Transition Points: The undersold sale

Life is and should be a constant transition point for most people.  If you don’t have very many transition points, then I would highly encourage you to read further.  Also, as a sales person or a person who wants to influence others, understanding transition points of others can help you sell more and influence more.

So what is a transition point?

A transition point could really be described as any transition from one place in life to another, but there are a few very specific transition points that everyone will go through at some point in their life, especially if they live long enough.

  • Teen to Adult
  • High School to College
  • College grad to first employment (wage earner)
  • Single to Married
  • Non-parent to parent
  • Employed to Unemployed
  • Unemployed To Employed
  • Old job, old field to New Job, New Field
  • Old job, old field to Same Company, New Job
  • Spouse to Divorce
  • Family to Single
  • Promotion in a company
  • Change of Job to another company

Again, if you have lived long enough you can already see that you have been in one of the transition points already.

With a transition point each of us now have a new role or responsibility that has some certain identities that accompany it.  Some of these new identities are known to you and everyone else. And some of these new identities, may be a perception that you have that you must live up to.

When I was twenty-two I got married to my girlfriend at the time.  The marriage lasted about nine months.  But during that relationship and the marriage I had assumed many roles and identities that come along in a relationship and marriage.  Many of these identities are the ones that society is aware of and expects as well.

We had the new house, we had the dog, we had the two cars, we had the large yard, we had all of the yard equipment, and I had the pickup truck that made practical sense to me at the time.

After this lengthy five-year relationship that ended in divorce.  I had accumulated all of these assumed roles, responsibilities, and identity that I no longer wanted to be identified with.  I am at a transition point.

The very first thing I did, well after I took care of the major things.  Such as shelter, food, and clothing.

I moved on to the next big thing, which at 22, was “What the heck am I driving around in this old man pickup for!”

I can’t be seen on the dating scene with a pickup truck that married guys drive.  I was taking on a new identity.  And I didn’t want my identity to be associated with this truck.

At thirty-nine years old, it would be much more acceptable. But at twenty-two, it was in no way in my mind acceptable for me to be driving around in this pick up truck. I obviously bought a new vehicle pretty quickly after.

I was in a transition point.  And when people are at transition points in their life, they have new identities that they are attempting to live up to.  As a sales person, you can play to those new identities and help shape the one that a buyer wants.

Another example of this is a really good friend of mine.  Now since we are both in sales, we understand people pretty well.  We both understand that all consumers have needs and desires, but ultimately there is one reason why people buy.  And that is always the emotional reason they want something.

Like in my example, it was really image that was driving my purchasing decision, and not logic.  Especially since I bought a vehicle I couldn’t afford with money I didn’t really have at the time.

But back to my friend.  At age forty or so, they went through a transition point.  They took a new job as an executive in a company. This was really their first time being at that level in their career. With this new role there was a certain identity that comes with it. In their mind and in most people minds.  They felt like they needed to live in a different house.  An executive house.  An executive house has a lot of parameters, but to just name a few.

It must be in a very desirable location in the city they live.  Meaning it has to be some what exclusive and even hard to get and purchase.  The neighbors must be similar people as they are.  High income earners with very high-profile positions in the community and especially in their organization or they must own their own businesses.  The size of the house and the look and lure of the house all matter.

Although my friend had many reasons to buy a new house.  A growing family, a more desirable location based on their lifestyle, etc.  The real reason they purchased the home was because they felt like this new identity and role they were now in,  had certain expectations associated with it.  They spent more than they really wanted to at the time, but it didn’t matter to them.  And they ultimately sold that house and made a very nice return I am sure.

Again, as in my personal example, and in my friends example.  These transition points in our life forced us, and inspired us, to consider making different purchases than we were currently making at the time.  As practical buyers we both could have easily stayed in our current situations.  It made much more sense financially.  But I bought a new vehicle and my friend bought the house.

If you are hiring people for a new job, if you are trying to inspire people to stay motivated on the job, and if you are in sales or leadership.  Understanding these transition points can help you have the influence you want to have.  But you have to understand and know the situation better to actually appeal to the persons needs, desires and wants.

All of this is done through asking questions.  But most people don’t do a very good job at asking questions.  Leaders don’t spend the time with their employees enough to understand what it is they want and are seeking.

And as a sales trainer and a buyer of products for the last thirty years of my life, sales people definitely don’t do a good job at asking questions to understand the buyers desires and actually try to understand their situation.

When you understand where a person is at this point in their life you will be able to appeal to their motives and desires and sell them exactly what they want.

If you are interested in learning how to do this.  Shoot me an email at

To your success and your future.








Stop Whining and Start Working

Throughout my career I have tried to learn something from just about everyone I have interacted with.  I believe that every single person we interact with has the ability to teach us something that we didn’t already know. You just never know where little life lessons and nuggets of wisdom will come from.  So you have to be open-minded and on the lookout for these learning opportunities.

I was working with a colleague of mine a few years ago and they taught me this little saying, they were applying it in the context of sales.

SW-5: Some will, Some won’t, So What, Stop Whining, Some are Waiting.  In the context of sales, they were saying some will buy, some wont buy, so what (control what you can control), stop whining about the losses, and find the ones that are waiting to buy from you.

I really liked that quick and easy to comprehend process.  In leadership, I like to use the SW-5 method in this way:

Some Will:  You have some team members that are bought in.  They come in early, they stay late.  They are committed to the companies cause.  They are engaged.

Some Won’t:  Some team members won’t do all of the things I described above.  I personally don’t believe you should keep them on your team.  I get some people’s position on this matter: all great teams have role players that come in, get their job done in the traditional hours and may not show it the same way as others.  But, if you have a team member that is not engaged, you have to fix it.

So What:  Now if you are in leadership you can’t have a so what attitude towards your team members.  However, in the context of hiring decisions if you have made a bad hiring decisions, SO WHAT, fix it and move on.  Don’t let bad decisions stick around.  They are not like wine and get better with time, they are the opposite, they get worse.

Stop Whining:  My hope is that you have created a culture where your team members aren’t whining.  But if they are whining about a decision you made or something else that you know is pushing the organization forward, then let them whine (if it becomes too much, you have to fix this).  That is why you are the leader.  Your job is to continue to challenge the status quo and push the organization or your department forward. Oh and you can’t be a whiner if you are the leader, its hard to lead if you are whining.

Start Working:  Everyone should just focus on the work that needs to be done.  When everyone is doing that, the company wins, the customer wins, and in the end everyone wins. With more revenue, the company has more resources to serve the current customers better and bring new customers on board, and more resources for the team members in raises and other benefits.

I like both of the SW-5’s.  You can use them in any context you want.  I would be curious how you apply them. Please share with me your thoughts.

To your success and your future.

The Four Self’s

In the Leadership Training for Managers course from Dale Carnegie  we discuss the Empowerment Cycle that managers can use to coach employees to improve their performance.

The empowerment cycle can not only be used as a manager or leader, but we can use it to improve our own performance in our everyday lives.

1st Self:  Self Confidence:  It all begins here.  You must have the self-confidence to take the initiative to improve in your business, your life, your relationships, and in anything else you want to attempt.  If you haven’t attempted it before, will your confidence be high?  Nope, but the key thing is to just do it.  Most things happen when you just start doing versus just thinking about it.

2nd Self:  Self-Direction:  We all must be self-directed.  How do you become self-directed?  You set goals and have a vision for your future.  Check out my previous blog on this topic  A person that wants to accomplish and improve their own performance will always be seeking a new direction, a better way, a better approach.  Don’t allow life and circumstances determine your direction.  Take the wheel and you steer the car where you want to go.

3rd Self:  Self-Evaluation:  Now that you have built up the confidence to take some iniative, and you have set some goals, and started the pursuit towards these goals.  Now you have to evaluate how you are doing, how you are progressing, and is it working for you.  My mentor says it like this.

Q:  How long do we allow someone to stay in the fourth grade?

A:  One year, right?

How do we know when it is time for them to move to the fifth grade?  We give them a test and evaluate them.  But we don’t wait until the end of the fourth grade year to do so, do we?  Nope, we evaluate all year-long to see how they are progressing.

You have to do the same thing in your life.  You must self evaluate and see how you are doing.

4th Self:  Self-Correction:  You must evaluate your progress and then make adjustments to the course if you are not heading in the right direction.  Self-Correction is one of the most important steps here, because you cant expect to do the same things the same way and get a different result.  You have to make corrections along the way, no body will do it for you.  BTW:  Number one thing I have learned in life is this “Change before you have to”.  When someone comes along and tells you to change it is most likely to late.  More on this topic later.

The fifth self:  Is it begins back at the beginning of the cycle.  Which is Self-Confidence.  Every time you go through the four step cycle your confidence will build and you will get better.

Take the Four Steps above approach today to your work, to your personal life, to your finances, and see how it works and then tell us about here at the SDA blog.

To your success and your future.

Michael Jordan: The Life (What MJ has taught me)

I have read a dozen or so biographies of some of the most historic and prolific individuals that have contributed to our society.  I grew up watching Michael Jordan and I can remember the 1992 USA Olympic Team and my buddy Wes and I playing the Sega or maybe it was the Nintendo basketball game created from that team and the teams they played during those summer games.  The average margin of victory for the “real” team that summer was 30 points, I think our average margin of victory on the game console was more like 60 points.

We have all heard the many stories of Michael Jordan’s competitiveness and his intense pressure that he put on himself as well as his team mates.  But after reading this book, I have a new appreciation for Michael, not necessarily for what he accomplished.  We know what he accomplished and has accomplished, but I just really appreciate his “pursuit of excellence”.  He is truly a man who pursues excellence in everything he does.

Michael worked EXTREMELY HARD.  Michael was the first person at the gym in the morning and the last one to leave.  He is the best ever, but he still knew that he had to work hard to maintain being the best.

  • Where are you in your career?  You have to show up first and leave last, if you want to be the best.

Maybe you don’t like your boss, but if you are good (great) they will leave you alone.  I had heard the Michael and the General Manager Jerry Krause didn’t get a long.  However, even though Jerry was the boss, he gave Michael his space to do what he needed to do.

  • My advice to anyone is that you don’t have to love your manager or leader (it helps, but it isn’t necessary) but if you are really great at your job they will give you space to make things happen, just like Jerry did for Michael.

When others on the team weren’t giving it there all, Michael called them out.  Time after time the book tells stories of how Michael would challenge players in practice to give it their all, and if they didn’t they would get the scorn of Michael.

  • If you really care about the team and your company you have to not only give it your all, but it is your job and responsibility to make your other team mates give it their all.

There were no off days.  I knew Michael worked hard.  However, in the book there are countless stories of when the Bulls would come back from a series of games on the road, that players would be exhausted from the road trip and would attempt to not push too hard in practice, Michael refused to allow them to do this.  He would work even harder in practice and make them work as well.

  • Have you had a great day at work or maybe even a great week, and you think you can not push it as hard?  What would happen if you pushed hard all day everyday.

Don’t complain about the conditions, just play.  Before the Bulls had nice practice facilities and awesome resources for the players.  They shared an old gym at a community center.  It was old and not much there.  Michael took one look at the facility and threw his gym bag down and said lets play.

  • The conditions will never be perfect. However, your play can be, it’s up to you to change your attitude and just play.

Respect the chain of command.  There were many things that Michael may have disagreed  with over the years with coaches and with his general manager.  However Michael always respected the chain of command and never said things to media or others to discount their authority.

  • You can respect the chain of command by talking to your manager or your leader in person, never do it behind their back or to others on the team.

You have to give it your all even when you don’t feel like it. Yes, we have all heard about the Flu game.  Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals Michael was sick with the flu and ended up with the following stats. Jordan played 44 minutes, finishing the game with 38 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals and 1 block

  • You are a professional and what if you approached your job this way everyday?  Now I know if you have the flu we don’t want you in the office getting everyone sick.  However, the point here is that there are times throughout the week, the month or the year, that you are needed.  Be there no matter what.

You can talk smack when you can back it up. I can’t even recall all of the stories in the book and the many players that were quoted for the book describing the language that Michael used to talk trash to them on the floor.  But Michael backed it up, play after play.  

  • If you are going to say your are the best, be able to back it up with results and evidence.

Be humble. Michael was one of the most dominant players to ever play the game.  However, he never put him self above the other players he held himself to the same standards as everyone else (even higher really) and never got too big for the game and fame, even though he could have.

  • You are never bigger than the team or the organization, remember that and always give appreciation to others for their contributions.

Be coachable. Michael was the best player of all time.  He knew it and everyone else knew it.  Michael was his own hardest critic.  However, he would still listen to the advice of his coaches and his fellow teammates on things that he could do better.

  • We are never perfect and we must be willing to be coached, learn, and get better.  Once you think you have it all figured out, you will never reach excellence.

Have fun even in the moment of intense practice and preparation.  Michael was one of the most intense and competitive athletes of all time, but there are countless stories of Michael joking and playing around in practice and in games once the task that needed to be complete was complete.

  • Once your job is complete, make time for cutting up and have fun.  However, only do this once the job is done.

I remember watching the Chicago Bulls and Michael Jordan during their run in the mid 1990’s, however, I didn’t know the man (Michael) the way I do now. I just knew how good he was on the court.   Michael hated losing more than he liked winning.  A loss in basketball, table tennis, golf or anything would just eat at him.  He hated losing, which pushed him to make sure that he won.

I have a greater appreciation for Michael and who the man is.  His daily pursuit of excellence and not settling for anything is amazing.  I would compare Michael’s style to that of the late Steve Jobs.  Jobs and Michael both believed in not doing anything half way, and always giving it their all. These two iconic figures both changed the world.  Michael transformed the NBA and the athletic shoe and apparel industry.  He helped Nike become the dominant force it is now.  Jobs created an entire industry and truly change the world.

Michael was definitely provided with great gifts such as height and athleticism, however, he focused on those gifts and developed and refined, practiced, and worked at them to become what he became and is now one of the most transformative figures of all time.

Define and develop your gifts that you have with the same approach as Michael did and what can you accomplish?

To your success and your future.



The opportunity is in the problems you solve

I have spoken with people about their own growth and development for years.  This to me is the starting point for a bigger job, a promotion, more money, more opportunities, etc.  You can’t get to the next level without some kind of development to get you there.  Some have been able to get all of the things I mentioned and others have not.   Why is this I wonder.  Could it be that the opportunities don’t exist?  Could it be that the fix is in, and no matter what they do it wouldn’t matter?  Could it be the leadership that they report to is not the kind of leadership that promotes growth and development for some reason?  Or is it just the person?  

A lot of variables to the questions I throw out.

Could it be the opportunities don’t exist? Maybe they don’t.  However, I have seen it over and over again.  And I think Jesus may have said it.  “Your talents will create a place for you.”  Throughout my career I have seen this many many times.  A position is created for a person that has many skills and talents in a particular area.

Could it be that the fix is in, and no matter what they do it wouldn’t matter? Could it be the leadership that they report to is not the kind of leadership that promotes growth and development for some reason?  I think it all begins with your ability to show that you bring so much value to your current job and everything that is included in that job that your managers believe that you could serve in a higher position with more responsibility, to help them achieve the bigger goals of the department and organization.  I have seen it over and over again, that the good leaders (Yes Leaders not Managers) look for talent and develop it.  If they see it, they will find a way to maximize the potential of the talent.  So to answer the above questions for yourself, is it you or is it them.  You have to do an honest assessment of yourself and your situation.

Lastly, Is just the person. Yes you.  Answer, you have to ask yourself that question.  As I mentioned above, how much value do you bring.  I have heard it said like this.  The greater the problem that you can provide a solution to, has a direct correlation to the money and opportunities presented to you.  Example:  The problem:  Having software on a personal computer that everyone could have access to.  Solution:  Microsoft Windows.  Big Problem, Big Solution.  Great riches.  Problem:  Men/Women feeling better about their appearance when wearing certain clothes.  Solution:  SPANX.   This was a big problem for a lot of people and it was solved by this particular product.    

So how big is the problem that your skills and abilities provide a solution to?

To your success and your future.



How to get others to follow your lead

Whether you are a parent, a spouse, a sales person, a colleague, a leader, a subordinate, you name it, you are constantly seeking to have influence over others.   What I have found in the corporate environment as well as with my personal relationships, when I follow the following acronym I am much more influential.

Today, follow some of the below statements and see how it works for you.  See if you get a different outcome than you would have previously by following a different method.

Also, as always I appreciate your feedback on any post I have.

I      nitiate meaningful conversations through asking questions
N     ever be critical of yourself or another person
F      ind common ground and points of agreement
L      isten more than you talk
U     nderstand the other persons point of view
E     ncourage people through appreciation and recognition
N     urture relationships through trust and respect
C     onnect by remembering and using a persons name
E     arnestly believe that the other person seeks the same results you do.

To your success and your future.

How to get promoted on the job

I work with lots of people who ask me all of the time “How do I get promoted”.

Here is a solid game plan to get promoted or to make more money in your position.  I have seen this work many, many, many times over and over in my career as well as many others.

Get to work one hour earlier.  What is the old saying?  The early bird gets the worm.  Yes this is true.  When you get to work earlier than everyone else something  magic happens.  You don’t have any distractions and research shows that you can do three hours worth of work in one hour when you don’t have any distractions.

Work through your lunch hour.  I am not saying don’t eat.  But don’t leave the office.  Again, when everyone is leaving for the hour, you can stay back and get things done by maximizing your un-interrupted time.

Stay one hour later.  Yep.  Why not, the traffic is bad anyway.  By staying one hour later you again get the uninterrupted time.

Lastly, my advice as a manager for many years.  Don’t tell your boss, colleagues, etc. how much you work if you implement the above schedule.  They will see you, you don’t have to tell them.  They know.  And your results will show as well.

What if there are no opportunities to get promoted?  Do you want to earn more money?  The above is a sure-fire way to earn more money as well.  The more value you bring to the marketplace the more money someone is willing to pay for your services.  You get paid for the value you bring to the hour.  The more value you bring to one hour of work, the more someone will pay you for that hour.

Personal note here:  I know how much I make an hour and you do as well.  My goal and a solid goal for you should be to multiply that rate by 10 times your current hourly rate.  What if we did that?  What would that do for us?  That is my goal.  Those who say it can’t be done are the ones watching the ones doing it.  Lets go out and do it.  I know we can.

To your success and your future.


Hot Button Marketing “Push the Emotional Buttons that get People to Buy.”  This is the ninth book I have read this year on sales and marketing.  What I liked most about this book is that it really gave a lot of examples of how effective marketing works.  Also, as a trainer I have been training people on finding the dominant reason a person wants to purchase something, and this book really expands on this concept and fleshes out a lot of great information regarding this subject.

These are my notes from this book (which are my highlights) I attempt not to highlight the entire book, I sometimes do it seems like.

  • People don’t buy products and services.  They buy satisfactions of unmet needs.
  • People buy for the desire to look good for a boss, the desire for achievement, the desire for power and dominance.
  • People rarely buy products, they are buying fulfillment.
  • People buy for two reasons. 1. The rational Reason  2.  The real reason
  • Hit the heart and the head will follow. Rocky Marciano  This works in business to.
  • If you can’t sell your products in a single sentence, you really don’t have an effective selling proposition.
  • Consumers are usually not aware of their needs unless you show them a stimulus, that is: they aren’t aware of a need for a product unless you show them the product and how its going to affect their lives emotionally.
  • How does your product improve the consumers life emotionally?
  • You’re not marketing against consumers.  You’re helping them fulfill a need.
  • The frustrating part is that consumers don’t need or want anything until you hit the right sales note.
  • People didn’t know they wanted a machine that baked bread.  Why?  because the store-bought stuff was pretty good.  But then a bread maker was sold.  People latent need for self achievement (hot button) rose to the surface. The bread makers loved the need that people have to create something.
  • It’s not how a consumer see him or herself in reality.  Its how they see themselves as they aspire to be.
  • A CEO has two hot buttons.  A family and a need for approval from stockholders or a board.
  • Nice to have —-Want to have.  turn these in to must to haves.
  • Consumers use products to achieve the characteristics they envision for themselves.
  • In all countries wealth is a symbol of status. It doesn’t matter that wealth is measured in dollars, the number of cows you have, real-estate, car,.  This hot button depends on age, ethnicity and background.
  • Values systems may differ, but the hot buttons remain the same.
  • Needs are nonnegotiable.  You want them now. No ifs, ands, or buts.  Needs are who we are or what we aspire to be. They are fundamental and necessary to all human satisfaction.
  • Interests are roadmaps for our needs.
  • Starbucks is selling community and companionship and prestige.
  • People who are lower on the social ladder often prefer tangible goods rather than services that only have abstract benefits.  Their hot buttons are often about being smarter and getting the most that one can get for the money.
  • Hot button selling is all about selling to the consumers aspirations.  It’s about selling to the way consumers want to be, rather that the way they are.
  • As a hot button marketer, you are an enabler selling products and services that enable consumers to be what they aspire to be.
  • Hot button research seeks to thoroughly understand the unspoken motives and beliefs held by a customers and prospects in regard to a brand, product, or service.
  • Here is where we go wrong:  We think we know why customers want what they do.  Customers usually don’t know, so how can we.
  • Ninety percent of a sales pitch should be you asking questions.
  • Engage the five senses as much as you can in any sell.

#1:  Hot Button,  The desire for control:

  • Control is one of the strongest Hot buttons.  People want to make their life better. Loss of control is synonymous with a  fear of the unknown.
  • People want control over finances, health, safety and health over loved ones, our own acquisitions, our jobs, our self-respect and the respect of others.
  • The longer people wait of for something, the less control they have (or perceive they have) over it.
  • Control over ones destiny is what drives the at home business phenomenon.
  • How many times have you heard this:  Would you bu willing to cut out a pack of cigarettes or s ingle dinner out each week to be able to afford this home or car.  Reducing a financial picture to the lowest denominator is a great sales technique.  People want to feel like they can control their finances.  This makes it seem like they can.
  • Companies like control as well.  They prefer to stay with suppliers they can trust rather than shopping around.  They feel like they are in control.

#2 Hot Button,  I’m better than you:

  • It is a reflection of your consumers desire to belong or fit in.
  • The desire for higher status is universal across all people and cultures.
  • People are willing to pay dearly to enhance themselves in the eye of their peers.
  • Vodka is neutral and tasteless. Yet research sows that consumers–especially in lower-income areas will go for the name brand in spite of high price.
  • Cost is an essential part of the prestige factor.  The more expensive the better.
  • People wont admit that they buy a product on status appeal.  As with most hot buttons, consumers aren’t aware that they are buying products based on snob appeal.

#3 Hot button,  The excitement of discovery

  • Discovery is something learn or found–it includes both the new and unexpected.

#4  Hot button,  Revaluers

  • Revaluers are a segment of the market that is self motivated, self-directed, and self focused.
  • Don’t sell to them, Allow revaluers to make their own purchasing decisions.
  • Revaluers are a mixture of regret and anticipation.
  • Revaluing hot button is responsible for the rise in health and beauty care products.
  • Revaluers are more into self enjoyment rather than self achievement.
  • Theres a new kind of store in town.  A health food store.  Where you get to pay twice as much for the same products they can find in a super market.
  • Revaluers focus more on the experience of buying a product rather than the products.  Whole Foods is an experience.

#5 Hot button, Family Values:

  • The hottest of hot buttons
  • Disney World and the entire Disney brand sells family values
  • according to the book Why they Buy, by Robert Settle and Pamela Alreck, only one in twenty families fits the bill of a single marriage, two parent, two children household.
  • Family Values are the key to selling houses.
  • Children affect over 60 percent of the families market purchases. The trick is to find which 60 percent they do impact.
  • Kids look up to older kids.  To be like the big kids is an essential kid like desire.
  • Smoking cessation programs sometimes include kids at introductory meetings because research has shown that kids are the biggest motivators to get prints to stop smoking.

#6 Hot button,   The desire to Belong

  • People are social animals.  Emotional connections are critical.
  • We all long to be accepted.  This need to belong is all wrapped up in our sense of personal and physiological well-being and our sense of personal worth.
  • Athletes when they retire never talk about their accolades that they will miss.  It is always about the camaraderie in the locker room that they will miss.  Being with the others.
  • The strongest affinity associations is based on age.
  • People will belong to clubs or organizations to fill this need.  They will wear certain decals or logos for this reason.  To belong.

#7 Hot Button,  Fun is its own reward

  • We all have a desire to laugh and have fun, it is universal.
  • Newspapers offer comic strips because people have a desire to laugh and to be entertained.
  • People have a fear of boredom.  People want to be stimulated.
  • Most sales are made when the sales people take the clients out.  The feeling people get when they have fun is more important than the product.  People want to have fun.
  • More deal are done on the golf course than in the boardroom.

#8 Hot button,   Poverty of Time

  • Consumers have more time than ever before, but they tend to use all the time they have.
  • Geicos commercial give us 15 minutes and we can save you money was huge for them.  All you need is 15 minutes to save cash.  People will spend 15 minutes to save money.
  • Saving time is one of the biggest motivators for men and women ages 25-45.  Especially women of child-bearing years.
  • Humans are the only animals that will procrastinate.  A cat won’t look at a mouse and say I’ll annoy you later”  They do things as they come up.

#9 Hot button,  The need to get the best that can be got

  • This is not only luxury, it is as people move up their tastes change as well.
  • Coveting the goods of your neighbors used to be hot.  Now with reality television and marketing, people covet what the rich and famous have.
  • Harley Davidson motorcycles have a tendency to breakdown, but people still covet them.  Same as jaguars.
  • People get an emotional high out of buying the quintessential product.  Sometimes the product itself is not that great, they enjoy the buying of it though.
  • Self satisfaction is most important to this person since it fulfills a private dream and the reward is inner gratification.
  • The best that can be got is beyond money, beyond power, it is a feel good thing.

#10 Hot Button,  Self Achievement

  • Self achievement is a major goal for people.  Find out what the deepest desire for your product is.
  • Business psychologists know that as adults we seek praises from our bosses as much as we seek a good paycheck.
  • People always want to become better.
  • Feeling good is the heart of success.  It’s the ultimate in self achievement and success.
  • Feeling Good is the ultimate psychological need of any human being.
  • The strongest word in the human language is a personas name.  The second strongest is you.
  • Personal growth is important to everyone. You just have to find out what that is.

#11 Hot Button,  Sex, Love, And Romance

  • Ads focused on primal instincts works faster especially for men.
  • The desire to love and to be loved is a strong hot button
  • Sexual interest and romantic interest are two of the most basic emotions.
  • Sex can be explicit or implied.  Men want explicit and women want more subtle images.

#12 Hot button, The nurturing response

  • Make Mom and Dad the hero not the product
  • This hot button is about the need to give care, comfort, growth, and support to others.
  • Nurturing is an innate, instinctive emotional response in most of us.
  • Good will industries is a great example.  People want to feel like they are giving back to poor people.  However, Goodwill industries is a for profit company.  But they use the nurturing appeal well in their marketing.
  • Girl Scout cookies plays to this hot button.
  • Michelin tires and the baby sitting in a tire.  Why wouldn’t you buy a Michelin tire to protect your child.

#13 Hot button, Reinventing Oneself

  • Reinvention can happen at almost any age.
  • Most often people don’t change unless thy are uncomfortable.
  • Dissatisfaction with who people think they are, their role in life, or economic dissatisfaction forces people to take inventory of themselves. They want to fix it.

#14 Hot Button, Make me smarter

  • Half of knowledge is knowing where to find it.
  • Knowledge is an innate desire for humans.
  • People want to think they are smart
  • People want to know more than their peers, neighbors, and friends,
  • Knowledge brings a feeling of empowerment and enables consumers to make better buying decisions.

Does your product do one of these things for people?  How many of these does your product do for your customer? 

  • Entertain
  • To make better choices
  • To improve ones life
  • To keep ones mind occupied
  • To learn something new
  • To keep ones mind sharp
  • To improve mental efficiency
  • To hope
  • To build self-confidence
  • To find out something new
  • To discover alternate plans that can be followed when Plan A doesn’t work.

#15 Hot button,  Power, dominance, and influence

  • Personal Power and positional power
  • Wealth is equated with power.
  • In middle management you sell by whats in it for the middle manager (secondarily the company).  It could be a promotion, more money, or an in to more power. It’s up to the sales person to make the middle managers look good
  • Middle managers tend to buy things that increase their personal dominance and may help them look good to higher-ups.  Upper management usually wants products that are good for the company, because in their minds they are the company.

#16 Hot Button,  Wish Fulfillment

  • Find out what your prospects want and how to fit that into their dreams.  Help them get what attainable.
  • The advertising industry exploits wish-fulfillment by suggesting an association of their product with a specific desire (good health, attractiveness, or power)
  • Sell the results of the dream not the dream itself.

The most common wishes are for friends, happiness, health, marriage, money, success, self-improvement, and to help other people.  More men than women wanted sex and power.  More women wanted happiness, a better appearance, and greater health.

Some of the hot buttons, like status, nurturing, and dominance, are primal and are shared with our cousins in the animal world.  Some are distinctly human, such as control and self achievement.  Most of our physical needs are met, but not our psychological needs.  As humans our minds and emotions are the most difficult to discern.  Good sales people get past the facades and break down the psychological wants and needs.

If you are in sales or marketing I would encourage you to read this book.

Hot Button Marketing (Push the emotional buttons that get people to buy); author Barry Feig


40 hours is the starting line

This morning I was listening to the recorded version of the Dave Ramsey show like I do every morning.  In all his wisdom (which is why I listen) he said to someone who called in that they had competing goals.  I believe the caller was asking if her husband should go back to school or they should pay off debt.  I can’t remember the full context of the story.  However, Dave talked about competing goals and gave a few illustrations of what competing goals look like.

Maybe your goal is to grow within your company.  But you also want to spend more time with your family.  We have some competing goals here don’t we.  So what do you do?  Life is full of seasons.  You may be in a season right now where you have to pay now so you can play later.  Nothing in life is forever, seasons come and go. Summer is almost over and it will soon be fall, so seasons constantly change.   

You can’t get ahead by working 40 hours.  The bottom line is 40 hours is basically the starting line.  What you do after that first 40 hours is what will lead to success.  I have seen it, witnessed it, and experienced it.  So what is your goal?  

Yesterday I was talking to a good friend of mine. He likes to play golf, he is a big time golfer and is really good at golf.  However, in our weekly accountability meeting we discussed the fact that he doesn’t have much time for golf right now because his goal is to sacrifice now, so it will pay later.  He made his decision and even though one of his goals is to maintain being really good at golf.  What is more important right now is putting in 60 hours a week in work, training, education, etc. So he can feed his family and prep for his future desires. Which is even more important. After 40 Hours is where his real work begins.

Competing goals.  In the pursuit multiple high priority goals, one is diluted.  You can’t serve two masters. Pick a goal, pursue it, and don’t look back.  I say this many times: The reason I write/blog is for my own accountability.  I have competing goals right now in my life and career.  I have to find more focus, pick a major goal and stick with it.

Remember life is full of seasons.  Just like a baseball player, basketball player, or football player, the more seasons we have the closer we get to greatness.  Athletes during their season don’t do anything else except focus on the goal, which is a championship.  We should do the same.

What is your definition of championship?  Is it a promotion?  If so, it is time to focus on the season you are in or need to be in and pursue that goal.

What season are you in

You know the longer I am in business and in life, I find that this is more true.

  • The second mile, the third mile, and fourth miles are really not that crowded.  The crowd thins out the longer you run.
  • During the week at the office.  The one hour or the two hours before everyone is supposed to start work is really not the crowded either.
  • Saturday mornings at the office you don’t have to worry about the coffee pot getting emptied very quickly.
  • By February of a new year, you can usually get back to your favorite machine during the time you go to the gym.
  • There are usually not traffic jams past 6:30 pm during the workweek. Probably closer to six depending on where you live.
  • Most volunteer organizations struggle with attendance at events they hold.
  • Most diets fail within the first seven days.

I could probably create a more exhaustive list than this, but you get the point.  Most people aren’t willing to pay the price for success.  The natural gravitation pull is down.  I think we can all agree that down is usually associated with easier and less challenging.  If that is true, then we have to find ways to rise up and push up so we can realize the benefits of success.  Success has a price tag.  Are you willing to pay the price for success.

Remember life is full of seasons.  Seasons don’t last forever.  Summer is not 8 months out of the year.  Winter is only a few months.  So investing the time and resources for a season  has the potential to pay off big time.  What season are you in?

What are you willing to do this week to pay the price for success?