, essentially, arguing with himself. After helping him dissect his fear in the rational part of the brain, he realized that many of the worst case scenarios were highly improbable and acting hasty might exacerbate things. Most importantly, at the end of the conversation, he said, “I think I made the right choice.”

He believed that the decision was entirely his. He never acknowledged the fact that I was right and announced to everyone the sudden spark of genius that hit him. Yet, at the end of the day you need to ask yourself what is more important to you; being right or doing whatever it takes to win.  

How do you handle conflict? Let us know your tips and advice in the comments below!

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Motivation

7 Powerful and Inspiring Words of Encouragement to Help Lift You Up

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When you’re going through tough times, all you need is sympathy. You just need someone to tell you how strong you are and how you can cope with the situation. Essentially, you’re waiting for a soothing voice that can calm your inner storm and genuinely help with your troubles. (more…)

I am Eliana Jags, Co-Founder & Author at beinginsightful.com. I'm passionate about writing motivational and inspirational articles. Before I became a full-time blogger, I was a Software Engineer but left the job to fulfill my dream of becoming a writer and thus I've committed myself completely to my passion of writing. You can connect with me on my Facebook page here.

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10 Comments

  1. carol dunlop

    Aug 3, 2015 at 12:35 am

    Attitude is totally everything. If you go in thinking you can’t of course you want, but if you go in like you said and KNOW that you can’t lose, boy does that change the outcome, in your mind AND in real life. I have recently concentrated on this very thing and am seeing great results. Thank you for sharing.

    • Tim Denning

      Dec 30, 2015 at 2:46 am

      Thanks Carol for sharing your experience!

  2. Rose Costas

    Jun 18, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    Thanks Tim for this amazing post. It is so very true how being optimistic can make things happen. I think one of the main reason is because when you are positive you will look for solutions more readily. You want to win and will do what ever it takes to see things through.

    • Tim Denning

      Jun 18, 2015 at 11:42 pm

      Thank you Rose. Optimists still see problems and negativity too, the only difference is they spend 95% of the time on the outcome and the positive and maybe 5% on the negative. If you follow these tips you will become a magnet for people wanting to do business with you and be around you.

  3. Robb Mann

    Jun 18, 2015 at 11:20 am

    “Success is not the key to happiness.
    Happiness is the key to success.
    If you love what you are doing,
    you will be successful.”
    – Albert Schweitzer

    • Tim Denning

      Jun 18, 2015 at 11:40 pm

      One of my favorite quotes Robb, thank you.

  4. Robb Mann

    Jun 18, 2015 at 11:16 am

    Tim,
    Thank you for sharing these benefits to optimism, I totally agree with you. I own a small tile store and experience the same benefits of optimism. Focusing on sales encompasses so much of our lives, right? Like you said we are all in sales!

    I’m curious as to what strategies you employ to keep yourself optimistic in this… less than optimistic world we find ourselves?

    For myself, I ask questions like “What/who am I grateful for today?”, “What am I excited about today?”, “What am I looking forward to today?”, etc.. I ask these questions in the morning and it really helps me to get my mindset in the right place for the day. My optimism soars. Also, like what happened this week, a potentially very costly problem comes up, I remind myself “we will come to a great outcome”. This reminder comes from my belief that most problems hold promise of great opportunities, we just need to find them! In my situation this week, my optimism kept the project on track, encouraged everyone involved, and we did come to a great outcome, all while we had a real problem to address.

    Again, I appreciate you elaborating on the benefits to our sales efforts and I’m curious about some of your strategies.

    Thank you,
    Robb Mann

    • Tim Denning

      Jun 18, 2015 at 11:39 pm

      Happy to share anytime Robb. The strategies I do to remain optimistic are to read powerful books everyday. I try and do at least ten pages each day. I also come on to Addicted2Success where I find my daily inspiration. In terms of gratitude, I write a list of 3 things I am grateful for each day which forces me to find the good.

      When a costly problem occurs it’s actually a cost that is in the form of education. You won;t make that mistake again I promise you. When people talk about the IP of a company they are actually talking about the lessons your business has learned which is what makes it valuable.

      The other thing I do is to stay away from people that pull you down. I don;t allow them to take up my time and find anyway to keep my exposure at an all time low.

  5. Lawrence Berry

    Jun 18, 2015 at 3:51 am

    Optimism is a great tool for success and I can see why it has helped you in so many ways. I also think optimism is a great confidence booster because when you go into a meeting where you think you already have won the client over, you present in a way that will see you predictions come true. You speak with a little more enthusiasm and passion, and this projects to your potential client. They begin to believe in you. I think everyone should learn to be optimistic, but also realistic to an extent, otherwise disappointment and discouragement would follow.

    • Tim Denning

      Jun 18, 2015 at 4:37 am

      Spot on Lawrence. Optimism is one of the most powerful success tools I have come across. It’s always better to see things better than they are. You can almost always train your brain to see the best in a situation if you have the will power.

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Success Advice

The Three P’s You Need to Master to Become a Better Leader

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Leadership
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I have been a fan and a student of Steve Jobs, Ray Kroc and Jack Welsh for many years. It is very valuable to find similar traits in these great leaders and aggregate them, basically come up with some common denominators of their leadership success. By doing so, we can then begin to reflect their great skills into our own leadership profile. My goal here is to give you some very quick and applicable tools to modify your behavior for greater leadership skills.

Here are the 3 P’s for you to develop greater leadership skills based upon my findings:

1. Passion

If there is one thing that I found in most leaders, it is passion. They love what they do, they love talking about what they do and they love getting others involved in what they do. Passion has different ways of emoting. Some people move very quickly on stage with arms flaying, voice pitching from a diminuendo to a crescendo with 100 giant television screens behind them.

Remember Steve Jobs when the iPhone was being introduced? I’ve seen other people standing behind the podium speaking from written notes but the emotional intensity in the room grew thick and reaching the level of static discharge. I’ve seen everything in between. There is an old saying that we have a leadership theory and that is, “if you think you’re leading and you turn around and no one is following, you’re just taking a walk!” It is passion that prevents that from happening.

“Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.” – John D. Rockefeller

You may be asking yourself how you can develop more passion in your life and in your leadership repertoire. The answer to that is fairly simple but the application can be somewhat deceptive in its apparent simplicity. If you wait to feel passionate before you act passionate, you’re allowing outside circumstance to control your emotions. However, if you begin to act passionate even if, by chance you don’t feel it, you will begin to. Thus, it is better for us to act our way into a new set of feelings than it is for us to feel our way into a new set of actions.

2. Planning

All leaders are planners; it’s a requirement of the job. By virtue of leading it means that you must be planning for the future. Planning can in fact be learned and is not that difficult of a process. If you want to become a better planner study chess. Notice I did not say play chess, although that will be the natural outcome of your studying. Study chess and notice how the minds of the great masters develop a strategy and implant tactics around that strategy. Chess is an amazing process to develop planning skills.

Another thing you can do is think about how you planned your last vacation, or even a weekend getaway. Think about the steps you took, the research you did based on those steps and their outcomes. Both the study of chess and personal planning will assist you in developing planning for your leadership skills.

3. Persistence

Leaders never give up! If there is something they want, they find a way around, over, or through the obstacle. Too many people never develop their full leadership birthright because of the mental script running through their minds saying, “It’s too tough for me. I Should just go home and get a good nights sleep.” Leaders know that the only possibility of failure is in giving up. If you fall down 10 times but get up on the 11th, you have not failed 10 times – you have succeeded. Period!

You may be wondering how to develop that no nonsense, I will not be denied attitude of persistence. The real question is not how do I develop persistence, but how do I develop the courage to go after what I want? Persistence is a by-product of courage! When there is something that should be yours, developing the impassioned desire to obtain that through raw courage will develop sheer persistence.

“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” – Colin Powell

Maybe I should’ve included a 4th P with this article. That of POWER! The best thing I can say about power is that if you want a more powerful leadership dynamic, develop a repertoire that contains passion, planning and persistence. The three of them combined will be a powerful leadership punch that should lead you to getting what you want and assisting others in believing that they should follow you because there is great value in you leading them.

How do you define a leader? Comment below!

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Success Advice

The Secret Power of Storytelling That You Need to Know

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storytelling
Image Credit: Fortune

What does the power of storytelling mean to you? Do you visualize your mom or dad telling you a bedtime story, or do you think about an enjoyable summer read? Every single conversation that we have with an individual or group is us sharing a story about the past, present and future. If we have a product or service that we offer to others, we tell a story about it when we do a pitch or a presentation.

The reason why we tell stories is because we know the power of stories. We know how being able to tell a captivating story can affect and change the lives of the people for better or worse. Hitler used stories about the Jews in the 1930’s which caused Germany to rally the youth and the German people to go to war, and in England, the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, used the power of stories to rally the British in a movement of never surrendering to the Germans.

Not everyone knows how to tell stories

Our abilities to tell captivating stories is one of the greatest assets we possess. However the problem is that not everyone has the skills to be a good storyteller, and the ability to be a good storyteller is critical in our success whether it’s in our personal or business life.

The power of storytelling goes way beyond just our everyday conversations, it goes far beyond simply giving facts and data. Stories emotionalize information. They bring life and depth to otherwise bland material, and they allow people to connect with the message in a deeper, more meaningful way.

Tony Robbins, the world famous motivational speaker and strategist interviewed Peter Guber, the Chairman and CEO of Mandalay Entertainment whose films has earned more than $3 billion and over 50 Academy Awards nomination. Guber stated “emotion combined with information becomes memorable and actionable.  Where were you on 9/11? Chances are that you can remember exactly where you were when you learned about the tragic events that transpired that day. But if you had to think where you were the day before that – that memory is probably hazier. Because information attached to pain or pleasure creates an emotional connection that resonates within you.”

He goes on to also say “Keeping in mind that a story is not a monologue, but a dialogue, helps you to give your audience proprietorship. They become emotional owners of the story you are telling. Then they become advtes –oca of your product, your service, your business, your brand.”

The power of storytelling can transform lives when useful and relevant information is combined with emotions. The next time you speak to another person regardless of the situation, remember you are being a storyteller, because you are in the process of transferring information to that person or group.

“Stories are a communal currency of humanity.” –Tahir Shah

Our most powerful tool

Our ability to communicate effectively is the most powerful tool we have, and when we strategically use our communication skills to transfer bland information into masterful stories we also have the power to transform lives.

If done correctly, our stories will have a massive effect on our listening audience. It will inspire and influence them. It will move them to act. So never underestimate the power of storytelling. Make it relevant–connect emotionally, create a dialogue, and you will see why the power of storytelling is the most powerful tool you have.

Don’t just take my word on for it, Look at some of the greatest leaders throughout history

You will see that they all had the ability to tell stories and bring people together through their words. The greatest motivational speakers in the world use the power of storytelling to emotionalize their audience, because there is no quicker or more effective way to get your audience engaged.

Les Brown who has been one of my mentors and one of the greatest motivational speakers that has ever lived, uses stories masterfully. He shares stories about his upbringing in Miami, and how he and his twin brother were adopted at birth and he is somehow able to transition those stories into whatever relevant topic needs to be heard by his audience, but he first draws them in with his stories.

“Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.” – Les Brown

Jim Rohn, Zig Ziglar, Earl Nightingale, Tony Robbins, the list is endless, but one thing they all have in common is their ability to tell stories masterfully. Some of the greatest philosophers have told us that there is a blueprint for success, and obviously storytelling is part of that blue print.

There is no greater power that we possess than the ability to transform regular words into captivating stories that can take your audience on whatever journey you want to take them on.

Being a great storyteller is like being a puppet master, because when you can draw people in to your stories you will have your audience on a string taking them on any emotional roller coaster. The secret power of storytelling is to be treated with respect, because with great power comes great responsibility, and this power should only be used for good.

Do you enjoy storytelling? If so, do you have any techniques or advice to share? Let us know in the comments below!

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Success Advice

5 Signs You’re on the Right Path to Success

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success
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Every successful person had his own moment(s) of doubt. The road to success is full of obstacles and sweet hardships that will frequently make you stop and ask, ‘Am I on the right track?’ Even legends and billionaires had moments like that. Just imagine how 62 year old Colonel Sanders felt when he was rejected time and time again trying to franchise his famous chicken recipe.

It felt harsh and I bet he stopped, at least for a moment, to question his entire existence, not just the success of his business idea. But I also bet that there were probably some signs that told Sanders —and any other successful person— ‘You`re going to make it, just hang in there.”

Here are the 5 signs that will tell you whether you`re going to be successful or not:

1. You’re good at the consistency game

I don`t like the fable of the Tortoise and the Hare, and I believe that a restless hare would smash them both, but there`s a reason why that slow tortoise crossed the finish line; It`s called consistency.

Success eventually favors the most consistent, and if you`re not disciplined with the things that make you successful, then your chances to succeed are slimmer than Marlon Brando`s chances of winning the lottery (Marlon Brando is dead, and one of every 175 million tickets wins the lotto).  

Systems and routines (i.e., consistency), predict success, so take a look at your habits. Are they positive? Do you practice them regularly? If the answer to both questions is “Yes,” then sooner or later you`re going to be successful.

“The road to success and the road to failure are almost exactly the same.” – Colin R. Davis

2. You stopped having a toxic relationship with money

Success is no longer a zero-sum game to you; opportunities are everywhere, and there`s room for everybody to make money, including you. When you check the news, the success of other people no longer makes you envious. A celebrity buying a new mansion or a $150 million contract for a LeBron or Federer-like athlete, doesn`t bother you but instead makes you believe there`s plenty of money out there for ambitious, hard-working people like you. When you switch from worrying about not having enough money to having faith that you will make the money you want, then you know you`re on the way to success.

3. You know the right people

Another sign is having a big social network. I read it somewhere that business owners prefer to hire those they know over those who are skilled. Sounds skewed, I know, but it helps a lot if you combine your technical skills with excellent people skills. To want success is more like wishing to enter a nightclub on a busy Friday night. If you know the bouncers or have enough skills to befriend them, you won`t stay long in the line. The same thing happens in business, the more people you know, the easier it will be to find the right job, get proper funding and save time waiting in the line.

Social skills will help you more than you can ever imagine. There`s a guy I used to work with, he`s not that good looking, but he`s the slickest I`ve ever seen. When that guy hit rock bottom, he dropped out of school, bought a one-way ticket to Dubai, became a real estate agent and made his first million before reaching 30. I`ve also read about Michael Bloomberg who used to come to work at six in the morning to distribute coffee and tea to CEOs who come to work early when others are sleeping. For $.99 each, Bloomberg befriended at least a dozen bigwigs who later helped him launch a billion dollar business after he quit Wall Street.

4. You know what makes you tick

The successful people are better than most people at understanding themselves and overcoming —to a greater extent—the five foundations of poverty: sleep, fear, anger, laziness, and procrastination. They have worked on themselves so deeply and have made so many mistakes that they now know their soft spots as well as what motivates them.

Do you know what makes you sad, angry or excited? Do you know when you`re more likely to cheat on a diet or skip a workout? What are your strengths? Can you motivate yourself at will? And how? Having answers to most or, preferably, all of these questions will help you tap into your full potential and sets you on the path to massive success.

“All progress takes place outside the comfort zone.” – Michael John Bobak

5. You have faith

Faith in the yet to be seen, is a huge sign of success. When you think about the future, there should be a positive energy around you that says “I`m gonna make it.” You may not know exactly when you`re going to succeed, but you`re sure it’s a matter of time. This faith, or certainty, comes from having a solid plan – It`s when you know your goal, how you`ll achieve it, and how you`re going to react if things go south and deciding to believe in the unknown

If you think about it, hard work doesn`t always come as the first cause of success. It`s the faith that you`ll achieve the goal that makes you work hard, and thus, achieve the goal. I was reading a book on Michael Jordan by Roland Lazenby —who also wrote Kobe Bryant`s biography— and it stopped me that part of Jordan`s extraordinary success goes to expectations.

He expected every single ball he shot to go in. Jordan used that mindset over and over and didn`t stop when one of his shots was missed. He merely understood that even though nobody wins all the time, believing you`ll win every single time makes you win most of the time, which is enough to get a career like his. The most prominent success sign is the certainty. To believe, and act, as if you`re going to succeed, and then let that belief lead manifest into actions.

What are some things you do to say on track? Comment below!

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Success Advice

Instead of Always Trying to Be Right, Do This Instead

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stop trying to be right
Image Credit: Twenty20.com

A colleague of mine was obnoxious, over eager, and completely out of line. Yet, all of this was overshadowed by the fact he was just plain wrong. If he were to go through with it, it would derail the company by at least 6 months. Yet, arguing with him when he was in this state was of no use. While hitting him over the head with the laptop seemed appealing for a second, it was probably not a great long-term strategy for the business or my laptop.

Galileo once said, “You cannot teach a man anything, you can only help him find it within himself.” This is especially true when it comes to emotionally charged matters and negotiations.

When you are right, you become attached to that idea. It’s so clear, how can they not see it? Yet, your meticulously clear logic might as well be written in braille as your focus intensifies on proving yourself right, instead of reaching an agreement.

Below are 3 ways you can step out of your emotions and help someone find the right answer when money and time are on the line:

1. Separate the Person From the Issue

Imagine if a four-year-old child was adamant about something. You wouldn’t try to reason logically for hours in such a case. When trying to speak through a person’s emotions, often you might have better luck with the four year old.

In order to break this barrier you must stop seeing them as the problem and see the issue at hand. Instead of seeing the other person as stupid or obnoxious, try viewing them as simply lost or misguided. The job now becomes not to prove them wrong, but to guide them to the truth. Adopting this mindset changes your entire approach as you get out of your own emotions and take control of the situation.

“Each of us guard a gate of change that can only be opened from the inside.” – Stephen Covey

2. Show Them A Mirror

Somewhere in between trying to hammer a point, both sides usually forget to listen. No matter the situation, you must make sure that person is never you. Instead, shift the focus from “me vs you” and make it completely about the other person. Really listen and validate their emotions, creating enough trust and safety to begin a real exchange. Make sure they feel heard and slow the conversation down. When you slow the process down, you also calm down.

Remember, it’s not what you say, but how you say it. About 93% of communication is nonverbal, thus maintaining your body language immediately provides an edge. A playful (not childlike or mocking) voice puts someone in a positive frame of mind, where they are more likely to collaborate and problem solve.

Always remember to repeat back the most important three words from their sentence and make them elaborate on whatever they said. The more a person is allowed to speak, the more they feel heard. The more they feel heard, the more open they are to receive new information.

3. Lead With Empathy, Not Sympathy

Taking the time to make sure the other side feels heard and understood does not mean you bend to their will. It does not mean you give up, agree, feel sorry for, or even compromise. Empathy is the ability to recognize another’s perspective and the vocalization of that recognition. This is the difference between empathy and sympathy.

When you can label a person’s emotions in an argument, you seize the chance to discover what is behind those feelings. As you begin to drill down, you gain leverage. This should be done very gracefully. Instead of saying, I think you’re angry and being stubborn, trying saying, It seems like you are feeling frustrated because you really care about this and wish it was moving along quicker.

“Sometimes all a person wants is an empathetic ear; all he or she needs is to talk it out. Just offering a listening ear and an understanding heart for his or her suffering can be a big comfort.” – Roy T. Bennett

Using labels, you mold their feelings into words, moving information from the emotional part of the brain to the rational. Whatever behavior a person may be presenting, there is always an underlying feeling triggering it. Your job is to make the person aware of that feeling. The faster you do this, the faster you eliminate the risk of a complete breakdown in communication.

After their emotions are labeled, asking how or why calibrated questions allow them to solve their problems for you. In order to do this effectively you don’t need to study every type of calibrated question there is, but rather adopt a specific mindset. You are not their opponent, but a guide, leading the lost to the truth. Your truth.

In my case, the presenting behavior of my colleague was an obnoxious know-it-all attitude. However, the underlying emotion was fear of falling behind. Once I was able to stop asking the question, “Why is he doing this to me?” and focus on looking deeper, the conversation took a turn. The conversation was no longer about my ideas versus his, but about him and his fear.

Instead of arguing with me, he spent the rest of the time, essentially, arguing with himself. After helping him dissect his fear in the rational part of the brain, he realized that many of the worst case scenarios were highly improbable and acting hasty might exacerbate things. Most importantly, at the end of the conversation, he said, “I think I made the right choice.”

He believed that the decision was entirely his. He never acknowledged the fact that I was right and announced to everyone the sudden spark of genius that hit him. Yet, at the end of the day you need to ask yourself what is more important to you; being right or doing whatever it takes to win.  

How do you handle conflict? Let us know your tips and advice in the comments below!

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