The inside scoop for your next sale

Sales blogs provide great information.  There are sales blogs you should be following.  With thousands and thousands of blogs about sales out there, it’s tough to know which ones are the ones worth reading.  Between the news, LinkedIn, Twitter, and email, most people are inundated with content like: “the top 100 ways to reach the decision-maker in the first call”, “the 20 reasons why email is better than cold calling when prospecting”, and “the 30 things you should do before the end of each work day”.  Everyone has their own idea of how you should be spending your time.

The Sales Blogs I’ve chosen to include in this list are the ones that have consistently provided great content over the past 10 months.  They are regularly updated, provide a specific point of view, and give actionable advice on specific challenges we face as salespeople.  I’ve included the Twitter handle for the blog’s author, as the majority of them pr

The 18 Sales Blogs You Should Be Following

1. Sales Productivity Blog

@SellingTools http://www.smartsellingtools.com/blog/

2. The Sales Blog

@Iannarino http://thesalesblog.com/

3. Partners in Excellence

@DavidABrock http://partnersinexcellenceblog.com/

4. Dan Waldschmidt

@DanWaldo http://danwaldschmidt.com/blog

5. A Sales Guy

@Keenan http://asalesguy.com/

6. Your Sales Playbook

@PaulCastain http://yoursalesplaybook.com/

7. Switch and Shift

@TedCoine & @Shawmu http://switchandshift.com/blog

8. Matt on Marketing

@HeinzMarketing http://www.heinzmarketing.com/matt-on-marketing/blog/

9. Fearless Selling

@Kel_Robertson http://fearless-selling.ca/blog/

10. Millennial CEO

@DanielNewmanUV http://millennialceo.com/

11. Score More Sales

@ScoreMoreSales http://scoremoresales.com/

12. Fresh Sales Strategies

@JillKonrath http://www.jillkonrath.com/sales-blog/

13. Selling Fearlessly

@RobertTerson http://www.sellingfearlessly.com/

14. The Sales Hunter

@TheSalesHunter http://thesaleshunter.com/

15. Sales Training Connection

@SalesHorizons http://salestrainingconnection.com/

16. Fill the Funnel

@MilesAustin http://www.fillthefunnel.com/

17. Top Sales Dog

@TopSalesDog http://rapidlearninginstitute.com/top-sales-dog/

18. Sales & Marketing Effectiveness

@MakingTheNumber http://www.salesbenchmarkindex.com

ovide content from sites they find helpful there as well. 

 

 

5-Minute Technique to Calm Your Fear of Public Speaking

It never fails: When polled, Americans put “public speaking” high on their list of greatest fears – right along with flying, death, and man-eating snakes. Eliminating fear of public speaking, in other words, is a sentiment nearly everyone can relate to.
Public Speaking International has worked with thousands of executives worldwide, and the fear of getting up in front of a group causes some level of anxiety in most of them. Public speaking anxiety is a form of social anxiety literally felt by millions every day.
And that stage fright is complex, made up of various factors: fear of looking stupid, of making a mistake, of not being interesting, of not being able to adequately answer a question, ad nauseum.  All this fear has a way of coming to a paralyzing head right before we walk up to the lectern.

Obviously, for your speech to be effective, you need to find a way to calm your nerves before speaking, and begin your speech in a state of relaxation.  Relaxation brings confidence, and speaking with confidence leads to credibility.
If you suffer from fear of public speaking, here’s a way to relax before you go on that takes just five minutes.  Yes, you can actually learn to relax in that amount of time! Once you master the technique, you can do it easily, even at a moment’s notice (that’s when you’ll need it most):

  1. Find a quiet place where you can focus (if all else fails, a toilet stall will do). Sit in a relaxed position with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Close your eyes to block out distractions.
  3. Listen to your breathing for a full minute. Feel the way breathing nourishes and sustains you…feel the breath flowing down your throat, filling your lungs, and then bringing oxygen to every cell in your body.
  4. Now, focus on a visual image you “see” in your mind. Make that image a colored shape – a green circle, a yellow square, a blue triangle. Choose any object that doesn’t have emotional overtones (whatever you do, don’t pick red; red is a real “rage and anxiety” color – just ask a matador).
  5. See that object in as close to crystal clarity as you can. This will take concentration and you’ll need to practice to perfect it. Other thoughts, images, and feelings will emerge; notice them and let them go. Keep a gentle, persistent focus on your image.
  6. Your breathing will become slower and deeper. This is what you’re aiming for; you’re now in a calmer, more relaxed state. When you’re ready, open your eyes and slowly stand. Try to maintain this level of calmness and relaxed breathing.

This exercise allows you to calm yourself and focus your attention–two critical attributes of eliminating public speaking anxiety and giving a good speech or presentation.

“Above all, don…

“Above all, don’t lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

Healthy Eating Help Guide

Healthy eating does not mean depriving yourself of the foods you love or staying unrealistically thin, but rather about developing a well-balanced, satisfying relationship with food. Your food choices can reduce your risk of illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, as well increase your energy, stabilize your weight, and boost your mood.

By exploring the broad range of articles below, you’ll find help with everything from losing weight, overcoming food cravings, and eating out, to tips on buying and preparing food, managing your food budget, and devising nutrition plans to cope with or reduce the risk of specific diseases. Whatever your age, income, or living situation—whether you’re preparing meals for yourself or for the whole family—you’ll find everything needed to create an enjoyable, healthy diet that works for you.

Healthy eating tip 1: Set yourself up for success

To set yourself up for success, think about planning a healthy diet as a number of small, manageable steps rather than one big drastic change. If you approach the changes gradually and with commitment, you will have a healthy diet sooner than you think.

Simplify. Instead of being overly concerned with counting calories or measuring portion sizes, think of your diet in terms of color, variety, and freshness. This way it should be easier to make healthy choices. Focus on finding foods you love and easy recipes that incorporate a few fresh ingredients. Gradually, your diet will become healthier and more delicious.

Start slow and make changes to your eating habits over time. Trying to make your diet healthy overnight isn’t realistic or smart. Changing everything at once usually leads to cheating or giving up on your new eating plan. Make small steps, like adding a salad (full of different color vegetables) to your diet once a day or switching from butter to olive oil when cooking. As your small changes become habit, you can continue to add more healthy choices to your diet.

Every change you make to improve your diet matters. You don’t have to be perfect and you don’t have to completely eliminate foods you enjoy to have a healthy diet. The long term goal is to feel good, have more energy, and reduce the risk of cancer and disease. Don’t let your missteps derail you—every healthy food choice you make counts.

Fruits and vegetables are the foundation of a healthy diet. They are low in calories and nutrient dense, which means they are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber.

Try to eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables every day and with every meal—the brighter the better. Colorful, deeply colored fruits and vegetables contain higher concentrations of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants—and different colors provide different benefits, so eat a variety. Aim for a minimum of five portions each day.

Some great choices include:

Greens. Branch out beyond bright and dark green lettuce. Kale, mustard greens, broccoli, and Chinese cabbage are just a few of the options—all packed with calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, zinc, and vitamins A, C, E, and K.
Sweet vegetables. Naturally sweet vegetables—such as corn, carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, yams, onions, and squash—add healthy sweetness to your meals and reduce your cravings for other sweets.

Fruit. Fruit is a tasty, satisfying way to fill up on fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants. Berries are cancer-fighting, apples provide fiber, oranges and mangos offer vitamin C, and so on.

Stress Management – How to Reduce, Prevent, and Cope with Stress

Stress management starts with identifying the sources of stress in your life. This isn’t as easy as it sounds. Your true sources of stress aren’t always obvious, and it’s all too easy to overlook your own stress-inducing thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Sure, you may know that you’re constantly worried about work deadlines. But maybe it’s your procrastination, rather than the actual job demands, that leads to deadline stress.
To identify your true sources of stress, look closely at your habits, attitude, and excuses:

  • Do you explain away stress as temporary (“I just have a million things going on right now”) even though you can’t remember the last time you took a breather?
  • Do you define stress as an integral part of your work or home life (“Things are always crazy around here”) or as a part of your personality (“I have a lot of nervous energy, that’s all”).
  • Do you blame your stress on other people or outside events, or view it as entirely normal and unexceptional?

Until you accept responsibility for the role you play in creating or maintaining it, your stress level will remain outside your control.

Stress management strategy #1: Avoid unnecessary stress

Not all stress can be avoided, and it’s not healthy to avoid a situation that needs to be addressed. You may be surprised, however, by the number of stressors in your life that you can eliminate.

  • Learn how to say “no” – Know your limits and stick to them. Whether in your personal or professional life, refuse to accept added responsibilities when you’re close to reaching them. Taking on more than you can handle is a surefire recipe for stress.
  • Avoid people who stress you out – If someone consistently causes stress in your life and you can’t turn the relationship around, limit the amount of time you spend with that person or end the relationship entirely.
  • Take control of your environment – If the evening news makes you anxious, turn the TV off. If traffic’s got you tense, take a longer but less-traveled route. If going to the market is an unpleasant chore, do your grocery shopping online.
  • Avoid hot-button topics – If you get upset over religion or politics, cross them off your conversation list. If you repeatedly argue about the same subject with the same people, stop bringing it up or excuse yourself when it’s the topic of discussion.
  • Pare down your to-do list – Analyze your schedule, responsibilities, and daily tasks. If you’ve got too much on your plate, distinguish between the “shoulds” and the “musts.” Drop tasks that aren’t truly necessary to the bottom of the list or eliminate them entirely.

Stress management strategy #2: Alter the situation

If you can’t avoid a stressful situation, try to alter it. Figure out what you can do to change things so the problem doesn’t present itself in the future. Often, this involves changing the way you communicate and operate in your daily life.

  • Express your feelings instead of bottling them up. If something or someone is bothering you, communicate your concerns in an open and respectful way. If you don’t voice your feelings, resentment will build and the situation will likely remain the same.
  • Be willing to compromise. When you ask someone to change their behavior, be willing to do the same. If you both are willing to bend at least a little, you’ll have a good chance of finding a happy middle ground.
  • Be more assertive. Don’t take a backseat in your own life. Deal with problems head on, doing your best to anticipate and prevent them. If you’ve got an exam to study for and your chatty roommate just got home, say up front that you only have five minutes to talk.
  • Manage your time better. Poor time management can cause a lot of stress. When you’re stretched too thin and running behind, it’s hard to stay calm and focused. But if you plan ahead and make sure you don’t overextend yourself, you can alter the amount of stress you’re under.

Stress management strategy #3: Adapt to the stressor

If you can’t change the stressor, change yourself. You can adapt to stressful situations and regain your sense of control by changing your expectations and attitude.

  • Reframe problems. Try to view stressful situations from a more positive perspective. Rather than fuming about a traffic jam, look at it as an opportunity to pause and regroup, listen to your favorite radio station, or enjoy some alone time.
  • Look at the big picture. Take perspective of the stressful situation. Ask yourself how important it will be in the long run. Will it matter in a month? A year? Is it really worth getting upset over? If the answer is no, focus your time and energy elsewhere.
  • Adjust your standards. Perfectionism is a major source of avoidable stress. Stop setting yourself up for failure by demanding perfection. Set reasonable standards for yourself and others, and learn to be okay with “good enough.”
  • Focus on the positive. When stress is getting you down, take a moment to reflect on all the things you appreciate in your life, including your own positive qualities and gifts. This simple strategy can help you keep things in perspective.

Adjusting Your Attitude

How you think can have a profound effect on your emotional and physical well-being. Each time you think a negative thought about yourself, your body reacts as if it were in the throes of a tension-filled situation. If you see good things about yourself, you are more likely to feel good; the reverse is also true. Eliminate words such as “always,” “never,” “should,” and “must.” These are telltale marks of self-defeating thoughts.

Stress management strategy #4: Accept the things you can’t change

Some sources of stress are unavoidable. You can’t prevent or change stressors such as the death of a loved one, a serious illness, or a national recession. In such cases, the best way to cope with stress is to accept things as they are. Acceptance may be difficult, but in the long run, it’s easier than railing against a situation you can’t change.

  • Don’t try to control the uncontrollable. Many things in life are beyond our control— particularly the behavior of other people. Rather than stressing out over them, focus on the things you can control such as the way you choose to react to problems.
  • Look for the upside. As the saying goes, “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” When facing major challenges, try to look at them as opportunities for personal growth. If your own poor choices contributed to a stressful situation, reflect on them and learn from your mistakes.
  • Share your feelings. Talk to a trusted friend or make an appointment with a therapist. Expressing what you’re going through can be very cathartic, even if there’s nothing you can do to alter the stressful situation.
  • Learn to forgive. Accept the fact that we live in an imperfect world and that people make mistakes. Let go of anger and resentments. Free yourself from negative energy by forgiving and moving on.