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Articles by Deb Calvert

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    To Engage Your Buyer, Sequence Your Questions Properly

    15 Questions Sales Professionals Should Be Asking

    Are your questions drawing your buyer closer to you or making your buyer back away from you? It may depend on the order in which you are asking questions. Adjusting the sequence of your questions can make a difference in how the buyer responds.    Early in a buyer/seller relationship, questions that seem sales-focused cause mistrust. A buyer recoils when questions seem to be some form of entrapment. By contrast, buyers open up and trust develops when a seller starts with buyer-focused...Continue reading

    By Deb CalvertPosted in Sales & Business Development on March 13, 2014

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    The Great Divide Between You & Your Customers

    Take a look at your sales process & find where it gets stalled.

    In sales, we are experiencing an embarrassment of riches and yet we are impoverished.   Just look around the offices of most sales organizations. You'll see computers, telephones with headsets and auto-dialers, mobile devices, CRM systems, and numerous apps and software programs that support selling activities in every conceivable way.   Needing to beef up a particular skill? Well, take your pick of the myriad of training programs, seminars, books, podcasts and other resources that are easily...Continue reading

    By Deb CalvertPosted in Sales & Business Development on June 10, 2014

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    Leading in a VUCA World

    Management Challenges in the New Age

    In the good old days (or so they tell me), senior managers could thoroughly research an issue and deliberate on the pros and cons before reaching a sound decision. Those decisions became precedents, clearly defining a path and eliminating the guesswork. The pace of change was measured, controlled by the leader’s preferences and the team’s capacity and capabilities. Those days are gone forever. The Center for Creative Leadership has coined a new term – VUCA – to describe the...Continue reading

    By Deb CalvertPosted in Management on July 7, 2014

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    Selling in a VUCA World

    How do sales professionals adapt to rapid change?

    Ever feel like you have whiplash as a result of the jarring changes and conflicting directions you’re getting from your customers and your company?   You’re not alone.   The swift acceleration of change and the constant struggle to keep up with it (let alone get ahead of it!) causes everyone, at times, to feel like the silver ball inside a pinball machine. Your sales leaders and support departments are in reactive mode, zinging around at lightning speed as they accommodate and...Continue reading

    By Deb CalvertPosted in Sales & Business Development on July 23, 2014

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    Why Is It So Difficult to Implement Change?

    Follow These Steps to Become a Change Leader

    By Deb Calvert, President, People First Productivity Solutions As humans, we prefer a state called homeostasis. It’s the state in which a person’s relationship to the environment is stable. It’s in our very nature to strive for stability and resist change. Physically, we are wired for regulation that keeps our systems operating in a way that is stable and unchanging. Emotionally, we may cling to what or who is familiar.   You may have heard or read before that the top...Continue reading

    By Deb CalvertPosted in Communication Skills on December 16, 2012

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    There Is No One-Size-Fits-All in Selling

    When people prescribe the only solution they know, a lot of malpractice is likely to occur.

    We are all looking for the magic bullet.   And when we find something we like, something that seems to work, we can become rabid advocates for what we believe is the magic bullet.   But when it comes to sales methodologies, there is no magic bullet and no one-size-fits-all solution. No one training program fits every sales situation, every customer, every company or every seller. That's why we should be adapting and not adopting the latest, greatest techniques.   Recently, I surveyed...Continue reading

    By Deb CalvertPosted in Sales & Business Development on April 10, 2014

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    What Is World Class Customer Service?

    10 “Must Haves” That Buyer’s Expect From Your Sales Force

    Professional sellers know that it’s both easy to do and imperative not to do. Taking a customer for granted and assuming current customers will always be customers is short-sighted and irresponsible in selling. When customers begin to feel unappreciated, as if they are just one of many and only as valuable as their last order… It’s then that customer dissatisfaction can lead to customer attrition.   Keeping customers starts with keeping customers satisfied.   But top...Continue reading

    By Deb CalvertPosted in Sales & Business Development on August 20, 2013

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    Demonstrating Leadership during Tough Times

    How to Inspire Others When the Odds Are Against You

    Times are tough, and they’re only getting tougher. As the Center for Creative Leadership says, we live in a VUCA world, surrounded by Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity. It’s not easy to inspire others when there are so many variables working against us.   Nevertheless, this is what leaders are expected to do. When leaders fail to inspire during times of adversity, followers drift and the strength of unity is lost within an organization. Defeated leaders lose their...Continue reading

    By Deb CalvertPosted in Management on September 3, 2014

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    What Matters More: the Right Results or the Right Way?

    Use This Decision Model As A Way To Think About Your Job

    As a front-line supervisor, your job was to deliver results. You were measured by and rewarded for performance. No matter what job function you were managing, your priority was to get the job done on time, under budget and in accordance with the quality standards set.    As you ascend the career ladder, you have increasingly greater degrees of responsibility for results. Once upon a time, your accountability as a crew foreman was to make sure the 6-8 members of your crew performed. That’s...Continue reading

    By Deb CalvertPosted in Management on September 2, 2013

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    The Meeting You May Be Missing

    5 Reasons To Conduct One-On-One Meetings With Your Employees

    A lot has been written about team meetings and the different purposes for off-site retreats, strategic planning meetings, operational meetings, team effectiveness meetings, daily and weekly update meetings, and standup meetings… But little has been written about the most important meeting of all. It's the one-on-one regular check-in meeting between you and each one of your direct reports. The one-on-one meeting is not the annual performance review. It's not the drive-by "atta boy" or...Continue reading

    By Deb CalvertPosted in Management on December 15, 2013

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