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Strengthening Client Relationships with Amanda Johns Vaden – Episode 210 of The Action Catalyst Podcast

Amanda Johns Vaden is a Founding Partner at Southwestern Consulting ™, which is an international, multi-million dollar sales consulting organization, which focuses on creating systems to increase performance. Amanda and Southwestern Consulting work with companies such as Wells Fargo, Keller Williams, DIRECTV and AFLAC just to name a few.

Amanda is a million dollar producer, Senior Consultant, Executive Coach and Keynote Speaker with Southwestern Consulting™. She speaks throughout the country to thousands of sales professionals every year in coordination with her upcoming books Selling to the Sexes: Everything You Need to Know About Selling to the Opposite Sex and 4-Dimensional Follow Up: How to Increase Client Retention and Develop Customer Loyalty.

She is a featured speaker for the Better Business Bureau, Business Journal and Chambers of Commerce all across the country. She is also the Founder of Southwestern Speakers, which is a full service speakers bureau that works with companies to help them find and source keynote speakers for their annual meetings and events. And lastly, she is Division Manager of the Success Starts Now! Conference series in which she responsible for recruiting, hiring, training and managing their full time sales force. As part of her ‘practitioner’s’ belief she remains active as a sales manager, personal producer and content developer.

Show Highlights:

Without trust you don’t have client relationships. @amandajohnsSWC

If there isn’t trust, you aren’t getting repeat business. @amandajohnsSWC

My best prospects are my best clients. @amandajohnsSWC

I don’t want them to think they’ve signed up for something that will go 100% perfect, because I know that it’s not. @amandajohnsSWC

When it doesn’t go perfect, I don’t want to have to make excuses for why it didn’t. @amandajohnsSWC

It’s healthy for your clients to know you on a human level, not just a vendor level. @amandajohnsSWC

It’s not lay it all out for the world but allowing people to get to know you. @amandajohnsSWC

Gifts are a sign of appreciation. @amandajohnsSWC

Whether you give me your business or not, I’m going to give you my time and attention. @amandajohnsSWC

Get in where you can get in, prove that you’re worth it and build from there. @amandajohnsSWC

 

The Action Catalyst is a weekly podcast hosted by Rory Vaden of Southwestern Consulting every Wednesday. The show is regularly in the Top 25 of Business News Podcasts, has listeners from all around the world and shares “insights and inspiration to help you take action.” Each week Rory shares ideas on how to increase your self-discipline and make better use of your time to help you achieve your goals in life. He also interviews special expert guests and thought leaders. Subscribe on iTunes and please leave a rating and review!

6 Characteristics of a Great Life Purpose Statement

purpose

People often struggle with articulating their life’s purpose.

A single unifying statement that helps clarify for them what they want their life to have counted for at the end of their days.

In a recent podcast interview with one of my business partners at Southwestern Consulting, Steve Reiner, he and our coaching client were talking through the process they used to help our client identify his purpose.

It’s become one of Steve’s specialties and he laid out 6 characteristics of what make a great life purpose statement that I thought were fantastic:

1. Useful – It should talk about your relationship with other people. Specifically it should address how you will serve and help others beyond just yourself.

2. Universal – It should apply to every area of your life and it should set a mode of operating for you that carries over into both your personal and professional life.

3. Aspirational – It should speak to the person you want to become and the impact you want to have. Almost as if it were a projection of your future self.

4. Formidable – It should be a challenge to achieve and be something that will require you to work and operate at your very best levels.

5. Controllable – It should be something in your power and that relies on you. For example you can’t have a life purpose to make someone happy because that is outside your control. You could say to dedicate your life to providing certain things for someone.

6. Inspirational – It should be something that when you read it, it breathes life into you and causes you to feel compelled to take immediate action.

If you’re interested in learning more about our coaching process and how we might work with you one on one to create your life purpose statement click here.

Transformational Selling

Transformational

Find the need.

Uncover the pain.

Discover their problem.

Those are classic principles and practices of professional marketing salesmanship.

And they are powerful because not only do they work, but they also do provide a great service in that they get people emotional enough to catalyze them moving past procrastination and into taking the action they need to improve their situation.

There’s nothing wrong with that (as long as it’s not manipulative and as long as your solution actually works) and so you can keep doing that. But that’s not the only way to sell.

Servant Selling is also about creating a vision for what’s possible.

Servant Selling is also about inventing a more positive future outcome.

In other words, Servant Selling isn’t just about focusing on the pain; it’s about also focusing on the promise.

It’s teaming up with your prospect together to design a new richer future for them.

It’s understanding what their ideal situation would really look like and then collaborating with them to craft a plan for how to make that become real.

That kind of Selling is transformational.

That kind of Selling is supportive.

That kind of Selling moves you from persuasion to partnership.

It moves you from being a presenter to being a visionary.

It moves you from being an order taker to being an artist.

And it moves you from being a solicitor to being a servant.

Plus, talking about the promise – and not just the pain – keeps you focused on producing a desirable result for your prospects and your customers.

It focuses you on providing real value and delivering actual results.

That’s what people want: results.

They want a new and improved situation.

They want something that actually works and that actually delivers.

What they don’t want is to be sold something just because they had a need.

They want the problem actually solved and the potential actually realized.

So remember selling isn’t only about solving problems; it’s also about inventing possibilities.

7 Communication Tips That Make Great Leaders

 communication

A great leader is a great communicator. 

Yet communication, especially in the sense of public oratory, is in many ways a lost art form among today’s leaders. 

It’s rare that we have a leader that delivers the kind of speech that touches our spirit and inspires us to be better. 

Too often, leaders ride the credence of their position rather than the articulation of their passion when communicating to their teams. 

Here’s 7 practical things leaders can do in their public presentations that will make them more effective with their followers:

1. Tell stories – Your slides are boring. Your numbers are numbing. So instead, tell stories about specific team members or specific customers where things are being done right. That will keep us engaged and listening. 

2. Be Vulnerable – We barely know you. We barely see you. And then you stand on stage in your stodgy suits and tell us facts. What we’d rather hear about is some of your own blunders, some of your own fears, and some of your transparent mistakes. Humanize yourself by connecting with us through “real” feelings you have. 

3. Build Leaders – The fastest way to make us love you is when you celebrate and lift up the other people in our organization that we all respect and love. It helps us trust you when you recognize the people who look after us and when you show that you know who the people are that do the work around here. If you’re really savvy, you’ll build up your leaders in front of us which will make them feel like a million bucks and bond us all together as a team and reinforce our conviction in leadership as a whole. 

4. Show Appreciation – We know you get pressure by the board, our investors or whoever it is that you answer to about hitting our numbers and we expect that some of that pressure will roll down to us. But what would really make us feel awesome – and want to work harder for you – is if you simply said “thank you.” If you can just find some way to let us know that you notice how hard we are all working and that you appreciate the sacrifices we do make, that will go a long way. 

5. Reinforce Principles – Yes we know that if we were good employees we would all have our core values and principles memorized word for word, but hey we forget and let’s be honest we’d rather spend our free brain capacity playing fantasy football and hanging out with our families. So if there is a principle you want to empower us to operate the company by, please talk about it and give examples of how we could execute it. Or better yet, in your explanation of certain decisions or changes that are being made, connect the justification for why back to our core principles. That helps us understand that you really do take them seriously and that we all should too. 

6. Promote Vision – Most of all we need you to remind us why we are all here. Talk to us about what you believe. Tell us how what we do is important and how our individual roles all add up to something greater and more important. And tell us where we are going as a team. We want to be excited about what is ahead and we want to be in on the big picture. 

7. Compel Greatness – Finally, charge us up with a challenge. Send us off on a high. Invite us to accomplish something great. We want to be a part of something big. Show us how we can be. Let us know what you see, what you believe in and what is coming in the future. 

We’re here because we still see the value in what we all do. Be the leader we want to believe in. The better you are at communicating, the easier it is for us to get behind all that you’re talking about. 

Believe in us and we will believe in you. 

All You Need to Know About Leadership

leadership

The idea of leadership can be intimidating.

But leadership is simple.

To lead is to care.

Leadership is learning to elevate the needs of others to be equal to or above your own.

Leadership then is not a title.

Leadership is not a position.

Leadership is not a crown.

Leadership instead, is a condition of your heart.

It’s a heart that wants to look after others.

It’s a heart that seeks to protect others.

It’s a heart that desires to provide for others.

Leadership is difficult.

But it’s not the act of leading that is that difficult.

It’s the change of focus that’s difficult.

It’s the increase in selflessness that’s challenging.

It’s the worrying less about yourself and more about others that takes intention.

But like many things that are difficult, it comes with a great reward.

It ends up being the person who makes the sacrifice that gets the gift.

The gift of seeing someone else succeed.

The gift of watching someone else grow.

The gift of experiencing something that is bigger than yourself.

That is leadership.

That is human.

That is wonderful.

And that kind of leadership is always worth it.