August 2011

Not All Priorities Are Created Equal

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People often talk a good game of working smarter versus harder, yet, quite often their actions tell a different story. Never-ending to-do lists, over-flowing in-baskets, and 10-plus hour workdays are just a few examples.

The first issue to acknowledge is that people in our profession are great at reacting. The two things we often react to first are typically the task that is right in front of us or the one that is easiest to complete. Yet, most of the time, neither is the highest priority. It would be a great day if you were to accomplish just two or three really important things. Anything on top of that gets bonus points.

How do you know what’s really important when all of the priorities appear to be critical?

Just ask yourself these two simple questions:

1. What’s the payoff of doing this task first?

2. What’s the ROI of taking this action?

Knowing the answers will help you to choose which tasks to do first, second, third, and so on. If you tackle your priorities in that order, you may not get everything done, but you’re likely to achieve what’s truly important for that day.

Scott WintripNot All Priorities Are Created Equal
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The Consultative Conundrum

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Ask most salespeople and they’ll tell you they engage in consultative selling. When asked how they accomplish this or ways in which they measure the effectiveness of their consultative approach, you’ll often get a convoluted answer at best. The reality is consultative selling has become another of the buzz words that people apply to a sales process that is anything but fully consultative.

To test if you are being a consultant versus just selling, try the following:

1. Engage your next three prospects in the manner you normally do.

2. Upon developing an understanding of your potential customer, mirror back what you believe to be their stated business needs.

3. Then, share the additional needs you discover that they were unaware of, and how your service will address them.

If your prospect concurs with your recap in step two, you’ve just engaged in order taking. Only when your prospective customer acknowledges the value of your assessment and proposed solution in step three can you call yourself a consultative salesperson.

Missing the mark on that third, consultative step? Not to worry. This is an indicator that it’s time to fully develop the skills of a consultative salesperson by equipping yourself with the right questions and process.

Scott WintripThe Consultative Conundrum
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Bright Spots – The Market Demand Report

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As volatility reigns in the financial and job markets, opportunities exist for candidates and staffing and recruiting firms as hiring demand continues to challenge the supply side of the equation.

Companies are currently looking for the following types of individuals, according to data from WANTED Analytics (, and are having difficulty filling these roles due to the lack of qualified individuals:

Office Managers and Supervisors: 16,847 openings nationwide in the past 30 days, up 32.4% Y-O-Y

Stock Clerks: 4,600 openings, up 80.4%

Computer Programmers: 10,662 openings, up 23.1%

Financial Managers: 11,263 openings, up 30.2%

Occupational Therapists: 6,565 openings, up 27.7%

Auditors: 5,257 openings, up 54.0%

Machinists: 4,611 openings, up 52.5%

Recruiters need to actively source and recruit candidates who may be happy, yet would consider something that would make them happier. In turn, this will give your sales force tangible solutions to customers’ immediate needs. On the sales side, you must take the time to educate your customers that it costs nothing to see your people, placing the onus on you to show them that your talent is better than what they will find on their own.

Scott WintripBright Spots – The Market Demand Report
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Nimble and Decisive

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Reaching the final plan to raise the debt ceiling in the United States last week was anything but nimble and decisive decision making. As the dust settles from this fiasco, those of us running companies can learn from the example set in Washington of how not to create compromise, consensus, and buy-in.

Nimble and decisive leadership starts with a clear vision of the desired outcomes and engages input from the key stakeholders who constantly keep their sights tuned and focused on the goal. All parties avoid distractions, competing agendas, and political gambits that weaken the payoff of reaching the desired results. The maturity of this style of leadership invites positive compromise, engages quick consensus, and creates rapid buy-in as the rank and file observe their leaders behaving as leaders should.

While it may be difficult to feel pride for what has happened on Capitol Hill and at the White House, do take pride this week as you practice nimble and decisive leadership in your company. As you do, you’ll contribute to growth and recovery in spite of all the political foolishness.

Scott WintripNimble and Decisive
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