Category: Goal setting

Staying at Home Doesn’t Mean Stuck at Home

 

In my work as a motivational pharmaceutical sales speaker, one of the most often asked questions I hear these days is, “With all of this social distancing stuff, I’m stuck at home. How can I do my job?”

The answer is that the challenge isn’t one of distance, but of mindset.

Limiting Contact, Not Determination

We are in an unusual time, between vaccine availability and rising cases. Chances are your company is asking you to stay home. As well, many healthcare providers are not only overworked, they want to limit outside contacts.

The temporary new normal turns pharma sales into a major challenge especially if you are selling a new drug and need to provide samples, demonstrate, educate or provide safety information. If things were not tough enough, we all know that patients are fearful of office visits and have cut back on them. This affects prescriptions.

Pharmaceutical industry writer Jessica Merrill commenting on the impact of social distancing on sales stated (November 13, 2020) that:

“The impact of curbing sales reps and medical liaison interactions could be felt more heavily for drugs that rely on hospital-based physicians…many hospitals are limiting access, restricting the ability of company reps to enter the facilities. Primary care physicians too are fielding increased calls from concerned patients.” The sense of urgency to see patients has lessened as, obviously, are educational dinners, trade shows and the like.

If you are allowing tough times to discourage you, it is time to reset your thinking.

Drugs are still being launched. Education is still critical. Your competition is still out there. Are you determined to sell in tough times? Do you have the daily grit to see it through?

When One Road is Blocked, Find Another

Jessica Merrill talked about “Short-Term Triage, Long-Term Impact,” and she is correct. What you do now will impact on your success in the months and years to come. It is a matter of developing a vision of success.

Now, and certainly for the foreseeable future, most sales reps will have to rely on the virtual and digital space to communicate. According to industry statistics, during “normal times,” about 50 percent of the time healthcare providers are receptive to sales calls. However, in these times only 10 percent will open a sales email. That’s quite a drop. How do you get around it?

The key is creativity. Find more engaging approaches to communicate. Out-hustle the competition through committed customer support. Work at show-casing your products in a fresher way or with a more research-based approach or a more interactive method. The point is to be determined to set your company apart and above.

Keep in mind that virtual communication is largely in its infancy. We are on the verge of change. What is necessary now may become an accepted and permanent change in the years ahead.

The pharmaceutical industry has been looking for ways to lower costs and reach more customers for years. A mixture of innovative digital approaches combined with in-person calls could move the industry needle toward greater efficiency and impact.

Through vision, determination and the daily grit to rise above the obstacles that confront us, you and your sales team may well change the sales model forever. Staying at home doesn’t mean stuck at home, it means seeing possibilities from no matter where you sit.

 

Scott Burrows, Pharmaceutical Sales Motivational Keynote Speaker is booking appointments for in-person and virtual meetings and events. Contact Scott today through this website today or call: (520) 548-1169

Be Determined to Be the Difference in Real Estate Sales

 

As a virtual motivational speaker for those in real estate sales, I know that “the numbers” don’t tell the story. In 2019, about 6 million new and existing homes were sold and there were about 1.4 million realtors. Sounds easy, right? Hardly.

Along came February 2020 and COVID-19. A tough profession got tougher.

In the best of times, turnover is huge. Almost 75 percent of new agents fail in the first year, and nearly 9-out-of-10 fail after five years. In this time of pandemic, everything has become harder, from the first showing to the final handshake (complete with masks and hand sanitizer). Without determination, you can become a statistic.

Now for the Good News

Due to the pandemic, in many markets the demand for housing is exceeding the supply. Interest rates on home loans are at historic lows, and home prices, which dipped at the front-end of the pandemic, have recovered and are approaching pre-pandemic levels.

It may be tougher to sell a home right now, but those professional realtors who have a positive mindset, the determination to succeed, and the daily grit to be successful can be successful.

In terms of positive mindset, every realtor must re-dedicate themselves to education by being more knowledgeable than the competition. You must be an expert on your market through research and understanding the market forces. In these times, you must become an expert in every aspect of virtual sales. “Not knowing” the new tools of communication such as video-conferencing platforms will immediately work against you.

The determination to succeed means offering your clients the best customer service they have experienced in any sales setting. Whether you are asked for a recommendation on a low-cost trash hauler to someone who can restore antique Victorian wainscoting, the more you can convey your command of the business the better (even if the question is outside the normal).

It comes down to being a professional. Are you determined to being in the professional elite?

Having the daily grit to overcome the challenges and to make a human impact in the life of every one of your valued clients will set you apart. We all know there will be good days and bad; things will fall through, and the unexpected may happen. Those without grit may fall apart. Those professional realtors with grit will fight their way through any adversity.

Something to Keep in Mind

Professional realtors have been around since 1900. Realtors have sold through wartimes, peacetime, recessions, inflation, The Great Depression, pandemics, and in the aftermath of floods and fire.

Professional realtors have enjoyed success despite hardship. They have done so by having the mindset, determination, grit and absolute dedication to ethics and personal integrity. They are dedicated team members and unselfish in their roles. You can succeed if you are determined to be the difference and rise up to make the difference.

 

Scott Burrows, Real Estate Sales Virtual Motivational Speaker is booking appointments for virtual sales meetings and events. Contact Scott today through this website today or call: (520) 548-1169

In Sales, Some Things Change; Resilience Doesn’t

 

As a motivational speaker on resilience and grit, I know that of the many qualities a salesperson needs, resilience – and the daily grit to remain resilient – are never mentioned enough. Perhaps it’s because resilience, the skill of being flexible, isn’t thought of as being cool. It is, and in fact, business resilience yields huge benefits.

Get Tough

I’d like to open these thoughts on resilience and grit by quoting Gary Galvin, CEO of Galvin Technologies:

“While salespeople will find success when they lead with empathy, they’ll find greater success when they respond with resilience.”

He is on the money. When I was in the insurance and financial services industry, I qualified for the Million Dollar Round Table through the resilient pursuit of my sales goals. Of course, I was sympathetic to situations involving my clients, but it was far more important to be flexible to their needs, and to put in the effort to immediately respond to questions and changes.

If I was going to be successful as a salesperson, I had no choice but to develop a flexible mindset.

Michael F. Kay, wrote an article for Forbes magazine (11/7/17) entitled: “Resilience Is A Mindset Of Awareness And Practice.” Kay listed several ways in which this mindset can be nurtured. Among the top methods for cultivation of resiliency are increasing our sense of control: you are not powerless when your sales plans change, you can change with it; it is important to maintain perspective in a changing situation; and you must develop a positive self-concept.

I would also add that if you are part of a sales team, associate with those who also have a flexible mindset. It is easy to be surrounded by negative or inflexible people. They cannot help you. The winners on your team will see opportunity even in adversity.

Get Gritty

However, to be resilient also requires the grit to keep going and to see the big picture rather than the immediate problem. Kori Miller, writing for Positive Psychology, presented a wonderful summary of grit as a component of resiliency:

“Grit is about sustained, consistent effort toward a goal even when we struggle, falter, or temporarily fail.

Resilience is our ability to bounce back after we have struggled, faltered, or failed. It is being able to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, take a moment or two to collect ourselves, and then get back to the business of pursuing our goal. It involves optimism.”

We cannot be resilient without grit nor can we possess a “gritty mindset” without resilience. As any successful salesperson knows, in real life we may misquote an important benefit, miss an appointment or inadvertently park in the CEO’s parking space. Those things unfortunately happen. It is how we respond to those struggles that count, whether it amounts to making a detailed correction, profusely apologizing (without fabrication) or sending a dozen roses.

In the end, resiliency and grit are about the courage to stand up after you have been knocked down and to keep smiling.

 

To hire Scott Burrows, Inspirational Keynote Speaker on Resilience and Grit for your next industry meeting, connect with his office today through this website or by calling: (520) 548-1169

 

Adversity Builds Character: What You Can Learn From It

It’s not too much of a stretch to say that you’ll find very few people who actually appreciate adversity. Why would anyone want that? No sane person would want problems. And often, people wish for the day they have everything they desire, no wishes left ungranted.

To many, that’s the very definition of heaven: a place of bliss and peacefulness without disease, war and want. So, who in his right mind would want adversity?

Adversity is the opposition to progress — or so it seems.

The idea that adversity actually builds character and a more meaningful life has been around for more than two thousand years. The first inkling of such an idea seemed to have come from the ancient Greeks, specifically the Stoics. We now think of someone as “stoic” if they face adversity with a positive attitude (or at least without complaining).

So yes, adversity can build character. But how does that work? Why do problems present an opportunity to build one’s person, one’s character?

Stoics would say the obstacle is the way. The idea is that in facing an obstacle, one learns important lessons about themselves — about how they approach and solve problems. It’s not such a far-fetched idea if you think of it this way: An obstacle isn’t just a meaningless challenge or an annoyance, but also represents your limits. The obstacle literally refuses for you to pass unless you find a way around it, over it or through it.

The very experience of meeting your obstacle head-on and thinking about where you want to go opens up new avenues of thought, new ideas, new perspectives. The mind is a problem solver. It desires to uncover any question, any challenge and any problem. And from that new set of thoughts come new beliefs about your abilities, about how you treat others and what your responsibility is to them and yourself, and about your purpose.

This belief gives birth to a new resolve about your purpose, your desires and your actions. It all comes together into a conviction that turns into a strength that is visible for everyone around you to see. When you embrace the challenge that adversity places in front of you and do your best to overcome it, you have literally taken on a new character.

If you let it, adversity opens you up to a new life where your thoughts, words and actions bear new fruits you never would have thought possible. That’s how adversity builds character, which, in turn, leads to a new life with bigger and better possibilities.

Take a look at real-life adversities people are facing every day. Real people are facing real problems. How can this adversity lead to character development and a better life?

For one thing, there are no guarantees in life. But as long as you don’t give up on yourself and on others, there’s always a possibility — and opportunities are still there to be had. The realization that you’re not powerless even in a tough situation is incredibly empowering and transformative.

The reality is there are people in the world today who have faced similar adversity to your own, and somehow they overcame them. They might say that there seems to be some luck or fate playing its part. But I would like to think more often than not, we create our own luck or at least set ourselves up to have a “luckier” outcome.

If you open yourself up and let the adversity you’re facing shape your perspective in a positive way, you too can find a path that not only helps you deal with the problem at hand, but actually changes your character for the better.

To contact Scott Burrows, Inspirational Overcoming Adversity Speaker, contact his office today through this website or by calling: (520) 548-1169

What Will It Take for You to Reach Your 2020 Goals?

 

The Mindset of Success

As a motivational speaker on setting sales goals and sales achievements, I am a believer in developing a goal-setting mindset before anything else, and having the determination to see it through. I am not alone in this way of thinking.

Business writer Jason Alten recently discussed what he considered to be the seven most important goals for any sales person to reach their full potential. The first goal was simply this: “Start with the end in mind.” To quote in part from his comments:

“Ask yourself what the end result you’re looking to realize is so that you can make decisions and set goals that will help you get there. Too often businesses set goals that aren’t connected to the overall vision of where they want their business to be in a year, or even the next quarter.”

If you lack the mindset, the overall vision to define where you want the business to go in the months ahead, as well as the determination to reach your long-term goals, the results could be poor at best.

Kristen Baker in her sales article entitled, “The Ultimate Guide to Setting and Hitting Sales Goals” asks:

“What’s one thing virtually every business does — no matter their industry, target customer, or product or service? They set goalsGoals ensure employees are driven, on-task, and producing work that impacts the business’s bottom line. They also ensure your business is constantly striving to grow, improve, and most importantly:  boost revenue.”

Who Will Take Charge?

While both Jason Alten and Kristen Baker are correct in that without having the mindset and the determination (or drive) to set goals there will be lackluster results, I would add an additional dimension.

When I began in sales. I had only recently been discharged from rehab after an automobile accident that left me a quadriplegic. In the hospital, going through months of rehabilitation, I realized it wasn’t just a matter of mindset and vision, or even determination that would see me through, but the daily grit to make that happen.

My physicians and physical therapists could only do so much for me. It was up to me to develop the grit through good days and bad to reach my goals.

I was successful in the financial services and insurance sales industry; in fact, in just five years I made it into the industry’s Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT). I applied the same lessons I learned in my rehabilitation to setting my sales goals in as a financial adviser.

I had to develop the vision to see myself getting better each day, the mindset to do what needed to be done to realize the vision, and the determination to endure the many sessions and the pain associated with the rehab. But what moved and sustained me was the grit to grind it out and tell myself that some days would be good and some days would be rough. There was no choice but to keep going.

Grit must come from within. Grit will help every sales person reach their goals. The best of the best will have rough days, and grit will encourage you to stand up to it. Grit makes each sales person better than they ever thought possible. No one can give you grit, you must make it happen.

 

Meeting Planners: to book Scott Burrows, Inspirational Speaker on Setting Sales Goals and Achievements for your next meeting, contact him today through this website or by calling: (520) 548-1169

Staying Focused and Resilient: What is Your Blueprint for Success?

In my addresses as a graduation and commencement keynote speaker, I frequently ask my audiences if they have the determination to stay focused and resilient in mapping out their blueprints for success.

“Staying focused” has become more difficult than ever. In a recent psychological survey that came out of Canada, 89 percent of workers, mostly Millennials, claim they waste time at work. Eighty-five percent of Millennials and Gen-Y admitted to being on the internet (for personal reasons) at work. Yet, here is the odd-ball statistic: 84 percent say constant work interruptions make them unhappy.

The Lack of Focus

In a 2018 study by Baylor University, 60 percent of college students “admitted” to being addicted to their cell phones; about 10 hours per day for women and 8 hours per day for men.

While I am not bashing the internet, cell phones or college students, we have entered an age of serious distraction. As I relate in my keynotes on staying focused and resilient, if our blueprints for success include welcoming distraction, a lack of focus and an absence of priorities, we welcome a career path that reassures a lack of direction.

Writer Jason De Mers for Entrepreneur magazine studied this increasing lack of focus. One of his conclusions concerned prioritization:  “You could also have trouble focusing simply because you aren’t sure what you should be focusing on. The typical entrepreneur (worker or student) has dozens of tasks on his or her plate at all times. So, if you’re one and unsure what to do next, you might jump among tasks frequently, leaving them half-finished, and only dedicating half your attention to any of them…you’ll need to work to establish a firmer system of prioritization.”

Interestingly, the lack of focus leads to a lessening of resiliency. If we focus on prioritizing a series of important tasks, for example, applying for grad school, getting into shape, raising our GPA or looking for work after graduation, and we are constantly distracted, the results will be a lessening of concentration and that leads to failure of the task.

Being focused on a priority allows alternative ideas, other paths or an expansion of knowledge to take place. Without focus, there is no vision, only scattered thoughts; without determination and the grit to push away distraction, there will be a lessening of results.

When I found myself in a hospital bed a quadriplegic, I was determined to get as well as my body would allow. I allowed myself the vision to see movement and daily improvement in my mind and body. I knew that through good times and bad I would need the intensity to be successful. I blocked out distraction and focused on the challenge at hand.

In speaking at graduations and commencements I issue the same kind of challenge to the graduates. In developing your blueprint for life, there will be hundreds, if not thousands of interruptions. There is a choice:  give in to the distractions or be passionate about your priorities.

 

Contact Scott Burrows, Graduation and Commencement Keynote Speaker on staying focused and resilient, through this website or call us at: (520) 548-1169

 

You May Be Your Biggest Competitor

Speaking to sales teams or individual sales reps about overcoming objections, I like to casually ask this question: “Just out of curiosity, who is your biggest competitor?” Most will answer, “In my space, it is ‘X’.” They will name a specific company. Yet, every once in a while, one person will answer “It’s me, Scott, my greatest competitor is the person I have to look at in the mirror.” To that person, I give a knowing nod and smile.

Look Deep Within

It is Bill Gates who is famous for saying “I am not in competition with anyone but myself. My goal is to improve myself continuously.” He is right.

Sales, as we should know, is not a business skill, but a way of life. In effective selling I believe we must overcome objections to ourselves first, and then to our family, friends, prospects and ultimately, customers. I first learned this valuable lesson in the most unlikely of places, the hospital, after a life-changing diagnosis and in front of the toughest customer I would ever face — myself. After an accident I went from being an athlete to a quadriplegic. I learned to see myself in wellness and not as a disabled person; to not pity myself when I measured progress in quarter inches, not feet; and to overcome negativity and the hundreds of excuses I could have made for myself. I had a choice to overcome objections or give into them.

It was during my recovery that I took a sales position in the financial and insurance industry and within five years I became a member of the Million Dollar Round Table.

Don’t Invite Me to the Pity Party

In life, there are always people who will say, “I wouldn’t blame you if –” (you gave up, or quit this job, went into another field, or moved away). These are often the same types who will convince themselves that the competition is too much, or the product or service your team is selling is inadequate.

I first encountered this attitude in rehab.

They would wrap their pity in comments telling me they never thought I could have come “this far,” or to accept what couldn’t be changed. I chose not to listen. I knew there were still improvements I could make to my health challenge and to not accept that I had done all that I could. I was learning important lessons of overcoming sales objections.

Just as a lawyer never asks a court witness a question they can’t already answer, as a sales person there should be no opposition to a sale you can’t answer. In fact, before going into any presentation know exactly how you will respond to an objection.

If you don’t know information on the customer before you call on them, chances are the sale is lost before you make it. When I was in rehab, I could have defined myself as someone with a terrible back injury. Instead, I studied everything about my injury, I asked a thousand questions and I was determined to understand that no two injuries are identical. It gave me a well-spring of optimism and a commitment to always do my best. I didn’t know how far I could go; I only knew that in terms of my own life or in selling against competitors, I could do more than accept a situation; I could overcome the challenge in front of me. Of course, I learned a sense of acceptance, but the acceptance was never based on pity. If I had a bad day in rehab or lost a sale, I knew the next day would be better. It always was.

Truth is, I have had more good days than bad. I faced down the toughest competitor I ever had and sold him on the future.

 

Contact Scott Burrows, Keynote Speaker on Overcoming Objections for Sales Teams through this website or call us at: (520) 548-1169

Why is Building a Great Team So Difficult?

 

In delivering keynote addresses and workshops across the country on teamwork and what it takes to build a great team, the common refrain is always, “Scott, why is it so darn difficult?” It is, and I might add it’s not your imagination.

Bill Green, writing for inc. magazine (March 20, 2018) noted: “The only way to build a winning team is to recruit and train people you believe can manage different parts of the ship without needing you to handhold them through every decision. This means thinking hard about how you can teach them to make their own decisions.”

Building a great team often requires the leader, the manager, or chief executive to lose ego and have the vision to allow her people to succeed or fail on their own merits.

The next question I usually encounter is, “Scott, suppose the team becomes so effective they no longer need the manager?”

That’s the point, isn’t it? How can a team develop the determination to rise above the task ahead of them if the leader always sticks in his two cents to auto-correct even the most minor detail? Assuming the manager has hired good people, why not have the faith that they will develop the grit to accomplish the task they’ve been given?

Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses

Building a great team does not mean, of course, that there is no communication between the manager and the team. In fact, it is the opposite. There must be constant communication. The leader must have the determination to never let the team down in terms of supplying information and communication. In turn, every team member must apprise every other member (as well as the manager) of every development. This is where trust comes into play.

No team can function without honesty, without an understanding of everyone’s strengths and weaknesses. This is not a bad thing. Again, quite the opposite. Honest evaluation doesn’t make one team member “weak” or another “strong.” It makes everyone more effective and valued. It also helps the team to be more organized and efficient.

When a team has the shared vision to be successful, and to sublimate ego to achieve an excellent group outcome, it leads to a sense of mutual support and an amazing flow of fresh ideas. Ideas rarely spring to life from thin air. They build on other ideas. When a team is determined to work together, it is not uncommon for “creatives” to have excellent technical questions or for technical minds to suggest amazing marketing ideas. As a keynote speaker on teamwork, to me, one of the saddest things is when team members admit they were so disappointed in the group that they intentionally withheld ideas.

The shared vision of everyone on the team to be successful and to make a difference is self-fulfilling. When a team is successful on one project, they are highly likely to be successful on another.

Do you have the determination to build great teams in your organization? It may involve getting out of comfort zones, to work together to support rather than divide, and to celebrate honesty and efficiency over ego.

We should all build great teams because they lead to the greatest organizations. At the end of the day, that should be all that matters.

 

Contact Scott Burrows, Inspirational Keynote Speaker on Teamwork today through this website or call us at: (520) 548-1169

 

 

Comfortable Sales Goals Lead to Sleeping at Your Desk

 

Not long ago, I was leading a seminar on real estate sales and setting sales goals when a new agent asked if I thought daily prospecting and follow-up did much good. She clarified she prospected when she had a chance, but she was more interested collecting referrals. She shrugged when I questioned how she defined goals for collecting referrals. Then I asked if she felt she had the grit be successful. The word “grit” stopped her cold.

What are Your Goals for Real Estate Sales Success?

Depending on the source, the failure rate for real estate agents after one year has been estimated at between 75 and 87 percent. Most of the agents who do make it barely squeak by. The old rule of thumb said that about 80 percent of the brokers make 20 percent of the profits. The new norm is even more intimidating. According to industry experts, it has now become the 90/10 Rule where 90 percent of the realtors earn 10 percent of the commissions and ultimately, just the top 1 percent of the realtors earn 40 percent of the commissions!

Mike Lalji, a highly successful real estate broker for the past 35 years, described some key elements that characterize a “1 percenter.”

“Those 1% Realtors…pretty much make whatever their written goal is for the new year. They write their goals a day or 2 before the 1st of January of the new year… they develop good interpersonal relationships with family and friends and are self-motivated.”

The Close.com website in a January 2019 article entitled “Why So Many Realtors Fail After 2 Years (and How Not To)” listed a failure to set goals as one of the key reasons new real estate agents fail to make the cut.

The article cited a sophisticated scientific paper printed in 2015 in Nature magazine. Simply put, the article stated that written goal setting and the determination to follow it through erases all differences between gender, ethnicity, race and other factors.  No matter where new agents start out, if they write down their goals and have the grit to follow it through, they have an infinitely better chance of succeeding.

The Joy of Prospecting

Alexis Petersen writing in January 2019 for RIS Media, an online real estate magazine, stated several goals in order for agents to be successful and listed the following as being important:  setting realistic prospecting goals, committing to prospecting ideas – including cold calls and visits as well as referrals, focusing on quantity prospecting (not just to friends and family), following up on every call, email, text or inquiry, and my favorite, “Make prospecting part of your daily routine.”

Petersen echoed other articles written by industry professionals. It is having the determination to write down and set goals, the grit to prospect every day, to follow up on every lead, and to network whenever possible. As a real estate sales professional, you must have the vision to separate yourself from the pack and be part of the 1 percent who believe they will succeed.

Don’t get comfortable and wait for the market to come to your feet. It won’t. Have the courage to stand up and be a professional real estate agent, fighting each day for your success.

Book Scott Burrows, Inspirational Real Estate Keynote Speaker on Sales and Goal Setting, through this website or call us at: (520) 548-1169