Even the best designed fitness programs can fail if you are missing the 3 most important ingredients. I get asked all the time what is the key to succeeding with your fitness program? Is the key doing high intensity exercise, lots of cardio, or reducing calories? Over the years I have come to look at 3 key ingredients that any successful fitness program has. They are Accountability, Proper Programming and Community. It may seem simple but the majority of people fail to complete this trio in their programs. In my hands on experience I have found people about 75% more likely to continue with a program when these 3 are part of the overall scheme of things.

I will cover these in 3 segments, first is Accountability.

To be successful this is the first step to establish a source of accountability. This could be an exercise partner, trainer, instructor or family member. Someone else who is going to “team up” with you for support and keep you motivated to stay with it. This could also be a virtual coach, like what we will be offering with the Fitness Project. With smart phones and text and email there are lots of ways to set up a system to keep you accountable.

Next week I will discuss the second component – proper programming. The emphasis on “proper”.

Colin Cree – CSCS

As a leader you face many challenging situations that will test your worth. One of the most challenging things is to take over a brand new team that is under performing. This may be as a new hire to a company or taking over a new division for the company you currently work for. Either way, here are a few key things you need to establish in order to achieve success. The first thing I try to do is to define who the “second followers” are. These are the team members who are most respected by the current team, who lead by example and do not have the “name tag” of manager. Sometimes they lead the group in a good way and sometimes in a bad way. Defining who these people are is vital. The second step is to connect with these second followers and find out why they are here and what is important to them. It is much easier to lay out your vision and plan you have for the team and how it benefits them after learning about WHY they are here. These leaders can be key to your success and how far the team grows in the right direction. In a very short period of time you will know if they are on board or not on board and you can make some healthy decisions at that point. I have always found that leading by pulling meaning “come with me” this is the direction we are going is much more successful in the long run. As well having a few others inside the team pulling the team with you makes a dramatic difference.

Colin Cree

The Reason why some businesses are successful I believe it comes down to leadership, training and attitude. When situations are normal most businesses do fine. It is when adversity strikes that the cream rises to the top. A well trained staff knows how to handle adversity and create life long customers. It comes down to being pro active and attacking the situation head on and that comes from the leadership on down to the front line employees.

I saw this first hand on a recent trip where bad weather came into play to create some adversity.  With the thunderstorms in the area, all flights coming in and out of the airport were delayed. As time went on and more delays occurred and I began to watch the situation unfold. The employees from our airline were engaging with passengers, being empathetic and communicating with all the passengers in the gate area. A supervisor was also visible connecting with passengers and assisting with re routing passengers as best they could. It was if we were all in it together.

Now it was interesting to see the passengers across the way on the “other” airline. Same situation, same delays but extremely disgruntled passengers who were visibly upset with the airline employees. It was not their fault but their attitudes and lack of leadership support, transferred to the customers, making an unfortunate situation worse. As this continued we watched the employees complaining to each other and being rude to customers. The cycle just kept going and never improved.

Three hours later we boarded our plane, relaxed and on our way home. It was a few  key ingredients that made our experience a learning experience.

  • Leadership was present and supported their employees. You could see the employees knew they had back up and help when needed.
  • They were pro active in finding solutions and offering alternatives to accommodate. Instead of throwing their hands up and blaming the weather they found a solution. They were trained to dig deeper you could see.
  • Communication was clear and they showed that they cared. The employees did not hide behind the desk, they were out with the passengers offering water and updates. Wow!

Very simple but extremely effective. Kudos to the team at Southwest Airlines in Amarillo, TX.

    Colin Cree

Giving your customers what they want is the most basic principle of selling. Still, everybody at one time or another has dealt with a salesperson who simply didn’t listen to their needs. Taking time to truly understand the customer will not only help you close the deal today, it’ll keep them coming back in the future. Why are you here?
Sell Benefits, Not Features
The biggest mistake salespeople make is in focusing on what their product or service is. Rather, it’s what it does or why it may be a benefit. A health-food product contains nutrients that are good for the body. That’s what it is. What the product does is make the customer thinner, more energetic, and why they may want it is for the health benefits. Always concentrate on how your product will benefit the customer.

Focus On The Second Sale
Nearly 85 percent of all sales are produced by word of mouth. They’re the result of someone telling a friend or associate to buy a product or service because the customer was satisfied. Therefore, concentrate on developing future and referral business with each customer. Everything you do must be aimed at the second sale. Ask yourself: Will this be such a satisfactory experience that my customer will buy from me again or tell his friends?

Ask A Broad Range Of Questions
Ask questions that require more than a “yes” or “no” response, and that deal with more than just costs, price, procedures and the technical aspects of the vehicle. Most importantly, ask questions that will reveal the prospect’s motivation to purchase, his problems and needs, and his decision-making processes. Don’t be afraid to ask a client why he or she feels a certain way. That’s how you’ll get to understand your customers.

Probe Deeper To Better Understand Your Customers
You must find out why they are engaging with you about a product or service.  “I understand why that is important….. Can you give me a specific example of why this is important to you?” Ask for more information so you can better position your product and show you understand the client’s needs. There is always a “pain” that a prospect needs to fix and finding out why is the first step to finding it.

Some power tips of Top Sales People brought to you by the team at Daily Gameplan

Believe In Yourself
Unstoppable salespeople filter out negative thoughts and the advice of those who dwell on why it can’t be done. They rely on their own inner voice and belief systems to carry them through any obstacles. They truly believe there’s nothing they can’t do.

Sell With A Purpose
Many people find their way into sales by accident. Accidental salespeople are rarely unstoppable. Purpose and passion for sales and for your product or service generate an inexhaustible supply of energy, far more abundant than from any other source.

Take Action If You Want Results
High performers stay in the game and take steps, even small steps, in the direction of their goal. They move consistently toward what they want and avoid actions, or in-actions, that take them away from their goals.

Attitudes
Unstoppable salespeople realize that their own moods and emotions can affect their relationships and their sales success. They monitor their feelings and energy levels to insure they remain effective throughout the day and the sales cycle.

Top of Mind
Unstoppable salespeople use many ways to keep themselves on track. Post-it notes on mirrors, cars, desks; screen savers on computers; charts and graphs for constant feedback. Messages on their PDA’s, pictures representing their targets. They surround themselves with their dreams and make it their focus everyday.

Get Back Up
No one wins all the time. Even unstoppable salespeople sometimes fall and fail. But unstoppable salespeople seem incapable of letting rejection get them down. Somehow they hear the word ‘no’ differently than others. ‘No’ to them doesn’t mean ‘no, not ever.’ ‘No’ to them means ‘no, not right now.’

Focus on One Thing at a Time
Unstoppable salespeople have trained themselves to focus on one important objective at a time. Setting too many goals and objectives can lead to failure with all of them. Whether it’s better customer retention, higher shares, or improved customer service, the unstoppable salesperson identifies their goal for each client and relentlessly pursues it.

Complacency

As a business owner, leader or manager you face many different threats in today’s economy.

The one that very few focus on that can be one of the biggest threats is complacency. This can come in many forms and at different levels of an organization, but it all leads to the same thing.

It can start in the front line team members who deal with the day to day operations and are customer facing. These people are the life blood of the company and are the ones who in a sense carry the torch. It can be as simple as showing up for shift 1 minute late or pointing a customer somewhere and not walking them to the location. Once it starts there is only begins to slip more. You can look at a team member as growing or decaying and complacency is the beginnings of decay.

For managers and leaders complacency is even more detrimental. You are the leaders of the team, the ones who set the stage and create the culture of greatness. From a leadership perspective it shows up a lot by simply not holding team members accountable to their goals and responsibilities. What if sales teams goals and projections were due on the 30th of each month and you let some turn them in on the 2nd and some not at all?  It happens in more businesses than you think. If you crack open the door for complacency it will overtake you very quickly. Don’t let it happen to you.

Colin Cree

National Sales Director – Daily Gameplan Inc.

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Every top notch company is always on the lookout for quality employees and adding talent to their brand. A company’s ability to grow long term, is always limited by the talent that is assembled on the team.  Therefore once they are on board it is vital that we help guide them and grow them into the proper role in order to retain them. It costs far too much to hire employees, train them and not retain them as a long term partner with you.

Here are some focus points to help with increasing your employee retention.

  • The employee is not making enough money. Set clear expectations during the hiring process. Look at two important components – Want to make and Need to make. I feel that Want is up to you as a manager leading and setting the stage for the employee along with the work ethic and talent. Need is up to the person’s family or basic needs to pay rent. You have to be sure your employee is satisfying the Need component or eventually their attitude changes and they begin to become negative.
  • The employee is miscast. Have you ever had a great salesperson fail at management or had someone who is a great leader do poorly at sales. This is all on management to find the strengths and put the employee in the right situation to be successful. You don’t put a big offensive lineman at defensive back do you?
  • The employee needs to see the vision and expectations. This one seems to be the lost component of them all. No one likes to see change and especially knee jerk reactions that change the daily activities of employees. Today’s employees are looking for consistency and clarity. They want to know where the company is going and why. Remember back to your parents telling you this is how it is because I said so! How did you feel? It is the same when and employer says this is our policy or this is how we are doing things or this is your new pay plan! What if you explained the why behind the decision and the vision and the direction the company is taking. Don’t be afraid to say this is WHY we are doing this and have good reason behind it that makes sense. If you cannot sell it to your employees, it may not be a good idea in the first place.
  • You don’t know what is important to your employee. If you don’t know why the employee is there, how can you truly begin to develop loyalty and performance. When employees know you really care they will develop a bond and loyalty towards you and the company. That is powerful.  An exercise I suggest doing is “Why are you here”? It is as simple as asking each employee to write down 3 reasons they are there working at company “Y” and they cannot be business related. As a leader it is your job to spend some one on one time with them and get to know them. Find out what is important and keep one key point top of mind with them when you meet and interact on the job.

Employee retention and building a strong team is a struggle but well worth it. If you are working these key points you are probably doing very well building a strong team. Maybe you are doing some of them so give the rest a try. Each employee you can retain at least 6 months long can make a huge impact on the health of the company and in turn the bottom line.

Colin Cree – National Sales Director for Daily Gameplan Inc.

www.dailygameplan.com