Archive - May 2017

iTALK (Apple doesn’t make it but you’d think they did!)

“I feel like nothing is working. Whatever I do, it doesn’t seem to matter. I thought the economy was getting better but no one is going to buy right now,” Connie said in frustration about her recent sales numbers. “I really think that, once the economy truly turns around and people are feeling more confident, things will start to move again. But until then, it’s just not happening. I may actually have to get a part-time job or something until that happens because I am scared that I can’t pay my bills.”

Connie and I talked about some of the scenarios she had been dealing with, and she told me that people really like her product, but they just can’t afford it right now.

“Greta, I hear this every day: People are just not spending right now,” she said. “My numbers are down so far that I think it’s just a waiting game.”

When I hear Connie’s story, it isn’t unusual — but it is self-fulfilling. Why are some people thriving, and others are in Connie’s boat? I truly believe it is less about the external situation and much more about the internal self-talk we have going on.

I have narrowed it down to what I call ITALK — an acronym I think might explain what’s going on:

I: Initial situation. The initial situation here is that the economy went through a one-two punch that most of us have never seen the likes of before and — hopefully, once fixed — will never see again. The fact is this truly did change a lot of people’s way of life, and certainly the way business is conducted today. The initial situation is what it is: It’s fact.

T: Thought. The thoughts we create because of the situation we are presented with are completely ours. This is the filter we see the situation through. How do two people see the same situation differently? It is this filter that creates our thought. Connie’s thought is “people can’t afford it right now.” That is certainly a big assumption, and we all know what happens when we assume.

A: Attached feelings. The feelings that we have based on the assumptions we make are very damaging. They are damaging because of the depth of feelings or beliefs in the way we conduct ourselves. Connie was so scared that she actually thought about getting a second job.

L: Lead action. Our lead action is what we do because of our beliefs. It is the way we approach a particular situation and will be different, depending upon the belief. When Connie approaches a prospect, she doesn’t have confidence to handle the money objection because she herself believes it. Therefore, she is practically waiting for it to come — and with it is either feeling defeated or is quick to offer a discount. Neither of these is the outcome she would like.

K: Known result. The known result is what actually happens as a result of these beliefs. This is very difficult because you will almost always get the result you believe you are going to get. When you do, you say to yourself, “see, I knew it,” and the cycle continues.

ITALK is the talk we have with ourselves. It is our internal dialogue, our internal beliefs. In my opinion, there is nothing more dangerous then this. No matter how many times someone tells you it’s not that way, your subconscious is much more powerful than your conscience or anything someone might tell you.

Fix your internal negative thoughts and you can change your outcomes. It’s not the economy; it’s your thinking that is hurting you the most.

Greta Schulz is president and CEO of Schulz Business.

Top 7 Restaurants for a Business Lunch. #7 might not be what you think!!!

Top 7 restaurants for a business lunch.

These are in no particular order

Bonefish Grill

There is a variety of food so if you don’t know what other might want, it allows choice. Wait staff is typically attentive and easy going. Great atmosphere.



A professional yet casual atmosphere allows for some lighter conversation as well as business. This is a great restaurant for a small group since they really cater to that.


The Capital Grille

Perfect for a client that you want to impress. The food here is next to none and the service is even better. The booths are private and quiet. Excellent for the most important of clients to take the impression to the next level. Call ahead to the matre’de and tell him/her who you are and who your client is. They will greet you at the door with your name and treat you like they are your personal staff.

capital grille

Season’s 52

For the health conscious client you are safe with this menu. Everything is fresh, always cooked to perfection and if you like desserts they are small and delicious! The service is of high standard as well.


McCormick & Schmick’s

Always serving seafood that is fresh and meats prepared to your liking, this is a great option for any business lunch. It’s a fun yet professional atmosphere. Pricing is fair for all you get.


Your local spot

Sometimes the best spots are your local favorites. You become the expert when you bring your client to ‘your place’. A restaurant that you frequent when you are on your own time. Great for a client who is new or visiting the area as well as someone who says they just have never been there. You are the local expert!


Your own home

My mom was an excellent cook so our home growing up was always hosing dad’s clients when they were in town. If you enjoy hosting and want to really bond with a client this is a great option. Beware, not everyone likes this and certainly don’t do it if you aren’t really comfortable with the idea.

home cooking

Raw Talent

If there were one thing I could emphasize to C-level executives is that starting


with the right people, the best people, is the key to everything. Yes there are lots


of other important factors, if there wasn’t, I wouldn’t have contents for the book,


but I often get asked to “train-up my salespeople”. When I ask a few questions I


learn that they are just not trainable. Not everyone is trainable and probably for


different reasons than you might think.


There are 3 things that make salespeople successful.

Those things are

Attitude, Activities and Approach.

These are the three ‘secrets’ to sales success.



Are they secrets? Of course not but I am amazed how often they are not adhered


to, therefore, maybe they are secrets.


To me the most important is the first one; ATTITUDE.



Attitude is the belief in yourself, your environment, your work ethic. It’s that fire in


your belly that makes you do whatever it takes to get the job done. No excuses,


no “almost” no sort of, no close but not quite there


Attitude is the real deciding factor in success. That being said are there some


things, some raw talent that helps move this along better and faster? You betcha!


Pay attention here if you have any mediocre salespeople. If you do,


ask yourself why. Let me answer it for you, because you allow it! That’s right.


Your fault. You. No one else. Let me tell you a story to help illustrate this point.




Raw Talent.


Our son was recruited in 2012 to play for the Kansas City Royals as a left-


handed pitcher. Of course he began in the minor leagues. His first week in


Arizona was an exciting one. Barely holding in his excitement, he proceeded to


go on the field to work with the pitching coach early in week one.


Immediately after the introductions and hand-shake niceties Clayton began


showing the coach his pitches. “I was really known for my change up. I also have


an excellent curve ball”. He could barely contain himself in anticipation of what


the coach would say.


After he threw his pitches and looked at the coach for his endorsement, the


coach began the conversation like this, “ Clayton I don’t give a “darn” (expletives


replaced) how you pitched in college and I sure don’t care that you were known


for your change-up. We hired you for your raw talent boy. We didn’t pick you for


your fancy pitches you threw in school! I will teach you how to throw a curve ball


and that change-up? Forget it! You will do it my way and I will make you a pro


player. You don’t like that, you can leave today!”



When he called home with his tale between his legs and told us that story, I


explained that was a good thing. If all you had were your pitches, he didn’t have


much to work with to make you great! They see something in you that is the


makings of someone great. That is to be proud of.


The moral here? In business, hire for RAW TALENT. These are things like


confidence, bravery, desire and commitment. The rest can and should be taught.


If you hire off of a resume of someone who has sold, you may be looking over


Someone that can…you may be missing the boat!

5 Things to Move Forward in Any Economy

5 Things to Move Forward in Any Economy


It seems that lately we are hearing some promising, yet limiting, news about the state of our economy. Whether there is truth to what we hear or not, we must position ourselves to move forward. We can use this opportunity to evolve and do things differently. Look at your business model. Are there things that need to change? Are you still selling and prospecting the same?

Something’s got to give. The opportunity you have should be looked at as an exciting time to implement change for the good. Don’t let your fear for change get in the way of the new normal. Here are five steps I have laid out to help you evolve your business with the changing economic state:

  • Look inside first: Focus on what you have. Look at your customer base. See if you can add more value to the professional relationships that exist. Not in terms of discounts or giveaways, but instead help them out in ways outside your relationship. For example, if they are looking for a new bookkeeper, keep that in mind. If an opportunity arises to help them find one, bring it up. Even set up a meeting or lunch with the three of you. Things outside of the normal business exchange are what we all need to increase business. Reach out and keep those you are in relationships with in mind by offering added value. Chances are they will do the same with you.
  • Analyze your expenses: I think so many of us lack real understanding here. I find most businesspeople/entrepreneurs are either focused on business development or cost cutting. To be successful, both need to be tended to all of the time. Yes, a business development plan is crucial in building and maintaining business, but we don’t want money coming in the front door and sneaking out the back because we aren’t looking.
  • Get creative in your marketing: Always be looking for new ways to market your business. If traditional means of advertising are tough on your budget, meet with your account manager and get creative. I always worry about those who pull their ads all together. What kind of message does that send? And yes, the Internet is a wonderful tool, but not only do you need to be creative there, too, but you need to know what to focus on.
  • Network: I’m a big fan of networking through your local organizations. You always have at least two things: money and time. If money is short, you have time, so use that. Get out there and network. Use your local chamber of commerce, BNI group or even business-run charity events to meet potential strategic alliances.
  • Build strategic alliances: Look at businesses associated with yours. For example, if you’re a financial adviser, look at local CPAs or attorneys who do estate planning. Make plans to get together and discuss what both of you are looking for, and see if there are ways you can help each other out. These relationships prove especially fruitful when looking for referrals, so remember to give as much as you receive.

Turn your business inside out and get to know all aspects of it. What can you do to streamline? To build? Who really are your best customers? Are you concentrating on them as much as finding new business? Now is the time to set these processes in place so future growth can happen the right way.

Top 5 Sales Presentation Fails

When making a presentation there are some mistakes that will often cost you the sale

1) Handing out your “proposal” before you present.

Steve c present

Well if you are going to hand out the presentation, why do you even need to be there? At best they can ‘follow along with you’ which means they will not be looking at you, at worst, you haven’t truly discussed things like the cost and they are jumping ahead and looking at the back page with pricing and you begin to sound like Charlie Browns teacher, “waa waa waa waa”.

2) Not engaging all of the people you are presenting to in your meeting

Gonna ignore you

Working with one person in the organization and then having to present to several is a scenario most of us will experience. If this happens you have no idea if they agree with the issues your contact had and even if they do agree, if you don’t get them talking right at the beginning, you are just “pitching” and not engaging them in the recommendations. Big mistake!

3) Talking to your projector screen and not to the prospects.

dont look at screen

So often we are so proud of the presentation we put together that we watch it as closely as they do. First of all there is nothing more frustrating for your prospect then feeling ‘pitched to’ and not listened to.

4) Not talking about money beforehand and having to justify cost at the actual presentation.

Show me the money

It is truly important to have learned enough to ask the right questions to be able to discuss some round numbers and get an agreement before you present.

5) Not understanding what will happen after you present.

Not understand whats next

The common misunderstanding is that after you present your recommendations or proposal is that you have to then wait for their answer be cause they have to ‘think it over’. NO THEY DON’T. Learn what that process is before you present and if there needs to be a next step, you need to know that before and find out that day.

Are Your Salespeople Taking Shortcuts?

Logan, a software sales rep, had been having a rough day. He’d been bombarded with questions from several customers and gotten behind on work he needed to finish before the end of the day.

Then, he got a call from Tony, a prospect who introduced himself by saying: “I’ve heard great things about your engineering software package. I saw a demo about a year ago, and was not in a position to purchase it at the time. But since then, it’s become very apparent that I need to integrate it into my system.”

“Wow,” Logan thought. “This will be easy. It’s about time something went right today.”

Then, Tony said: “I need to know about the cost, the tech support and how soon it can be installed.”

Logan immediately went into his pitch. He discussed tech support in detail, covered availability and other options, and explained that the price was $12,000, with 30-day terms.

Tony’s response was unexpected. He said that $12,000 was quite a hefty price tag and he needed a couple of days to think about all of this more carefully. He’d call Logan back next week.

Logan did a double take. “What just happened?” he thought. “This sale was in the bag, a sure thing. He really needs it and now he’s thinking it over? He said he needed the software right away.” And that was the end of the call.

So, what happened? Logan got lazy, plain and simple. He thought Tony was sold. All he had to do was give him the information he needed, then write it up. He got fooled into assuming the sale without doing the work. He never got Tony to talk about why he was looking now, with what seemed to be a real priority about buying the software. The entire transaction was conducted at the intellectual level, without any real understanding of the true need.

So, what happened? Logan was lured into taking shortcuts. He mistakenly thought the prospect’s enthusiasm was as sure as a sale. No matter. You need the time to qualify the prospect and make sure he’s real before giving out information or making your presentation.

In Logan’s case, a couple of questions would have made a world of difference. He might have said: “Before we discuss pricing, help me understand why this software is so important. I want to make sure the application is correct for you. Would you mind if I ask you a couple of questions to better understand?”

Of course, you’re digging in to find out what is really going on. It is so important to gather this information before you discuss price so you can truly have an understanding of not only why they want the software, but the consequence of not installing it.

Once you give away your information – whether on the phone, in a presentation or in the form of a proposal – you have given up any form of control and are literally at the mercy of the prospect.

Are your salespeople going for the quick sale or do they really understanding the true need behind it?shortcuts image

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