Rules of the Hunt: Are You Doing the Right Things?

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Being a successful entrepreneur, sales leader or salesperson is both an art and a science. There’s so much you need to learn along the way. But the school of hard knocks can be brutal – as I’ve personally experienced.

That’s why I thought you might be interested in my interview below with Michael Johnson, author of the new book, Rules of the Hunt.

Interview with Michael Johnson

rules of the huntJILL: I recently finished reading your new book, Rules of the Hunt. In it, you devote a whole chapter to personal survival in the business world. Why?

MICHAEL: The pursuit of business success can lead to an obsessive and unbalanced life.

JILL: I see that happening a lot with salespeople too.

MICHAEL: Exactly. It’s easy to become addicted to both the stress and the excitement of sales and business. It’s not good for you.

My first rule of survival is to maintain and nurture relationships with friends and family. Spend time with those you love. In the end, business is really just a form of play. Keep it in perspective. Don’t become consumed by the game.

Another rule is to simply let go of everything a couple of times a year. When I say let go, I mean it in a very literal sense. Take a real vacation. Leave your cell phone and laptop at home. Don’t read a newspaper or watch TV. Avoid big cities and casinos. You’ll find you gain new energy and purpose.

JILL: It’s so good to hear an expert talking about that – especially with summer vacations coming. Let’s talk about selling specifically. While you’re book is primarily focused on entrepreneurship, you spend a lot of time talking about sales. What are the biggest mistakes you see people making?

MICHAEL: Probably the number one mistake is not continuing their sales education. The old cliché, “The more you learn the more you earn,” is especially true in sales.

A close second is not learning, understanding and using the power of language in sales. Many of the pitches I have received over the years were from salespeople who were woefully inept at delivering a positive, engaging and compelling presentation.

JILL: If these are the primary mistakes, what suggestions do you have?

MICHAEL: Every person who sells should have an ongoing education plan – and that starts by first doing an honest assessment of their own selling skills. This plan should include specific areas where they’ve identified a need for improvement and updated a couple of times a year. It may be a good idea to get a coach to help with this.

Fortunately, there are a lot of low cost or no cost training resources out there. Finding the right ones and learning from them is time and money well spent.

JILL: Agreed. There are so many great resources available today. What other suggestions do you have for sellers?

MICHAEL: Anyone in sales should have a keen understanding that words are magical and powerful things. Changing a few words in a sentence can make a great deal of difference in its power to convey a positive message.

Compare, as an example, “I can’t ship your order until next Tuesday,” to “I can get your order out to you as early as next Tuesday.” The same information is delivered with a vastly different emotional content.

I advise salespeople to think about not only what they’re saying but also how they’re phrasing it. This is an area where practice makes perfect.

JILL: One of your chapters is titled “Things They Don’t Teach You in Business School.” Can you give us an example?

MICHAEL: Business schools provide a solid foundation for success, but they can’t give the knowledge that’s only gained from day-to-day experience in the real business world.

Just a few of the things one probably won’t learn in business school are: The importance of employee turnover in a growing company. Not to manage for the sake management. The need to have an attorney avoidance plan. The fine art of stealing good ideas. Why setting deadlines should be avoided. How to tell if you are being lied to…and so much more.

JILL: You also talk about the importance of working smarter. What tips can you give us in this area?

MICHAEL: One of the smartest things one can do in business is to throttle back the time devoted to work. I advise people to make it a rule to not work more than 8 hours a day.
Committing to 8 hours of productive work each day requires them to plan and focus on the work that really needs to be completed that day. It also requires that they learn to delegate. If a project calls for extra hours be put in, I suggest the work be done early in morning. There are far fewer distractions.

JILL: Great advice. Again, it’s so refreshing to hear your approach – especially in a world where everyone seems to pride themselves on being crazy busy.

I know that right now you’re having a special promo on for your book where you’re giving away tons of goodies if people buy it this week. What link should they go to in order to learn more?

MICHAEL: http://www.rulesofthehunt.com

JILL: Thanks a million for your insights, Michael. I enjoyed reading your book and I’m sure others will too.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

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