Team, Group And Staff In A Meeting, Finance And Investments With Support, Project Feedback Or Negotiation. Business People, Collaboration Or Men With Women, Budget Planning Or Review Financial Report

In today’s fast-paced business environment, the ability to effectively motivate a team is more critical than ever, especially for Small and Medium-sized Businesses (SMBs) aiming for rapid growth or transfer of ownership. Many founders see their managers struggle with this aspect of leadership, which not only stalls their growth trajectory, but also makes leadership transition a challenge. We’ve all seen – or experienced – the problems that arise when a visionary and effective founder passes a thriving business on to a new generation of leaders and performance plummets. 

At Life Puzzle, we’ve developed a unique multi-tiered leadership training to address these challenges directly.

Here are the 5 Biggest Problems we see and how they impact motivation and action:

1. Lack of Clear Vision

Founders and business owners can usually articulate their vision clearly – which is why they are successful. Many managers don’t have that same level of clarity so they are unable to articulate a clear, compelling specific purpose for their team. We see this at every level which is why our training doesn’t just focus on ONE level of management – our multi pronged approach recognises that leadership is involved at EVERY level of an organisation, and we use that knowledge to accelerate growth. A study we conducted last year revealed that 70% of employees feel more motivated when they can clearly see how their work aligns with the company’s goals, so we create processes that bake in reminders and constantly refreshes alignment naturally.

2. Inadequate Skills in Recognizing and Utilizing Team Strengths

Every team member has unique strengths and weaknesses, but managers often struggle to recognize and leverage the strengths and account for weaknesses. Through our programs, managers learn to identify individual talents and delegate tasks accordingly, ensuring that everyone is primarily working in their zone of genius.

When anyone is asked to work in an area of weaknesses, managers are aware of this and able to offer appropriate support. This not only boosts productivity but also increases job satisfaction among team members.

3. Poor - or Inadequate - Communication Skills

Communication is the bedrock of motivation. A manager who does not communicate effectively in a timely fashion can expect misunderstandings, reduced morale, and a lack of direction. Communication is a skill that needs to be used and developed consistently – we call it a ‘use it or lose it’ skill. Misunderstandings occur, and pressure situations can interrupt normal communications but it’s very easy for managers to use these as an excuse to slip into bad habits, especially if they have a natural affinity for texting and email rather than picking up the phone or scheduling face-to-face meetings.

Our training modules include advanced communication skills, focusing on clarity, empathy, and active listening, equipping managers at every level with the tools to foster a more cohesive and motivated team.

4. Lack of Effective Feedback Mechanisms

Feedback is crucial for growth, yet many managers either avoid giving feedback or deliver it in a way that demotivates the team. We teach managers the art of giving and receiving constructive feedback that encourages growth and development, while also implementing continuous feedback mechanisms to promote a culture of continuous improvement. One of the most transformative elements of our approach is that managers learn how to receive feedback and train their teams to provide it effectively so that we effectively create ‘talent hotbeds’ after the form described in Daniel Coyle’s “The Talent Code”.

5. Inability to Inspire Trust and Sense of Responsibility

Trust and  a sense of personal responsibility are key to motivation. Managers often fail to create an environment where team members feel trusted and empowered to carry out their tasks. Our training emphasizes on building trust and empowering teams and the individuals within them. This fosters accountability and a sense of ownership among team members and it also relieves the need to micro-manage projects because the lines of delegation and the principles and processes have been clearly articulated.

Chandell’s Observations

“I remember the moment I realised that a multi-level leadership training could accelerate the transformation and provide a healthy culture in any organisation. I’d been working with one particular team for 2 years and their team members were asking for some tools to help them grow as well. 

The CEO agreed to a trial in one of the departments and at the end of 3 months the difference in productivity, motivation, and performance was clear. One of the unintended consequences of expanding the program throughout the company was that they suddenly had highly qualified candidates begging for job opportunities and their staff turnover dropped to nearly zero. A second unintended (but definitely hoped for) consequence was that clients were flocking to them as well so their revenues dramatically increased. It was like unlocking a new level of potential in both myself and the team.”

Why Choose Life Puzzle for Leadership Training?

At Life Puzzle, we don’t just talk about change; we create it. Our hands-on approach, NLP background, tailored content, and experienced trainers ensure that your managers and employees at every level, not only understand these concepts but also apply them effectively in their roles. 

Our goal is to transform every member of your organisation into present and future leaders who inspire, motivate, and drive growth.

Are you ready to unlock the full potential of your team? Let’s talk about how working with us can transform your future. 

Back View Of Man In Business Suit Giving A Speech On The Stage In Front Of The Audience

In a world where casual conversations abound and words are seemingly tossed around like leaves in the wind, it’s easy to believe that language holds little significance – until you run foul of cancel culture. But is that really all we need to worry about?

The notion that words are mere fleeting expressions is misguided – which is the reason why totalitarian regimes through the ages have redefined or eliminated words. You can see this in Soviet-era dictionaries, and it’s highlighted in George Orwell’s famous novel “1984” where the intentions of the ‘thought-police’ (actually word-police) is spelled. The reality of word-power for political and philosophical purposes is clear – let’s look at it’s place in our own communications and it’s impact on our ability to lead and motivate others effectively and excel in selling our ideas and products.

The Significance of Names and Words

Long ago, in many parts of the world and diverse cultures, one’s ‘true’ name was a closely guarded secret, shared only with those held in utmost trust. People were known by their ‘common’ names from birth but received their ‘true’ name, often during puberty or initiation, reflecting their inner character and gifts. Beyond names, words themselves held immense power, giving rise to the belief in spells and chants. These had to be carefully crafted to be effective in healing, harming, or creating.

Twentieth-century totalitarian regimes exploited slogans, chants, and the manipulation of language to brainwash and control people. Then came the advent of television, a medium that could sway and shape public perception. This history demonstrates the compelling influence of words and language on human behavior and thought.

Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)

In Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), it is asserted that the language we use significantly shapes our neurology, influencing the way we think, which then affects our actions and results. This concept underlines the idea that the words we use to describe ourselves, situations, or other people, matter deeply because they sculpt our perception of reality and make us more or less susceptible to external influences.

Consider this: When you are resourceful and empowered, you can uplift and empower others. Conversely, when you undermine yourself with negative self-talk, you inadvertently undermine those around you.

How might that truth affect people you lead and work with?

Mindful Language

If words truly matter, then it is imperative to be conscious of the language you employ when communicating with yourself, others, and in addressing various situations.

When was the last time you really reflected on the words you speak to yourself, to others, and the internal conversations and images you create when thinking about ideas and plans of action?

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  1. Self-talk: If you were talking to your best friend, would you say to them what you silently say to yourself? Choose to create a positive atmosphere and forward momentum by using language that you’d be comfortable with others overhearing.
  2. Conflict Resolution: How do you respond to a colleague, child, or relative (or yourself) when they have made a mistake? What words can you use to help them take responsibility and work toward a solution without feeling that they have failed for life.
  3. Reason and Action: How can you bring the voice of reason and constructive action into a world often filled with panic about global and local issues that wants to see everything in black and white.
  4. Acts of Kindness: What is something practical that you could do in a difficult situation to show compassion and thoughtfulness and help others know they have been heard – even if they won’t get what they want. Sometimes it’s as simple as offering a kind word, a tissue, or a cup of water, to let the person know you see them.

Remember, your choices, particularly your choice of words, may not move heaven and earth, but they can certainly bring sunshine into your life and the lives of others, thereby changing your life.

“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”
~ Mother Teresa

Your Words Matter to Your Business

Your words matter, not only in how you relate to yourself but in your leadership and sales endeavors. The way you communicate with others and frame situations can have a profound impact on your success.

Consider taking control of your linguistic patterns to shape your neurology positively. If you want practical guidance and support, Life Puzzle has programs that can help you build a vibrant internal culture where communication is both efficient and effective AND a strong sales culture to boost your revenue and profitability.

Contact us today to find out how we can help you grow. Click HERE to book a call with our coaches. 

Robot Hand Typing On The Computer. The Concept Of Artificial Int

“Your prospects and clients have their BS detector on high alert these days.
The old adage, ‘people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care’ has been heightened
by the growing fear that you might not even be talking to a human being.

The service businesses thriving right now are the ones who are
unquestionably human – even if that comes at the cost of perfection.”
~ Chandell Labbozzetta

In today’s rapidly evolving technological landscape, artificial intelligence (AI) has become an integral part of our lives. From voice assistants to autonomous vehicles, the influence of AI can be felt in almost every industry. However, a certain amount of suspicion has crept in alongside this transformation and your customers are asking…

What do I REALLY want?

Often, their answer is: a human being to talk to.

The Role of Human Communication

Human communication is the foundation of human society. It’s the basis of relationships and that indefinable sense of connection and communion. Today’s AI is pretty amazing, but neuroscientists have tested some of the most sophisticated models against a 10-month old baby… And the baby wins.

Of course, the baby can’t articulate everything that it absorbs from the humans around it, but unlike an AI artefact, it can learn and react without being trained. This is a crucial reality to keep in mind when it comes to the role of human-to-human communication in your business… An AI assistant will be more consistent, less likely to make mistakes (when properly trained), and more economical than a human, but if you don’t have humans available (warts and all) your customer service and long-term relationships with clients will go downhill.

AI as a Tool, Not a Replacement

Once you see AI merely as a tool rather than as a substitute for human interaction you are in a great position to make wise decisions about your sales and customer processes. AI can deliver output (the quality of which is dependent on the inputs it is given), but human communication goes far beyond the exchange of information; it encompasses empathy, emotional intelligence, and the capacity to understand complex ideas and evaluate intricate situations while relating to others. These qualities are essential for creating a motivated, productive workplace with a healthy culture and are the reason why in-person meetings, phone calls, and video calls are more effective than texts and emails in certain situations.

Amplifying Influence and Leadership Skills

As an NLP Master Trainer specialising in corporate training, I have witnessed firsthand the transformative effects of effective human communication in the workplace. By harnessing the power of personal communication, leaders can amplify their influence and inspire their teams in ways that are far more effective than the most persuasive email.

Here are the Three Facets of In-Person Communication:

  • Active Listening: Leaders who actively listen to their employees create an environment of trust and mutual understanding. By genuinely hearing concerns and ideas, leaders can foster a culture of innovation and collaboration.
  • Non-Verbal Communication: Body language, facial expressions, and gestures play a significant role in how our messages are perceived. A skilled communicator understands the importance of non-verbal cues and uses them to convey empathy and build rapport as well as to identify disapproval and resistance.
  • Verbal Persuasion: Leaders don’t just listen and observe, they also need to proactively influence others to embrace their vision and goals. Effective persuasion involves understanding the needs and motivations of your audience and tailoring your message accordingly.

Embracing the Union of Technology and Human Connection

AI technology is an exciting tool, but it’s just that. It is up to us to use this technology in a way that enhances human connection and supports our long-term goals. I’m noticing two distinct bands of response to AI:

  1. Those people who embrace it with excitement and want to deploy it at every possible point. I equate these people to the handyman who gets a new tool and wants to use it for every job – even the ones for which he already has a great tool;
  2. Those who avoid AI like the plague and see it as a danger to humanity’s ongoing existence. AI has its dangers – like therapeutic drugs – but rejecting all applications of AI out of fear risks missing out on its substantial benefits.

I believe we need to deliberately embrace a balanced approach which uses AI and yet maintains a distance. This is particularly true when you are leading an organisation and shaping the response of your team to innovation and future-thinking. Ask the questions you would ask for any other investment or new program or hire that you were about to make.

As you venture into the world of AI, make sure that you prioritise the development of your team’s communication skills and emotional intelligence because those are the characteristics that will set your organisation apart from competitors who leaned too far into jungle of robots and lost connection with their customers and staff.

Don’t Get Distracted by AI

In an AI-focused world, it is easy to become mesmerised by the capabilities of technology and dive down the rabbit-hole of possibilities that it offers. It’s definitely worth exploring these things and implementing them in your business. At the same time, unless your goal is to build a commodity business, you should always ensure that you are strengthening the human element of your business and prioritising efforts that inspire, motivate, and bring out the best in your colleagues and clients.

As creative leaders and effective managers, our goal is never merely to maximise efficiency. It is always to create a harmonious and prosperous workplace where people can flourish, grow, contribute, and make the world a happier and healthier place.

White Cyborg Finger About To Touch Human Finger 3d Rendering

“The greatest sales people in the world respect their buyers and leave them feeling confident that they have just made a fantastic decision that will help them achieve their goals more easily.”
~ Chandell Labbozzetta

The Impact of AI on YOUR Sales Numbers and Influence

AI is actually something of a red herring.

The truth is that we’ve all been using AI in the background for years without ever thinking much about it, but now it seems as though people are worried that it will take their jobs, their clients, and their business away. For some people that may be a real threat, but here’s the good news… It’s up to you whether AI is the promise of abundance or the threat of scarcity. That outcome is something you CAN control!

I’m working with sales professionals and leaders in many different fields who are using AI to accelerate and empower their sales results. For example, Jenny is using AI to locate ideal clients and research their background so that she can direct her conversations and focus on their highest goals. It has enabled her to get to a 91.3% close rate, more than doubling her sales value with less time spent and ensuring that she has a waiting list of highly qualified clients. Anna is using AI to motivate her team and help them track their performance more actively – as a result, individuals have discovered new strengths as well as ways to overcome weaknesses and plug the holes in their system. For both of them, AI has been the tool they never realised they were missing that enables them to fully use the human potential in themselves and their collaborators.

How is that possible?

It simply requires that you recognise what AI is good at and use it to help you track and perform those actions, while also letting your human side shine. AI is like your calendar or your PA on steroids – helping you plan and organise more effectively so that you have more time and energy to do the things you do best.

What Does it Mean to be Authentically Human in Sales & Leadership Anyway?

Scripts are powerful. They give us guidelines – rather like a rope in a cave – but when we depend on them too much, they turn human beings into tools and robots.

It doesn’t matter if you are delivering a formal sales presentation, having a phone conversation, or an in-person meeting… A script can be deadening or it can deliver results – depending on the other skills you bring to the conversation.

A recent example of this was shared during a session in which we played recordings of real conversations. It comes from a performance discussion:

Manager: How’s it going, Sally?
Sally: I’m having a terrible week, my cat had to be put down on Sunday.
Manager: Oh. (Brief pause) Well, how do you feel that’s going to affect your numbers this week?
Sally: (sounding disinterested) They’ll stay about the same.
Manager: Are you sure? I’d hate to see you lose your bonus.

I mean!!! Here you have two people face-to-face in the same room and all the manager can say is, “Oh!” before continuing on with the planned conversation. I’d have to say he deserves to feel threatened by AI because that was about as scripted and inhuman as you can get.

If Sally had been talking with a chat bot it might have at least been programmed to offer a response to her news about her cat.

As it happens, this manager has been passed over for promotion several times because he has not worked on his listening and conversational skills. He feels like he’s good at his job, organised, and cares about the company so he deserves a promotion. He doesn’t understand that leadership isn’t about competence as much as it is about influence which comes from being human and relatable.

I could have told you some equivalent examples from sales calls and presentations where the individual ignored the cues from his audience and pressed on with his prepared message. You can probably think of some yourself.

Effective sales people (and leaders) can tune into their audience, they know how to listen and pick out the key phrases or emotions others need to hear, and they can respond appropriately to other people and then return to their presentation or script gracefully, leaving the other person feeling they have been heard… And, therefore, open to listen in turn to what you are saying.

What is the Difference between Authentically Human Sales and Traditional Sales Strategies

“The person with the most flexibility controls the situation.”

Traditional Sales Strategies can be a little like the manager I quoted above – so focused on the script and the message that they can’t manage to deal with any variations. Really effective sales people may use the same strategies and scripts as others, but they have the ability to pay close attention to the person in front of them, to listen closely, and to make adjustments to their language, mannerisms, and the way the present the facts.

In a thriving economy, scripts and systems are incredibly effective, but when things get tough, it is the connection and relationship that dictates the outcome. That means that you need the flexibility of authentic humanity and the more powerfully you can project that, the more effectively you will be able to sell you product, service, or idea to others.

The era of heavily scripted and automated sales is over. If that is your preferred (or only) method of selling it’s time to expand your range… Or you really will be an AI casualty.

Leadership and Sales - the Power Couple!

If you think that your ‘Sales Team’ are the only ones who need to know how to sell your products and services then it’s time to reevaluate your approach. When I tell people that Sales is the #1 Life Skill, I often get pushback and a request to explain why I say that because it seems to me that when it comes to things people fear, if Public Speaking is the top contender and Death is second, then Sales is in third place. I get that… If you’re thinking of the pushy, sleazy sales tactics that are often associated with used cars and real estate…

BUT – the truth is that we are all selling

  • Ideas
  • Behaviours & Habits
  • Products & Services
  • Choices

… Unless we stand back and take the approach which lets other people dig their own grave if they don’t immediately resonate with the advice we offer.

Natural consequences are great teachers – yet, as parents, friends, colleagues – and certainly as leaders – there are many lessons we’d all prefer to have our children or others learn from advice rather than experience.

That is why leaders in every context need to hone their sales skills and their ability to choose the right examples, present them appropriately with language and images suitable for the person listening to them… So that you can deliberately and purposefully lead others to examine their options critically, choose wisely, and follow through diligently.

How to Accelerate Your Sales Skills in a Changing World

As I’ve mentioned previously, sales skills aren’t just about selling products and making money – and they’re certainly not about manipulating others for your benefit at their expense. If the idea of ‘sales’ leaves a nasty taste in your mouth then you probably need to make a determined and decisive effort to reevaluate your position.

If you aren’t averse to ‘sales’ but recognise that your current skills aren’t sufficient for the future challenges you anticipate then you probably already know that I’m going to suggest that you improve your ability to:

  • Listen actively
  • Ask probing and powerful questions
  • Accurately observe others’ behaviour
  • Use appropriate language
  • Build strong connections
  • Create powerful visions of the future

Your question is probably:

“How can I take my existing knowledge to the next level?”

My answer:

“Knowledge is not enough. You also need to practice, experiment, and get feedback.”

Which is why I’m excited that we can once again hold in-person events!

My Leadership Sales Summit is designed to guide you through this way of selling in an authentically human fashion so that both parties feel valued and end with a sense of satisfaction and a stronger relationship. This is not ‘merely theory’ it’s 2 days of solid practice and learning with the goal of enhancing your skills.

Click HERE to email the team and register for Early Admission and join us for this powerful and transformational experience.

Robot And Human Hand Making Fist Bump
Part 1 of this series can be found HERE: Unleash Your Communication Superhero and Boost Your Sales Naturally

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
~ Maya Angelou

“Every effective sales person knows that a script will only take you so far. Every parent or boss knows that you can’t argue people into commitment. Every leader knows the power of conviction and authenticity.”
~ Chandell Labbozzetta

More than Words - The Secret of Convincing Others Every Time You Speak

Mindset has become the new sales buzz word for a reason: we now have the tools to measure the impact a person’s emotional state has on those around them and we can see what happens  to participants when you walk into a sales meeting believing that you won’t make the sale.

In 2008, Alex Pentland published a book Honest Signals: How They Shape Our World based on his studies in non-verbal communications at MIT. While there have been other books on similar topics, this is the first publication to rely on brain technology and other tools to objectively measure these signals. He and his team measured the effect of that mysterious quality known as ‘charisma’ – a synthesis of mindset and comportment and discovered that they were able to make direct correlations between the depth and quality of the non-verbal signals people unconsciously emit and their results in:

  • Closing sales
  • Attracting grants and other funding
  • Getting buy-in for plans and ideas from colleagues, connections, and crowds.

There are two incredibly exciting implications of this research that apply to anyone who thinks of themselves as a leader (for whom sales is the #1 skill) or a sales professional:

  1. Every human being who chooses to do so can learn to amplify and project the kind of positive energy (charisma) that creates sales; and
  2. AI cannot project emotion in ways that humans connect with – even if they mimic emotional intonations and use the right words.

Emotional Quotient - Charisma - Mindset… The Secret of Creating Powerful Personal Connection

I’m not a big fan of buzzwords. They carry too many loaded (and often inaccurate) connotations although they can also provide a useful shorthand for complex ideas. However, the first two of these words (Emotional Quotient – Charisma) are usually used as a statement of a fixed attribute: you either have them or you don’t. This means that they are used to assess candidates for leadership or sales as a threshold, rather than as a skill that can be learned and expanded.

That’s like saying, “I’m bad at maths so I’ll never learn to count.” Or “I’m not built to run a marathon.” I bet that even Mozart struggled to play a tune the first time he sat down at the piano.

In my book, Confident Closing: Sales secrets that grew a business by 400% in six months and how they can work for you! I tell the story about the sales team I was assigned to transform and how a diverse group of ‘sales failures’ learned to create powerful personal connections and deliver sensational results. What I don’t mention in the book is that the exercise wasn’t actually a last-ditch effort to salvage a failing team… it was a calculated plan to lay off those team members as non-performers and to return the business to the 1980’s style pressure sales techniques preferred by the Head of Sales. I knew before I took the role that these talented people struggled to connect, but I believed that I could solve their problem – and I proved my point.

Recognising Bad Vibes - Learn How to Use Humour, Assertiveness and Empathy to Direct Difficult Conversations

You can’t always predict when a conversation that should have been straightforward will become unexpectedly tense and difficult – and even when you know a conversation will be challenging you can’t accurately discern all the twists it may take in advance. That’s why you need to develop your ability to read the body language, energetic field, and tone changes of your companions as well as their words.

If you are following a script – or AI prompts, – you may avoid the awkward silence that comes when your offer is rejected or deflected and you don’t know what to say next, but you will also lose the opportunity to discover what is really happening in your prospect’s life. Not only will that leave people feeling neutral or negative towards you, but it also eliminates the ability to scope out opportunities and initiate future conversations. There is no denying that AI is powerful and that it has many valid applications – BUT the best way to future-proof your life and career is to focus on creativity, emotion, and the skills that make humans human.

The Power of Attention in a Distracted World - Whether You are Selling Ideas, Leadership, or Products & Services Human Response Can Save the Day

The day may come when machines take over the earth and nothing human has any further value, but that is still a long way off. For the foreseeable future, there is no substitute for skilled human connection. The problem is that the fascination and safety of our electronic devices and communications has done a great deal of damage to our ability to read and respond to other people. While the sales and communication skills we teach at Life Puzzle are based on Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), we are not merely teaching a system or a set of scripts. We equip our clients with the ability to amplify their human skills and to accurately observe and respond to prospects in ways that build trust, liking, and confidence based on authentic communication.

If you’d like to learn more about amplifying your human superpowers and becoming an expert in active listening skills, join our email list and get semi-weekly emails with communication skills as well as regular updates on upcoming courses and events so you can become a communication superhero.

*Remember to check out Part 1 of this series HERE: Unleash Your Communication Superhero and Boost Your Sales Naturally

People Holds In Hand A Jigsaw Puzzle. Business Solutions, Succes

“There is enough pain and difficulty in most people’s lives. When you offer them a pleasurable escape and then deliver what you promised you will have a customer for life… The second part of that statement is what builds your reputation and relationship.”
~ Chandell Labbozzetta

Are you ready to take your business and relationships to new heights?

If so, then you need to hone your communication and relationship-building skills so that you can have more effective conversations and make lasting connections. STOP making excuses about your ability to communicate, be memorable, and make sales. Everyone can learn these powerful communication skills that will not only make you more influential but will also enrich every area of your life.

WARNING: Don’t Promise What You Can’t Deliver!

Sales and salespeople have a lousy reputation.
What negative images and impressions do you have around sales?
What adjectives do you mentally associate with sales?

Common examples include: used car sales people, real estate agents, MLM recruiters. Common adjectives include: sleazy, pushy, lying, deceptive…

As a sales trainer and the founder of Life Puzzle, a sales and personal development company, I often hear these negative stereotypes offered as reasons why people don’t want to participate in sales training. “I want to be authentic and genuine,” people will say – or… “I don’t want to force people into a decision.”

I agree wholeheartedly.

IF… you don’t believe that your product or service can:

  • Deliver what you promise,
  • Solve the problem that is keeping your prospect in pain, and
  • Offer a valuable return on their investment,

THEN… Find something that does. Don’t promise what you can’t deliver. Ever!

So… Now that I’ve delivered that warning, let’s talk about the key to effective sales and persuasion (which is the bigger context of sales) => Communication Skills

Discover Your Superpower - Identify Your Communication Strengths and Weaknesses

Good teachers start with an inventory of their students’ individual strengths and weaknesses even if they’re teaching a class. It doesn’t matter what skill you are talking about, this is a fundamental tool for helping your students make observable progress and it applies to communication skills as much as to anything else.

One of the things I look for in any trainers that I add to my team is an ongoing learning habit because that makes them better teachers. You see, habitual learners find creative ways to identify their own strengths and weaknesses and that enables them to identify them in others and give specific targeted feedback and analysis. This is especially important in communication because – for most people – their problem isn’t “communication” as a whole, it is specific parts of the communication process that they find challenging – for some it’s attention or focus; for others it might be body language or eye-contact skills; for others, it’s the words they choose.

Once you understand your own specific strengths and weaknesses in communication, you can take steps to enhance your strengths and overcome your weaknesses – and for most people that takes personal attention which is why people struggle to progress when they just buy a book or a course that doesn’t provide personalised feedback.

Put on Your Cape and Mask - Become an Expert in Body Language and Active Listening Skills

Just 7% of communication consists of the words used. The rest of your communication is non-verbal. That doesn’t make your choice of words UNimportant – but it doesn’t mean that you have more to work on than just your words if you want to enhance your communication skills.

I remember one student who couldn’t work out why people felt uncomfortable talking to him. Within minutes we identified the problem: he was making too much eye-contact and invariably people he talked to would break off the conversation as quickly as possible because it looked like he was trying to stare them out or hypnotise them. He had heard about making eye-contact and over-developed the habit. He didn’t break it at once, especially if he was interested and engaged in conversation, but as he became better at reading body language and active listening he was more attuned to his conversation partner and learned to read the signals.

Today, he uses eye contact appropriately to communicate focused attention, but he’s quick to perceive if others are feeling threatened and to adjust his technique appropriately.

Fundamentals of Communication SuperPowers

In Part 2, we’ll look at the communication strategies required to tackle difficult conversations, handle conflict, manage collaboration, and build strong durable relationships with colleagues and customers, but it all starts with a growing understanding of your communication strengths and weaknesses and your ability to read other people’s responses.

If sales is the #1 life skill, then confident and congruent communication is the heart of any successful sale – especially if it’s complex and your prospects might be confused about their options and alternatives.

One of the most frequent comments we get at Life Puzzle when we speak or conduct trainings is from people who think they are sales-allergic. We’ll hear things like, “I have never attended a course that had so many applications to my life outside work.” Especially during multi-day trainings we’ll hear accounts of the wonderful conversation they had with their spouse and how they resolved a long-standing dilemma (as well as the surprise sale they closed)… But my favourite story was the woman who arrived for Day 2 of her workplace training absolutely beaming: after five years of marriage, she had used her newfound skills to totally disarm her mother-in-law and get her to cook a delicious dinner rather than complaining about her daughter-in-law’s food.

Join our email list and get semi-weekly emails with communication skills as well as regular updates on upcoming courses and events so you can become a communication superhero.

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“Quality is never an accident. It is always the result of intelligent effort.”

~ John Ruskin

The Quality of Your Sales Training Affects Your Bottom Line

I was talking to a regional sales manager a few weeks ago about our sales training program and he told me the following story…

Like most growing companies, we invest in our sales teams consistently because we know that when our sales representatives are encouraged and successful our whole company flourishes. Last year we hired a well-known sales training company to deliver a 12-month program for us. It was an expensive contract, but we anticipated at least a 3X gain. Three months into the contract we noticed that our sales numbers had slumped and morale was slipping. Things got worse from there! It turned out that this well-known sales training company was doing 5 things that nearly destroyed the sales team in a very short space of time.

Sales Training Killer #1: An Ineffective System (or No System At All)

A sales system doesn’t have to complex, but you do need a system and it must be effective. Your sales system has three main purposes:

  1. Guide activity and ensure that sales representatives focus on the key products and prospects;
  2. Easy to use so that your people don’t resist the system and follow their own ways instead;
  3. Show real time results so that sales representatives can see what is working (or not working) and get feedback and guidance to change outcomes.

You might think that this is a no-brainer and that every sales training program would teach an appropriate, workable system, but that’s (unfortunately) not true.

Sales Training Killer #2: No Feedback Loop or Negative Feedback Loop

Again, this should be a no-brainer: every coach gives a steady stream of targeted feedback designed to improve performance and acknowledge positive efforts and results and effective sales trainers use the same methods. Sadly, this is uncommon and so people leave training sessions without any clear indication of whether they are implementing their new skills properly or not.

Sometimes, you’ll hear people say, “that doesn’t work” when what they really mean is, “I never learned that right and discovered years later that I’d completely misunderstood the concept or tool.”

Sales Training Killer #3: Boring Basics

The fundamentals of sales are exactly that… Fundamental skills that enhance your results. A great sales training program helps every participant to go deeper into those fundamentals and should give individuals a sense of momentum. After all, every day, every sales encounter (whether it’s successful or not) is a chance to learn and grow.

Michael Jordan practiced free throws every single day, long after he could score a shot while looking in a completely different direction. He used to say that he was still learning more about himself ands body every day. Successful sales training demands the same level of focused awareness as you tune into what is happening in your mental, physical, and emotional state rather than mechanically going through the motions.

Sales Training Killer #4: Focusing on Irrelevant Details

Details matter in sales… Until they don’t. Some sales training programs will zoom in on situational details that may or may not be relevant rather than focusing on the principles that drive your thinking in different situations.

Contrary to popular belief there is no single presentation style or script that will work for every person. As a sales trainer, especially when delivering an in-house program, poor programs focus on irrelevant specifics which leave sales personnel insecure and poorly equipped to handle a change in the product, a new objection, or merely a client with a different personality.

Sales Training Killer #5: Assume the Sale

You must go into every sales encounter with curiosity about your prospect and a genuine desire to determine whether your product is a good fit in terms of outcomes and budget. Yes, you need a positive attitude, but you also need to be ready to acknowledge that you might not have the best solution for them.

When you always assume the sale, discovering that your product/service does not fit their needs feels like a failure and that is discouraging. Effective sales training inculcates a positive curiosity and openness that generally leaves both sides feeling positive even if no sale occurs.

Marks of Successful Sales Training Programs

Identify sales trainers who focus on creative sales training techniques and train the principles of self-awareness, authentic communication, and open curiosity as well as proven systems that are easy to use and appropriately designed.

Expect an effective custom-designed training program to be designed around a 12-month series of modules so there is time to build skills and understanding. I’ve seen three-month accelerator programs deliver great results and then the company says we’ve got what we wanted so we won’t sign up for the next phase – this is a false economy. Every time that has happened results have stalled.

So all I can say is…

REMEMBER: sales are the lifeblood of your company. Don’t skimp on your training but keep your sales force sharp.

Australian Dollars And Wooden Calendar With Cubes Eofy

“In a rapidly changing economy, it is essential to have a robust sales strategy and leak-proof sales systems so that you build trust with prospects and clients and never resort to pushy sales tactics.”

~ Chandell Labbozzetta

Sales System Secrets that Position You for Success

Most businesses have pitifully weak sales systems.

That’s OK in a thriving economy – which is what we’ve experienced for the past 10 years or so, despite the stresses of the pandemic. When governments print money, business booms even while the underlying structures are rusting out, but eventually the time comes when you need to pay for everything you’ve borrowed. That time is here. Now.

Therefore… NOW is the time to pay attention to your sales system and ask: is it built to withstand an economic tsunami?

The truth is that you can build a sales system that is fragile or one that is robust. A fragile sales system will see your sales numbers slipping along with your market positioning, and your sales reps turning to desperate measures like discounting and manipulation. A robust sales system may see a slight decline in actual sales revenue, but it will see your reputation rising to new heights of leadership and authority, and your sales reps selling with integrity and confidence.

5 Keys to Your End of Financial Year Sales System Review

There are 5 Key Areas of Your Sales System that you should review as part of your EOFY procedures to evaluate the robustness (or anti-fragility) of your sales system:

  1. Team Morale and Confidence: this is not about whether your sales team is actually closing sales as much as it is about their confidence in the quality and value of your product or service.
  2. Client Needs Evaluation: in a changing environment are your product development people listening to what the sales people are telling them and acting on the information. Do you have mechanisms in place to process this information effectively?
  3. Offer and Pricing Review: based on the information provided by the clients, is your offer as finely tuned as possible and is your price reflective of the value you deliver – and yes, even in a shaky market, raising prices is an effective way of making more
  4. Sales Tools and Training: check that your sales tools are fit for purpose and your sales team are receiving the support and training they need to use them effectively. Ineffective sales tools and inadequate communication skills are a big reason why sales teams turn to pushy techniques and feel unsupported.
  5. Key Metric Tracking: ensure that you are only tracking the 3 key metrics that are leading indicators of your sales success so that your sales team focus on needle-moving activities and can see their upcoming sales success.

EOFY is the most important time to review your sales systems and ensure that they are set up to deliver more sales with less effort and a higher quality of clients. This goal is always important, but it’s especially important when the economy is stressed and inflation and economic slow down are the predominant forecast.

Sales Systems and Processes for a Slowing Economy

As money tightens, team morale and confidence are important keys to your profitability, but nothing boosts morale and confidence more than having robust sales systems and processes to fall back on. This is because even if the flow of leads slows down, these sales systems enable your team to avoid the kind of strident pushy sales techniques that are commonly associated with the confidence crush of the Eighties.

I’ve always said that when your sales system is designed to foster scale rather than growth, not only can you grow your business dramatically in good times (without overworking your staff), but you are also set up to prosper in tough economic times as well because your system has built-in rewards for the team by measuring the key elements of a sale that they can control and it also has checks and balances built-in so that your team can operate at maximum effectiveness.

Confident Conversion 90 days to More Clients, More Cash, and More Impact

In this 90-day program we cover essential strategies to design and build a robust and scalable sales system to prepare your sales team for success in a challenging economy by addressing mindset and communication tools, as well as a powerful sales strategy that delivers results.

Learn more about Confident Conversion: 90 days to More Cash, More Clients, More Impact HERE.

“When I thought about building and training my team and all the hoops and processes I would have to follow I was overwhelmed. It wasn’t until I met someone who turned that nebulous list of ‘this is what you need’ into a structured system for doing it that my hiring and training became easy.”

`~ Chandell Labbozzetta

From Nebulous Goal to Clear Process

Several years ago my business was struggling. I was great at my sales metrics, but didn’t have a system for making my financials visible and between my book keeper, my admin staff, and my accountant, it was just too hard to track everything.

It wasn’t until I stepped into a program where I was guided to set up my bank accounts and buckets strategically, accountable for my reporting, and given/introduced to the tools for visualising everything in a systematic way that my results really changed.

It was a powerful lesson that changed the way that I implemented my own sales training programs.

Applying the Model to Sales Training

I took my learnings from that experience and applied it to the way I help clients build and implement their sales systems. Using the model of the financial accountability program to walk people through the process, I also added one key element: I included the training of an additional person (2IC or sales manager) into the program. You see, a business owner or founder needs to be on top of everything to do with sales, but they don’t necessarily want to do it all themselves forever… Or have to train their replacement.

  • So my sales training program included:
  • Theory of what, why, and how
  • Clear steps and processes for every step of the sales system
  • Tools for execution and measurement
  • Language tools and personalised guidance on developing your system AND…
  • Inclusion of a key team member in the program = Game Changer!

That last element means that while the owner knows everything that is going on, they aren’t responsible for execution or training (unless they want to be).

What About Training Your Team?

I loved this concept so much that it’s the kind of program I look for when it comes to refining and expanding every aspect of my business. So, when I thought about tools for recruiting and training my team, I knew I wanted something similar – a program that would waIk me through all the steps, help me build the systems, and allow someone else to attend alongside me – the person who would be responsible for implementing this. I knew that I needed to be aware of the whole process and able to support my team, but I really didn’t want to do it myself… And what I found was that such a program really doesn’t exist – so if you find one, let me know.

Sometimes Theory is NOT Enough!

The reason that group programs with synchronous trainings are so powerful is that they give you accountability and a forum for asking specific questions. A good trainer will answer individual questions fully, but also provide insights that help everyone else in the group apply the same information in their own context.

The ‘pressure’ of showing up live is also good for accountability, but really that level of motivation is only a tiny fraction of the story. A group program also gives space for every business to have more than one head in the room, which means you multiply the impact you bring back into your business without overloading your founder/CEO.

Think about it next time you sign up for any business development program and look for ones that actively encourage a second person to attend alongside as part of the package.

“When Marla stopped thinking that other people needed to change to fit in with her preferences and accepted that she was the only person whose transformation she could control, opportunities sprang out of nowhere and came rushing to her.”

~ Chandell Labbozzetta

You Are Getting the Results You Deserve!

Last week I was talking with a friend whose partner (let’s call him Adam) owns a transport business.

You probably know that there are some major issues within the logistics and transport business at the moment, especially in Australia where interstate border closures have made transporting goods a little complex.

Anyway, apparently Adam’s business is doing really, really well and he hasn’t been plagued by any of the driver strikes or difficulties that other companies are facing. When he talks to colleagues in the industry, they’re all complaining about their situation, and when he says he hasn’t experience any of it they ask, “So, what are you doing?”

It sounds as though they really, truly want to know the answer.

Until he tells them what he’s doing… And the disbelief and objections start to flow.

Adam isn’t hiding his secret, nor is he lying about his results. It’s just that his colleagues and competitors aren’t willing to do what he is doing.

They’d rather live with the results of their decision.

The reality is that they are getting the results they deserve.

I’m Really NOT Being Mean… Just Honest

Craig is a friend who runs a very successful manufacturing business. He’s the kind of person who wants others to succeed, and who believes that the economic pie is infinite, so he even coaches and advises his competitors.

Last year, one of his competitors called and asked Craig if he would buy his business because he was sick of struggling. They went for a drink at the pub and Craig asked some more questions about what was going on… when he heard the story he asked the guy if he really wanted to sell, or whether he would prefer to turn things around himself.

“Tell me more…” said the guy. So Craig sketched out a comprehensive plan to turn things around in 90 days, just by calling suppliers and existing clients, contacting the ATO, and some other really basic steps that were within his control.

“Is that what you’d do?” he asked Craig.

When Craig said, “Yes, that is what I’d do, and it’s what I’ll help you do if you want me to,” he replied, “It’s all yours, mate.”

Ninety days later, the failing deadweight was already profitable, and it has since become immensely profitable as it’s own entity.

Craig is one of those people who are willing to do what other business owners are not. I bet you know both these types of people – all of them getting what they deserve.

It Happens in Sales, Too.

The difference between a star sales representative and one who is just surviving (or ready to quit) has very little to do with talent or opportunity.

Time and time again, I’ve worked with people who complained about the area they’d been given, or the product they’d been assigned to, and blamed external factors for their results. There are two common transformations that happen:

They follow my input-focused, action-oriented sales strategy and start making sales;
Their area or product is assigned to another sales representative who turns their ‘sales desert’ into a ‘sales oasis’.

Maybe you’re selling a dud product or service that nobody wants and you don’t believe people should buy – if that’s your situation then you should quit because you won’t be happy selling things in which you don’t believe.

If that’s not your situation, then I am 100% confident that the real problem you’re facing stares back at you out of the mirror each day.

The GOOD thing about that is that… YOU have 100% CONTROL over that problem… IF you want to solve it.

Once again… You’re getting what you deserve.

Are You Willing to do what Other People are not willing to do to get Extraordinary Results?

Maybe you need to…

  • Change your sales strategy;
  • Master new sales and communication skills;
  • Find new sales networks;
  • Solve your sales problems in different ways;
  • Work hard now, to create more choices in a few months;
  • Change your sales team;
  • Use different sales materials and approaches;

Many people are stuck in their problems because they aren’t willing to step out of their comfort zone in pursuit of different results.

What would change if you accepted that you are getting the results you deserve right now and that if you want different results, you need to change your thoughts and behaviours?

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