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September 16, 2008

Written by Bob Meyer, Editor of BarterNews

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...09/16/2008

Oops!

BarterNews has been informed that the GrandLuxe Rail Journey, as reported in last week’s Tuesday Report, is no longer in operation as of August 29, 2008.

Small Business Owners Aren’t Political

Own your own business? Then you’re working too hard to be concerned about the coming election. That’s what the new Discover Card Small Business Watch survey reports. Furthermore, you don’t believe it matters much who gains the White House as the small business community, lacking lobbyists, lacks any power in Congress.

Looking For Flowers On Barter?

A new site, www.barterflowers.com, will provide flowers—up to $50—on trade. But over that amount it’s cash, plus all delivery charges are cash. They will accept several barter currencies.

Your House Or Your Business?

According to a study by Experian, the credit-rating service, business owners in financial trouble will sacrifice their homes to save their companies. The study of 2.7 million small U.S. businesses showed that the most severely delinquent business owners continued to pay their company’s bills, even as they skipped their mortgage payments.

Slipstream Radio Available For Barter

A division of the Triton Media Group will launch Slipstream Radio. Based in Chicago, the new company will help terrestrial radio stations create customizable Internet radio stations online.

Triton will offer Slipstream to broadcasters and other content providers for a flat monthly cash fee or for barter.

 All back issues of "From the Desk...” can be accessed by clicking here.

(Please feel free to forward our newsletter to your friends and colleagues. We have a “box” at the end of the newsletter for your convenience. See you next week. . .)


How To Manage Using Questions

The art of management often involves asking questions. Lots of them. Here’s a list of ten questions to ask as you look about your organization.

If you ask these questions as part of your routine, you’ll teach your people that their opinions matter.

  • What made you mad today?
  • What took too long?
  • What caused complaints today?
  • What was misunderstood today?What cost too much?
  • What was wasted?
  • What was too complicated?

  • What was just plain silly?

  • What job involved too many people?

  • What job involved too many actions?

(From TeleProfessional, by Bill Maynard.)


Money-Making Reports Available From BarterNews


10 Tactics To Boost Morale

One of the most important jobs of an owner or manager is to keep spirits up in the workplace. Although this isn’t always easy to do, there are some strategies you can use that will get the job done—without hurting your budget.

1. Sponsor a “Noon Movie.” Once a week or once a month (depending on employee schedules), set up a VCR in the lunchroom and show a funny movie during lunch. If time if limited, show reruns of Seinfeld, Frasier, or other situation comedies.

2. Set up a “Humor Corner.” Designate one section of the office as the place for humor, and encourage employees to post cartoons, jokes, or other funny material.

3. Get out of the office! Whenever possible, hold meetings outside the office—at the coffee shop down the street or at a local restaurant. If weather permits, don’t be afraid to hold meetings outside from time to time...and include a catered picnic.

4. Sponsor an “Interesting Pizza Day.” Once a month, treat employees to pizza (gourmet pizza shops now feature dozens of specialty toppings) and encourage people to try different kinds. Not only is it a free lunch, but it’s lots of fun.

5. Liven up your memos. Buy a book of one-liners, and include a joke at the bottom of your memos.

6. Run a “Guess the Baby” contest. Ask the staff to bring in baby photos and post them on the wall. Award a free lunch to the employee who can guess who’s who.

7. Have “Late Day Mondays.” If possible, once a month allow your employees to arrive an hour late on a Monday morning—or leave an hour early on a Friday.

8. Take pictures! Most businesses have an aspiring photographer. Ask that person to take candid shots of employees, and add them to the “Humor Corner.”

9. Play with the dress code. If your culture allows it, hold an “Ugly Tie,” “Ugly Shoes,” or “Ugly Sweater” day. Award prizes for the winners.

10. Bring your smile to work. You’ll be surprised at the difference it makes. If you consistently have an upbeat attitude, the staff will as well.

·         International visitors look for BARTER CONTACTS in our Global Barter Section. If YOUR exchange isn’t listed see the forms on the lower left of the page. (Click here.)

·         Attention trade exchange owners...thousands of visitors every month visit our BARTER CONTACTS section on our web site where we have names & addresses of barter companies in the USA. If YOUR exchange isn’t listed, or the information is incorrect, you can correct the situation by using the forms to the lower left of the USA map. (Click here.) 

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The Question is the Key

By Dave Kahle

(Reprinted, with permission of the publisher, from Question Your Way To Sales Success © 2008 by Dave Kahle. Published by Career Press, Franklin Lakes, NJ. 800-227-3371. All rights reserved.)

Focus, focus, focus. That’s the phrase that I find myself repeating constantly in every sales seminar that I present. I believe focus is the greatest challenge for salespeople today, and the greatest single solution to their challenges. There are so many demands on our time, so many tasks calling for our attention, and so many opportunities available to us that we can easily become scattered and dissipated.

And in my 30 plus years of experience in the sales profession, I have identified several places where focus will gain you the greatest results. At the top of the list is focusing on the skill of asking better sales questions. 

If there is only one practice within the scope of the professional salesperson upon which you can focus, let it be to gain mastery in asking better questions.

Of all the things that you can do and say when you are talking with a customer, there is none that even comes close to the power of asking a good question. It stands alone, apart from every other tactic, as your single most powerful sales tool. Nothing even approaches it.

Off all the ways that you can think about your job, nothing comes close to formulating powerful questions to ask yourself, and then answering them in writing. The question you ask yourself is your single most powerful thinking tool.

That power springs from a simple principle: When you ask a question, they think of the answer. I know that sounds incredibly basic, but the most powerful truths are often very basic. If you consider this, you’ll come to the conclusion that the language in your question influences, shapes and energizes the thinking of the person to whom the question is asked.

In the case of asking the customer, the question influences, shapes, and energizes the thinking of your customer. Not only that, but the language in the questions you ask yourself direct and focus your own thinking.

Where does the decision to buy your product or service ultimately take place? Isn’t it in the mind of the customer? And what one tool allows you to shape what takes place in that mind? A good question. 

Let me prove it to you. Answer this question. Did you enjoy what you had for breakfast this morning? 

Now consider what you did when you read that question. Probably, in a split second spent thinking, you conjured up a picture of you eating breakfast this morning. You reviewed that by considering the picture, and then made a judgment about it: You either did or did not enjoy it.

In other words, my question caused you to think a certain way, about a certain subject. And every person who reads this book will do exactly the same thing. My question will direct and influence the thinking process of thousands of people in some small way.

Our natural reaction, when we are asked a question, is to think of the answer. While it is possible to be asked a question and to not think of the answer, it generally takes some planning and an act of willpower to do so. Even then, our conditioning often takes over and supplants our intentions. 

For example, decide, right now, not to think of the answer to this question. I’m going to ask you a question, but I want you to not think of the answer. Ready? How old are you?

Don’t think of the answer!

If you are like most people, by this point the answer has crept into your mind and oozed out into your consciousness. 

That’s the ultimate power of a question. When someone asks a question, you think of the answer.  These two questions that I asked above were both relatively trivial. Imagine, however, the power of a more significant question, or better yet, a series of significant questions, to direct and influence the thinking of your customers. Are you beginning to gain a sense of the tremendous power of a question?

Here’s an example of how this operates in a practical selling situation: You’ve just made a proposal or a presentation of your solution. You ask the customer, “What do you not like about my product?” That’s a terrible question. What is the customer going to think about as a result of your question? All the faults he can find with your product.

On the other hand, you could influence the customer to think much more positively about your product by asking this question: “In what ways do you see yourself (or your company) benefiting from this product?” 

I’d much prefer to have the customer think about the answer to the second question, rather than the first. In this scenario, it was your question that influenced the direction of the customer’s thinking. That’s the ultimate power of a good sales question.

The power of a question to direct thinking applies just as powerfully to you. When you ask yourself questions, you direct, influence and energize your own thinking.

My work with questions has led me to conclude that the question is your most powerful thinking device, shaping and prompting excellent analysis, great prioritizing, powerful creativity, and excellent plans.

Your ability to think well depends on the language in the questions that you ask yourself.

Here’s an example. At one time, I sold for a distributor of hospital supplies. I was instructed by my manager to make sure that I always had something to present to every customer on whom I called. I thought he probably knew what he was doing, and I followed his direction. Every time that I mentioned a product line that I carried, or handed over a piece of literature, or provided a sample, or demonstrated a product, I’d call that a "sales presentation.” Thus, I was prepared to make a sales presentation on every sales call.

At some point along the way, I thought that if I could increase the quantity of sales presentation that I made, I could probably correspondingly increase the number of opportunities that I uncovered, and thus, eventually, the volume of my sales. So, I asked myself this question: “How can I double the quantity of sales presentations I make in my territory?”

The answer to the question was obvious: Take two things with me on every sales call. While the answer was obvious, it took me asking the right question to uncover that answer and the resulting strategy. I determined to do just that, and saw my sales increase dramatically.

Some time later, I asked myself a similar question: “How can I increase the quantity of sales presentations I make in my territory?” Again, the answer was obvious: Take more than two!

Once again, the answer was obvious. It was laying there for everyone to see. But it took the right question to uncover it. It wasn’t until I asked the right question that I discovered the resulting strategy.

So, again, I implemented that strategy and saw my sales increase again.

Some time later, I asked myself a different question: “How can I cause the quantity of sales presentations in my territory to be increased?”

Notice the difference in the language of the question. Now, it wasn’t just about me. Since I asked the question in a different way, it led me to a different answer, and a different strategy.

The answer to the most recent question? I could influence some of the manufacturer’s representatives who sold the lines that I carried to work on my behalf in my territory. If one of them made a product presentation in my territory, it would have the same impact as if I had made it myself. So, I determined to identify and then work with a core group of manufacturer’s reps, with whom my company had exclusive relationships, and who I determined to be competent, honest and reliable sales reps.

The eventual outcome of this strategy? I did five times the volume of the average rep in that field.

Notice the sequence of events. Let’s start at the end. I did huge volumes of business – five times the amount of the ordinary sales rep. One of the reasons I did that kind of volume was that I created more opportunities than any one else. One of the reasons I generated more opportunities was my routine of working closely with a core group of manufacturer’s reps, and thoroughly preparing to show several items to every prospect or customer in every sales call. The reason I implemented those strategies was that I arrived at the obvious answer to some questions I asked myself. 

What was the stimulus that created this whole sequence of events? The questions I asked myself.

If there is only one practice within the scope of the professional salesperson upon which you can focus, let it be to gain mastery in asking better questions.

Dave Kahle is a consultant and trainer who helps his clients increase their sales and improve their sales productivity. Dave has trained thousands of salespeople to be more successful in the Information Age economy. He is the author of over 500 articles, a monthly e-zine, and six books. For more information on the author go to http://www.davekahle.com.


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The Growth and Use of Secondary Capital (New Money) Creates Unprecedented Wealth In Today’s New Age Of Possibility

There are many forms of secondary capital—which can be defined as any financial instrument that measures and communicates value in a common language. Would you like to see and learn more about the many forms of secondary capital?

 We have 70 free, informative and inspiring, articles for you in our “Secondary Capital Section.”

Check it out... www.barternews.com/secondary_capital.htm.


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