Archive for April, 2011

Marbles in Your Mouth…

April 25, 2011

Ever wonder where the term ‘Marbles in Your Mouth’ originates from? The expression is ‘Get the Marbles Out of Your Mouth’, meaning Speak Clearly, or OUT WITH IT! The Greek orator Demosthenes is said to have overcome a speech impediment by speaking over the roar of the ocean with pebbles in his mouth. While severe stuttering is a medical problem and should be addressed by a health care professional, mild stuttering and other speech obstacles are impediments no one need suffer.

Do you occasionally get caught on a word? Do you read smoothly, or does your speech break in places where it shouldn’t? Do you say ‘uh’ or ‘like’ between every word? Here’s how to fix it.
Materials Required
* Boiling water (don’t worry, it won’t hurt!)
* Mouth
* Marbles
* Books (preferably a Dr. Seuss, a Harry Potter, and a Bible)
Warning!
Marbles may pose a choking hazard.
Do not just drop marbles into boiling water – they may shatter! Allow them to heat with the water instead.
Directions
1. Sterilize 2-4 marbles in boiling water.
2. Grab a Harry Potter book.
3. Put marbles in mouth, but don’t swallow!
4. As clearly as possible, read the book out loud.
5. Hear speech problems disappear!
Added Benefits
* Improved enunciation.
* Increase lip and tongue coordination.
* Greater appreciation for unimpaired speech!
Why does it work? Marbles force you to speak slowly and to concentrate on the actual mechanics of speaking. They also make it hard to make any unnecessary sounds – so you won’t say ‘uh’ or ‘like’! Most importantly, however, the break old habits. When you are focusing on speaking itself, you don’t utilize the same neural pathways that caused your stuttering, pausing, and other speech impediments. New habits replace the old!
To increase the marble drill’s effectiveness, use Harry Potter (or another book) as a gage only. Read Dr. Seuss to increase flexibility and speed, and read the Old Testament to really break the old habits and give your brain a workout along with your mouth. When the reading gets easier, go faster!
Happy Speaking!

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Saying Goodbye to a Prospect…

April 19, 2011

Goodbyes are never pleasant, especially when its time to say goodbye to a prospect. In the real world of sales, some prospects simply don’t qualify. Either they don’t have a problem that needs solving, or the problem they have isn’t a priority. Like anything else in life, every situation needs closure. Sometimes you have to say goodbye to prospects, and put an end to the misery of endless follow up calls. The key is to do it with class.

This morning I decided to give my prospect one more try to see if we could do any business together. After many unsuccessful attempts to reach him by phone or email, I finally made contact this morning. The dialogue we had was easy going, and I put no pressure on my prospect to tell me what I wanted to hear, like the word “maybe”. The ‘magic wand’ question I use is most effective for making absolute certain that the opportunity to do business is ‘not in the cards’. In this case, I got an answer that was not what I wanted, but at least I got closure – my prospect wasn’t a prospect after all. 
Saying goodbye to a prospect is hard to do, but necessary if you are to remain strong in all your dealings with other prospects. You cannot grow as a salesperson until you are ready to take a “no”, and accept it for what it is.

Fridays Are Best for Calling…

April 1, 2011

There’s been a lot of discussion and debate surrounding the best time to place a call to a sales     prospect. A majority of people avoid Mondays altogether, and then there’s the time of day factor.  Early  morning (8AM), or late afternoon (6PM), typically yield the best results for catching prospects in their office to take your call. But I like Fridays best!
After stumbling through countless numbers of voice mail greetings during any average workweek, I’ve found that the highest percentage of time I actually catch a sales prospect in their office is on Friday. I suspect that high-level decision-makers do a fair amount of traveling during the week, or they are locked up in meetings, or on conference calls. No wonder the percentages for getting put to voice mail are so high. There’s nobody home during the week because decision-makers are conducting business. But Fridays seem to yield better results because I hypothesize that Friday is the day executives reserve to finish up the administrative work they’ve accumulated during the week. Nothing like a clear mind to help enjoy that well deserved weekend off, right? So, if you are a strategic planner for prospecting new business, I suggest you set aside ample time 1st thing Friday mornings to make your sales calls. Your prospects are likely to be in, and they are probably in a better frame of mind to give you the few minutes you’ll need to get yourself on their calendar for a business meeting the following week. Let me know how you make out…