Four Keys to Improved One-on-Ones

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Business today is filled with so much pressure to focus on things that are both important and urgent, things that need to be addressed right now! This hair on fire pressure forces us into reactive behavior based on what needs to be done right now, instead of focusing our energy and resources on developing a more strategic behavior based on our long-term goals.  We sometimes feel as if we just move from one emergency to the next, never finding enough time to catch our breath and plan for the future.

Spike SanteeFour Keys to Improved One-on-Ones
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Four Keys to Self Improvement

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Thanks to new technology that allows researchers to measure the brain’s responses to learning stimuli, the science of learning is advancing faster every day. We now know more about how the brain learns that at any time in human history. Despite all this new technology and research, there is one stubborn fact that troubles the teaching community, people will only learn to the level to which they are motivated to learn. In other words, it is a personal decision as to whether you are willing to learn something new.

Spike SanteeFour Keys to Self Improvement
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Four Keys to Better Training

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Are your salespeople getting the training they need to achieve their career goals with your company?

According to a worldwide study of over four thousand companies in seventy different countries across twenty different industries, IBM found that eight out of ten corporate leaders feel their employees do receive the training they need to achieve their career goals.

Unfortunately, according to the same study, only half of the employees at those very same companies feel they are getting the training they need to achieve their career goals.

The disconnect between what corporate leaders think they are providing in training and what the employees feel they are receiving in training is a major problem that contributes to employee turnover.

Employees who don’t feel they are getting the training they need to achieve their career goals with your company are twelve times more likely to consider leaving than those employees who do feel they can achieve their goals with your company.

The problem is even more exacerbated among your new employees. They are thirty times more likely to leave your company if they look around and sense, they won’t be able to achieve their career goals working for you.

Considering how much time and effort you spend on the recruitment process and the time lost to filling the same role again and again, the impact of poor training can have a devastating impact on your company’s sales performance and profit margins.

To see if training has a role in improving company performance, IBM looked at the best performing companies and compared them to the worst performing companies. In the best performing companies, eighty four percent of the employees felt their company provided the training necessary to achieve their professional goals. That is sixty eight percent better than the companies without a focus on their employee training needs.

Clearly, companies that devote attention and resources to providing their sales team with relevant and appropriate training see a significant return on their investment.

Small increases in training produces remarkable increases in results. Teams that received forty hours of training outperformed teams that received just thirty hours of training by three hundred percent.

One reason for this disconnect between the what corporate office thinks is going on and what the salesperson on the street feels may stem from the lack of objective training metrics. Professor Emeritus at University of Wisconsin and Honorary Chairman of Kirkpatrick Partners, there are four ways to evaluate training: reaction, learning, behavior and results.

If you value your human talent as one of your key drivers of success and want to improve your sales training, here are Four Keys to Effective Sales Training to help you get started.

Key #1 – Measure Reaction or Engagement

Your employees will only learn up to the level they are motivated to learn. If they don’t feel the training material will have a positive impact on their performance, they will perceive the training as a waste of their time.

At the completion of your training, survey your employees on their engagement with the training material. Allow anonymous responses.

Create a written survey and scientifically measure their responses over time. Questions should be closed end questions like:

The sales training on using the telephone to set appointments will help me increase the number of appointments I set on the phone.

Then provide the employee with a set of choices like; strongly disagree, disagree, neutral, agree, or strongly agree.

Come up with five or six questions like these:

  • The sales training on using the telephone to set appointments was a good use of my time.
  • I would like more training like using the telephone to set appointments.

Ask for any additional feedback on the training materials.

Measure the responses to tweak your training accordingly. If they don’t feel like your training is helpful, you should consider making some improvements. Otherwise, your employees are just going to tune you out.

Key #2 – Measure Learning or Retention

Did your employees learn the information? Did they commit the information to memory? Measuring retention is done by administrating a quiz, either a written quiz an oral report. Wait a day or two before administrating the quiz. If the employee doesn’t pass the quiz, you should have them restudy the training materials and take the quiz again.

Key #3 – Measure Behavior or Application

Are your employees applying the new training in their daily activities? You can measure the application of the new training through your call reporting system. Review their application or lack thereof in your weekly one-on-one meetings. Determine if the salesperson is willing to learn or has other issues preventing them from demonstrating competency with the new skills.

Key #4 – Measure Results or Performance

The ultimate measurement of your sales training is improved sales performance. By keeping good records of sales performance from before and after the training, you’ll be able to see your efforts really pay off.

Let me know if I can help.  

Spike SanteeFour Keys to Better Training
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Reduce Your Turnover

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According to an IBM Workforce Study, 71% percent of the CEOs in the survey cited human capital ahead of products, customer relationships and brands as the leading source of sustained economic value.

The same study found that employees who do not feel they can achieve their career goals at their current organization are 12 time more likely to consider leaving than employees who do feel they can achieve their career goals. Even worse, this number skyrockets to about 30 times more likely for new employees.

The study reveals a wide disconnect between company leaders and training recipients when it comes to the usefulness of the company’s training. Seventy eight percent of the CEOs believe new employees in their organization are getting the training they need. However, only 58% of the training recipients feel they are getting the training they need.

Consider for a moment what is happening at your company. Does your company have a similar gap between what you think your training is providing and what your employees think?

How much do you spend annually on employee training? How much time and effort do you spend on recruiting and then, the time lost to filling the same position again? The real cost to your bottom line can be significant.

The Gallup Organization estimates that U.S. companies are losing a $1 trillion every year due to voluntary turnover. The most astounding part is that most of the cost of employee turnover is largely company self-inflicted.

  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the overall turnover rate in 2017 was 26.3%.
  • Estimates put the cost of replacing an individual employee from one-half to two times the employee’s annual salary — and that’s a conservative estimate.
  • So, if your company has 25 sales people, with an average income of $50,000, your turnover and replacement costs could range anywhere from $165,000 to $650,00 per year.

Voluntary turnover is costing you money. You also know that turnover has many other costs that don’t show up in your P&L. When you lose a salesperson, there is always a transition period that is sometimes marked by billing and collection problems and lost relationships.

Voluntary turnover also affects internal morale because it may cause those sitting on the fence to decide that they too should leave your company. Remember the statistic, employees who don’t think they can reach their career goals at your company are 12 more likely to leave than those who don’t. New employees who don’t think they can reach their career goals are 30 times more likely to leave.

This is not just the normal turnover.

Gallup found that 52% of employees who left said their manager or the company could have done something to prevent their decision to leave. Fifty one percent say that in the three months before they left, neither their direct report or higher ups talked with them about their job satisfaction or how they felt about their future with the company.


In three months, nobody asked these employees how they felt about their job? Nobody talked with them about their future? It’s no wonder that they decided they didn’t have a future with the company.

You may be thinking to yourself these statistics don’t apply to you and your company. You could be thinking, “We meet with our sellers all the time, especially every week in their one-on-one.” The real question is, are you talking with your employees or are you talking to your employees?

Here is a suggestion. Structure the format of your one-on-one meetings so that the first half of the meeting is devoted to whatever the salesperson wants to talk about. The second half of the meeting is for your agenda. Encourage your salespeople to keep a folder at their desk where they can store notes about things that are important to them. You should do the same. We call this the One-On-On Meeting Folder System.

Students of Stephen R. Covey and the Eisenhour Time Management Grind know that we all need to spend more time in the Important but Not Urgent quadrant. That’s were the truly fundamental work is done.

Now before you start thinking that the salesperson will take up too much time and you’ll never get time to run through the numbers, believe me, it won’t happen like that. You should be so lucky to have salespeople with such foresight.  After the first meeting or two, you will need to remind them to come to the meeting with the things that are important to them. If they don’t come prepared, you should have some questions designed to get them talking about how they feel about work, their lives, their dreams.

It is critical to the success of your team to train your managers to have frequent, meaningful conversations with employees about what really matters to them.

Let me know if I can help. Talk to you soon.

Spike SanteeReduce Your Turnover
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The Copywriter’s Playbook

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Copy Writer's Playbook

To be a good copywriter, you must learn to work with the psychology of consumer, not against it. You must first understand why people buy things and why they buy them when they buy them. If you don’t consider this important science in your script writing efforts, your commercial will likely fall on deaf ears.

Consumers are motivated from within, not from external sources. Any decision to buy a product or a service begins as a conscious, or, many times, an unconscious need or a desire. That need or desire, that thought, that is what we call the felt need. That something that the consumer is thinking about throughout the day and night.

You must also learn how consumers come to a decision about acting out on the felt need. As you study the research and the brain science involved, you will come to realize that having a sale or offering a discount is not one of the major considerations in the process.

In his 1943 paper A Theory of Human Motivation, Abraham Maslow proposed that the motivation for action is an unfulfilled need. Maslow’s research suggests that humans seek to satisfy their needs and desires in a certain hierarchy. Maslow contends that people must satisfy their most basic needs first before they can go forward and satisfy the more sophisticated needs.

Level One – Physiological Needs

A human’s physiological needs take the highest priority. You need be able to breathe, have plenty of water and food, and have healthy bodily functions.

Level Two – Safety

People need to feel secure in their life. They are concerned for the safety and security of their families, their property and their future.

Level Three – Social Needs

Loneliness can lead to social anxiety and depression. This often leads to serious physical illness and possibly even heart disease.

Level Four – Self Esteem

We have a need to feel good about ourselves; we need our own self-respect. We need people we can look up to in life. Respecting role models and leaders is something Maslow identified as part of our need for esteem.

Level Five – Self Actualization

At the pinnacle of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is the need for self-actualization, the instinctual need of humans to make the most of their unique abilities and to strive to be the best they can be. In short, self-actualization is reaching one’s fullest potential.

How is this relevant to advertising? Start observing the advertising you are exposed to through the lens of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and you’ll see the word you and your throughout.

Pharmaceutical advertising is the sixth largest advertising category. Examples: “When you have COPD, it can be hard to breath”, “Chantix can help you quit smoking”, “When you’re depressed, Cymbalta can help”.

Consider the proliferation of advertising for home security systems, insurance and financial services. Examples: “Can your doorbell do that?”, “Are you in good hands?”, “If you don’t like their answer, ask again at Schwab”.

Human beings have a natural need to be involved in emotionally based relationships. Whether those relationships come from large or small social groups, or one-on-one relationships, people need to love and be loved by others. Examples: “You don’t have to be lonely at Farmers Only Dot Com.”

The National Car Rental advertising campaign script appeals to the need for esteem with the script: “You are a business pro, executor of efficiency; you can spot an amateur from a mile away, and you rent from National.”

Advertising for higher education, degree completion programs and technical colleges appeal to the instinctual need for self-actualization. The United States Army created a very compelling message using the appeal to this instinctual need for self-actualization with the Be All That You Can Be, In the Army campaign.

When you understand the psychology of consumer behavior, you begin to understand that you are not just selling a product, you are selling the idea of the product, the image of the product, and the result of the product. In your commercial, you are trying to tell the consumer how your advertisers can fulfill one or more of the needs in the hierarchy.

As you observe advertising through the lens of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, you’ll see it can be the Copywriter’s Playbook.

Talk to you soon.

Spike SanteeThe Copywriter’s Playbook
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Four Keys to Emotional Engagement

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Imagine you are on a large stage with one thousand people in the audience and you have a chance to tell them all about your business and give them a reason why they should come and shop with you.

What would you say? Oh, and another thing. Your time is limited. In this example, you have sixty seconds.

Spike SanteeFour Keys to Emotional Engagement
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Four Keys to Increase Your Closing Ratio

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In the world of selling, the close is the glamor phase of the selling process. That’s when you, as a salesperson, cash in on your efforts. It’s payday! There are countless books and tapes on how to close the sale. But there are four very simple ways, when used together, can dramatically increase your closing ratio.

Spike SanteeFour Keys to Increase Your Closing Ratio
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