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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Dana Bojcic

Dana Bojcic

Recent Posts by Dana Bojcic:

Want to Take Sales Coaching to the Next Level? Get the Owner’s Manual!

business-woman-readingI grew up as the only girl with three brothers in the house—and a lot of laundry! That machine ran non-stop and I was always enlisted to help.

It was simple enough: Load the clothes, add some soap, turn and pull the big knob, and presto!—the clothes are getting washed. Sure, once in a while I put something red in with the whites and had a problem, but, for the most part, is was simple enough.

Well, I recently bought a new washer and dryer… and oh, how times have changed! That big knob you turn and pull? Gone. These new appliances look like space machines loaded with the latest technology. Aquajet! Sensors! Steam! A bedding setting! There’s even a function called “waterproof.” Whoa. It’s complicated.

Topics: talent dashboard

Use Priority Management to Delegate Tasks and Get More Done

priority-managementI’ve got you at a 10 and I need you at a 5.”

I say that to my youngest son sometimes… when he is coming at me full-steam and talking to me a mile a minute. Of course I say it in a joking way, and he knows what I mean—that I need him to slow down a little bit so I can actually understand what he is trying to tell me.

How to Find Your True Talents

evidence-of-talentIf you've been reading awhile, you know we discuss talent at The Center for Sales Strategy a lot. In fact, it's one of the foundations of our company. We believe that everyone has their own unique talents, that talent is innate, that we can advance our careers (and our lives) by focusing on building our strengths instead of trying (albeit fruitlessly) to fix our weaknesses, and that contrary to what I told my son, we cannot be whatever we want to be when we grow up.

The Worst Possible Talent-Related Advice

The_Worst_Possible_Talent-Related_AdviceI told my son a lie last night. I didn’t mean to, but it just slipped out. As a certified talent analyst, I should definitely know better.

I told him, “You know, you can be anything you want to be.”

This type of toxic talent-related advice has been handed down from generation to generation. I’m certain we have all heard some form of it:

  • “Just put your mind to it and you can accomplish anything you want!”
  • “Just try hard and you can be anything you want!”
  • “All things are possible!”
  • “You just have to want it!”

What Do Recruitment and Selection Have to do With Shoe Shopping?

What_Do_Recruitment_and_Selection_Have_to_do_With_Shoe_ShoppingThose who know me well know I adore hunting… for shoes, that is. I absolutely love pursuing the perfect pair of shoes. But I know that finding the right shoes doesn’t “just happen.” It is the result of continuous and constant effort, of skill and dedication. I invest time shopping. I scour fashion magazines and rip out pictures of pairs I like. I look at shoes online and sometimes save them in my “basket.” I prowl and stalk the shoe departments of my favorite stores like a quiet lion might pursue its prey. I admire them from a distance, I court them, I negotiate price, I wait for special deals and eventually, when the time is just right… I go for it and make them mine.

Shoe Shopping is Like Recruitment 

I see a very big difference and a very clear division between shoe “shopping” and shoe “purchasing.” They are two very distinct activities in my mind… one is always happening the other happens occasionally. The same is true for Recruitment and Selection. Most speeches, books, and articles on this subject lump them together, as if “Recruitment-and-Selection” is a single process.  That’s a mistake. They are two very different activities.

Shoe Purchasing is Like Selection

Sales managers who are most effective also think of Recruitment and Selection as separate activities. Recruitment is something they focus on all the time (just like I am shoe-shopping all the time). Selection happens only once in a while, when the manager has a job opening. When they are thought of as one process, not two, both suffer and hiring mistakes follow.

How to Help the Non-Warm, Non-Fuzzy Salesperson

how-to-help-the-non-warm-non-fuzzy-salespersonVisualize the person on your sales team with the most relationship talent. Can you picture her? Your social butterfly? She cares deeply about other people. She knows all her clients like personal friends and can easily recite the names of their kids. She brings clients their favorite coffee “just because” and gets the order right every time. She genuinely wants to know these things and prides herself on it. She is good at building instant connections with prospects as well as creating long term meaningful relationships with clients. She spends time at the water cooler and knows her teammates. Everyone loves her.

Now, take a moment and picture the opposite. Visualize the sort of lone ranger salesperson. Do you see him? He is on a bit more of a solo mission. He does not “sense” how others are feeling and even if he thought he did he might be wrong. This seller does not run on emotions,. He runs on data, facts, and numbers. Ask him the names of his clients’ kids or how the client likes their coffee and you may be met with a blank stare. He doesn’t know and probably doesn’t really care! I don’t mean that he is a bad person or hates people—he just doesn’t feel the need to know the names of all their kids or whether they take cream and sugar in their java. He doesn’t care what you watched on TV last night, so it would never occur to him to ask. Does he work hard for his clients? Absolutely! Do they always feel like he cares about them and understands them as people, not merely as clients? Maybe not.

Talent Trumps Desire and Dedication Every Single Time

Talent_Trumps_Desire_and_Dedication_Every_Single_TimeSeveral years ago I decided to take up tennis. I have always considered tennis to be the sport with the cutest outfits and I was excited to learn! The tennis courts in the neighborhood my husband and I had just moved into were beautiful and we thought tennis would be something fun we could do together.

We approached the sport with a sense of enthusiasm and excellent intentions. We invested in some equipment; scheduled time to practice together and even signed up to play on a few beginner teams. I thought it would be perfect: We get to spend time together, we get exercise, we get to hang with friends… it was an excellent plan!

There was only one problem: My lack of tennis talent. And it proved to be a big problem.

Neither of us had ever played in a league, yet we noticed a huge difference immediately. Denis had a talent for tennis. I did not.

Everyone has talent—for something. Every single person in the world has a short list of things they are really good at. These are our talents and they define who we are, what we do, how we work, where we succeed, and why we’re valuable.

Just as all of us have a short list of talents, we also have a long list of non-talents. Whenever possible, we should avoid doing things that require talents we don’t have, and other people would be wise to avoid asking us to do them as well. When it came to tennis, I was asking myself to use a talent I didn’t have.

You Can’t Fix Weaknesses in Business or in Tennis

The key point here is that people do not succeed based on their weaknesses. That may seem obvious, but it’s important to reiterate: We will never progress or get ahead by leaning on our weaknesses—or by trying to fix our weaknesses.

From Where to What: Asking the Right Questions About Hiring Salespeople

Where_vs._What_Make_Sure_You’re_Asking_the_Right_QuestionsHave you ever gone to the grocery store hungry and without a shopping list?

Do you make strategic and wise choices or do you bounce around from aisle to aisle frantically looking for “something to eat” and realize later that you picked up some things you didn’t really need?

Keeping Talent Under Wraps: Are You Caging Your Lions?

caged_lionWe are dealing with a broken elbow in our house. My 9 year old son had a moment of misguided confidence and felt “certain” he could slam dunk a basketball. He is a 54,” 58-lb fourth grader and learned quickly that he cannot dunk.

It is a nasty break and very close to his growth plate. So my extremely active “Let’s go 250 miles an hour all the time and never sit still except to eat when mom makes me” boy has seen his activity level come to a screeching halt. Doctor’s orders: No basketball, no soccer, no field day, no recess, no jumping, and no running… to put it in perspective the weekend before he did his first 5K in 23:15 and now his doctor is telling him he can “walk slowly.”

Unfortunately, I am no stranger to broken bones. My younger son broke his leg on a trampoline a few years ago—a very different break, and a very different child. He loved taking it easy! He watched more Scooby Doo than I should admit as a parent, he colored pictures, watched some more TV, and the healing time passed relatively quickly for him. It was more natural for him to relax. He is a more easygoing kid to begin with.

How Do You Coach Salespeople Who Are Not as Competitive as You Are?

competitive_businessmanI recently attended my son’s fourth grade championship basketball game. They had a great season and fought hard, but they just couldn’t pull it out.

Losing the fourth grade championship game is disappointing for sure, but what I found most interesting were the different levels of disappointment from the players. Some were okay with it. They had a good season and enjoyed their time on the team, so losing was no big deal. They walked happily over to the snack area just like they did after every other game. Others were a little more ruffled. They were more visibly disappointed and somber, hanging their heads a bit and walking a little more slowly to the snack area.

Then you have kids like my son, who was devastated. I could see tears in his eyes and his distress was palpable. He talked incessantly about the game for three full days. He analyzed every play, every move, and he asked himself what could have happened differently. He sulked and stewed right up until soccer practice started and the new season of challenges began.