The Great Presentation Scandal

 

There should be a law against most internal company conferences. No ..really there should!

My name is Bob Etherington and I am a veteran of at least 100 such ‘do’ s in the past 40 years and nearly all of them should never have been allowed! Well..let me rephrase that, just a bit: the plenary sessions should never have been allowed. That’s the bit where the audience sit row upon row in the semi-dark, theater style, while their bosses and peers talk at them. They admonish them sometimes; congratulate them mostly and generally show them PowerPoint slides every time. “This is what they want!” Yeah right!

I asked one senior manager of a large British company what was his primary objective when he stepped on the conference platform. He replied, without hesitation: “I try to impress them!”

But Geoff (that is his name so now, if he reads this, he’ll know it’s him) your audience don’t want to hear about ‘You’. They are not the slightest bit interested in ‘You’. And You [dear reader] are not the slightest bit interested in Bob Etherington…..that’s just the way it is.

Of course what the conference audience is asking themselves -to a man- is the same unspoken question that you have in your head reading this: “What’s in this for ME?”

Your audience -any conference audience- seeks to be generally and personally inspired to work hard so that the company may make even more money in the next fiscal year. You know from all the management courses you’ve attended that the art of management is to get staff to do voluntarily that which must be done anyway. So telling them all the good and worthy works YOU’ve completed isn’t going to make them do anything. Remember the David Brent (Ricky Gervais) address to his staff in the early 2000 BBCTV comedy ‘The Office’. “I have some good news and some bad news today. The bad news is we are amalgamating with the Swindon Office so some of you will be made redundant” [Silence and shocked faces] …But the good news is… I’ve been promoted !! [More dumbfounded silence] …Oh..I can see some of you are still on the bad news!” We wince with embarrassment because we have witnessed this type of crass statement in the real business World. It is not as rare as we hope.

In a recent HR survey it was firmly established once again that what staff value most of all in their jobs is not what many managers think it is. The most important factors are:

1) Feeling appreciated.
2) Having something interesting to do.
3) Being kept on the inside track.
4) Sympathy for personal problems.
5) Money.
6) A happy working environment.
7) Promotion prospects.
8) Job Security.

So to get the serried ranks of your employees inspired to come in early, stay late (and work hard while they are working for you), tell them how good they are and congratulate them. If times are tough keep them on the inside track by telling them what’s going on. Cut the rumor mill off at the pass and tell them what you are doing to fix things for them. Tell them how they will benefit, personally, from doing what must be done.

Have the good manners also to rehearse your presentation in front of a person of similar standing in your company and ask for genuine feedback on how the message is coming across. Just showing up with a memory stick containing all your PowerPoint slides half an hour beforehand and hoping for the best is not inspirational management. The Victorian Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli stated that “Everybody loves flattery….but with Royalty you lay it on with a trowel” Your staff, just like my staff in Bob Etherington Group, are your Royalty and without them nothing happens. Your ‘stuff’ all about your department and your personal triumphs is not what most internal audiences want to hear. They are there to be inspired. So inspire them..flatter them…Say, “Thank you”…. “I’m proud of you”….”Well done!” (the rarest and most powerful words in the management lexicon)
Now you’re talking business!

OK, You’ve Had the Training – Now Change

I would like you, if you will, to join me in a little mental game. Ready? OK.. . In your mind’s-eye imagine that you have recently accepted the job of Sales Director at a well known international company. After a few weeks of observation and inquiry inside the company the following 4 facts are obvious.

1) A year ago your company took over a competitor and now has to merge the two competing sales forces.

2) Because of the Global recession, your market share is shrinking and your sales team seems to be relying on price-cutting in an attempt to gain more business.

3) Your once ‘unique’ market benefit is slowly being eroded by competitors’ product improvements.

4) Your customers are in trouble themselves and are squeezing you on price and other contract issues.

Now (typical !) as you are about to send your initial analysis to the CEO she preempts your email with one of her own: “I know things are tough out there [Bob] but we brought you in to change things for the better.. . . So now that you’ve had a few weeks with us, what’s the plan?”

Now you’re on the back-foot. But your reputation in your marketplace is that of a decisive and determined sales leader. So you set up a teleconference with your various country sales managers around the Globe, to decide on the action plan. This teleconference has revealed a clear need and an overwhelming desire amongst your team to DO something.. . anything.. . they are all relying on you. They’ve tried Knock-on-more- doors (the old ‘numbers-game’ sales approach) but that didn’t work. Also wait-and-see (The ‘something will turn-up’ strategy) and price cutting (Because ‘price’ is always an objection).

But they have both proved fruitless too. So you -the decisive one- have decided that wholesale re-training of the sales force is the only way forward. [For goodness sake there must have been considerable advances in sales training in the past 10 years; there must be some new ‘intergalactic techniques that can be used by our sales force!]

You can feel that your Global team of direct reports are not particularly enthused by your decision. They have seen similar big-projects before you arrived. There was the “Leadership 3000” initiative organized at MIT. This involved sending up-coming young executives to USA to learn how to become ’empowered’. Problem was, when they returned from Boston, all-fired-up after three weeks, they were universally advised, in their individual departments, to return to normal ‘ASAP’. This failure to capitalize on the new-learning cost a small fortune and gave rise to a great deal of cynicism.

So here you are.. this is your dilemma. You have to do something otherwise nothing will happen and you will inevitably get fired. But experience shows that doing the usual sort of ‘something’ will also result in ‘nothing’ so you will eventually get fired.

So why does all this happen? Why do the vast majority of companies spend lots (and lots) of money on training -especially sales-training- for which they get virtually no measurable benefit. I asked my last boss (when I was ’employed’ rather than, as now, self-employed in my own business) why our very large and well known financial information company, constantly ran these expensive retraining projects. “You know why”, he said with a wink, “it’s just to keep everybody busy!”

Right.. . so what’s it to be: Training or Results?..You choose. The first focus addresses the need for a feel-good, tick the box solution: OK I’ve organized the training what’s the next project? The second focus is on finding a way to make the desired change stick.

In my experience when selecting an outside training company for an employer, we (the committee) always tended to make our final judgment solely on what the short-listed company presented to us by way of ‘content’. The more unusual or new ‘nostrum’ the more we seem to like it. Ah! the fresh air of some new ‘New stuff’ -breathe it in! But content is only one part of the story. The bigger question that I (you) should be asking each training company is this one: “Just how are you going to make this training of yours effective and long lasting?”

When you approach training from the point of view of “How?” you are- probably for the very first time- on your way to achieving some real measurable change in behavior. Why does an effective approach to training need to be from the “How?” rather than the “What?” point of view?…because we humans find changing our habits very, very difficult for four deeply rooted reasons:

1) Organizations rarely make changes quickly or because of some authoritative, top down, dictat. 2)Classroom training costs a lot of money and is most effective only for the part of the training process where interaction with the trainer and fellow students is required. 3)We humans only willingly change our behavior if we can see how it will help us personally. 4)Unless our behavior-change-progress is regularly measured and fed-back to us we will usually be back where we began within 30 days [‘That which doesn’t get measured doesn’t get done’]

To address these issues (and avoid the school of hard knocks) here’s how I’ve finally learned to make training effective for my clients:

1) In most companies there is no-time. Everybody is searching for the new-new thing, allowing no time for the last new-thing to take effect. An effective training organization makes sure that line managers are rewarded and measured for their role as ‘coach’. It is regular coaching that makes training work and stick. Spending time training your managers in field-coaching skills is like a miracle-pill. When sales people go into the field with their coach once each month and reinforce what they are doing right, the results are usually amazing.

2) When I learned to fly an airplane (part of my mid-life crisis) we did spend a lot of time in the club-house on the white-board looking at dotted lines, sketches of runways and cross sections of airplane wings. I honestly don’t remember any of it; nothing…but clearly a lot went in. It was, however, a safe non-dangerous environment in which I had a chance to ask questions about meteorology, navigation and ‘Air-law’. But the only serious memorable learning happened when we got into the plane and I had a chance to do it- for real. So for introducing new subjects and problem-free practice, use the classroom. For reinforcing the real skills and for long lasting change, get out into the real world with your coach.

3) If training is seen as some generic, off-the-shelf ‘thing’ introduced to your sales force in a classroom setting, after which they are left to work out how apply it themselves, then it will fail. Adults – that’s you and me- learn best when a new idea is presented in context. Each sales person must be able to see the track they can follow with the new skills which will eventually bring them more sales. New skills need to be practiced in realistic role-plays using realistic data and with colleagues acting like realistic clients. New procedures must be presented in terms of the company values and company culture. (I was once trained to be very firm when customers endeavored to negotiate a price reduction. When I politely applied the training in the field, a customer complained to the CEO who instantly caved-in. He then sent me a nasty note telling me not to ‘go round beating customers up with base-ball bats’.. . . not good training)

4) The most important question for you, or the person who has been asked to organize training, to ask at the start of your training project, is as follows: “What problem are we trying to solve here?” It is the first question I ask all customers who call my company out of the blue to inquire about training for their sales force. Many times it is a show-stopper…I can hear the enquirers mouth hanging open. So I help them by asking the second question, “Well could you describe what things will look like at the end of this training program?” They usually find this a bit easier to describe until I ask them to put some measurable mile stones (usually some numbers) into their description. But without something to measure, how will we know how effective we’re being? One customer told me that his objective was ‘customer satisfaction’ but struggled with the definition: service? price? delivery? colors?…We got there eventually but it wasn’t easy.

All these things may appear common sense but they are rare. The only company I have ever worked in where application of the 4 steps outlined above was a religion, was an American copying machine company in the UK in the early 1970s. Their training program was constant, consistent and nobody was exempt. If it had not been for this carefully coached approach I don’t know where I would have ended up. I certainly would not have been able to make a successful career in sales. I would not have set up two successful training businesses. And I definitely would not have written this article.

Bob Etherington

You Are an Imposter But You Don’t Have to Be

About 25 years ago a major global airline conducted a light-hearted survey amongst its First and Business Class passengers. They wanted to discover what type of people travelled in the front cabins of their airplanes. The most surprising discovery they made, was that 80% of these outwardly successful and confident travelers, when asked anonymously, confessed that they thought they did not really deserve to be there. Sooner or later, they thought, somebody was going to realize that far from being responsible, confident, executives (as they appeared to the outside world), they believed they were actually faking it!

A quarter century on and nothing much has changed it seems. I still travel the World assisting senior business people to communicate effectively and I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that most of the people I meet are playing a very unhelpful tape-loop, over and over again inside their heads.

The message on the tape is still: “What will they do when they discover I’m only me?”

For all their bluster, success and outward confidence most people are as full of self doubt as well…me.

This condition actually has a name: ‘Imposter Syndrome’. A constant feeling that, despite (in my case) 40 successful years in business, at any moment we may be revealed as corporate frauds or business fakes.
Every time we succeed we count it as a fluke or an error. Whenever we (occasionally) get awards or hearty thanks from clients we feel we should almost apologise. Either we have done the trick again and fooled them all or we are once again dealing with this company’s village idiot. Quite soon somebody is bound to take any one of us to one side and say, “My friend all is discovered… You haven’t got a clue have you?”

‘Imposters’, find that each new obstacle [ a seminar, a promotion, a contract, an air fare ] only increases the anxiety that next time we WILL be discovered.

But there is help out there. In her 1988 book “The Imposter Syndrome: Overcome the Fear that Haunts Success”, the American psychologist Pauline Rose Clance says that 70% of us (men and women) professional people, share this anxiety. The second thing is, she says, that it mainly affects high achieving, very intelligent and highly motivated people. The ones who appear to ‘have it all’. Wah-hay!!
But that doesn’t make us feel any better does it?

So what can we self taught ‘imposters’ do about this unworthy feeling? The book by Pauline Clance, has some home-learning exercises any one of us can use.

She tells us: Keep a record for a week on how you respond to compliments and jot down how you feel And what you said to the other person, especially if you changed the subject. Do a reality check: count up the supervisors, teachers, bosses who say you are talented and have given you praise or promotions in the past. Is it possible for so many people to misjudge you consistently? ” (What? You’re a real imposter? Don’t answer that!)

We imposters require a lot of back-up and encouragement. We need to accept that other people are not just sucking up to ‘make us feel good’….These others genuinely see our talents in a way that we do not.

Our daily affirmation might be the last words spoken by AA Milne’s Christopher Robin to Winnie the Pooh: “Promise me you’ll always remember you’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem and smarter than you think”

I’ll do that Christopher Robin- thank you.

Bob Etherington

It’s Networking [Jim] But Not As We Know It

“I don’t mean to be rude but…….”: has become the unofficial catch phrase of Simon Cowell the owner and main judge of the UK/ USA TV talent show “The X Factor”. Often in the past 6 months these words have sprung to my mind when attending face-to-face business networking events. Do the attendees really know how to network? Have they any talent for human interaction or do they sincerely believe that just showing up with a pocket full of business cards and a few sentences about their business is all it takes?

I am willing to bet that if you’re ‘in business’ you have somewhere, in or around your desk, or in your wallet, or at home in your bedroom chest-of-drawers, a veritable pile of business cards. I further bet that you can’t recall where you got most of them…or the person who gave you the card… or what his/her business could do for you.

So if you’re going out ‘networking’ in the next few days it is probably a good idea to have a rapid re-think about your strategy. How are you, personally, going to make more of an impact on the people you meet, than the average networker?

There is an old saying in the sales profession that: “Telling isn’t Selling” and it applies directly to networking which is, after all, just one stage in the sales process. And the thing to remember, when you’re selling anything to anybody, is that NOBODY else cares about you and your business. Apart from your family and close friends your relationship with other humans is largely conditional on you being able to assist them in some way.

So the question to ask before you set out networking is: “What problem(s) does my business solve for other people?” That is why your business exists…if you cannot identify one or more problems that you can solve you don’t have a business.

The four main areas of concern for most other people -your potential customers- are: ‘Money’- making more or losing less, ‘Power’ – getting an edge over their own competitors, ‘Prestige’ – looking and sounding more important in their market place, and ‘Pleasure’ – ease of use, good times and the simple life. Provided your product or service potentially solves a problem in one of those areas, you have a something which somebody somewhere will buy from you.

From this little exercise you can now plan a response when somebody asks “What do you do?” you won’t have to un-memorably say: I’m a solicitor… I’m a consultant… I’m a website designer….I own a cleaning business….I own a training company or any of the other yawn inducing stuff that your competitors spout.

Now you can say: “We take away all your business headaches caused by unforeseen legal minefields” or “I make your business start producing additional profits in less than 12 weeks from now” or “We design your website so that customers keep returning and buying from you”

This type of opening statement is much more likely to gain interest and questions like: “How do you do that?”, “How much can you save me?”, “Do you offer guarantees?”

It isn’t the proverbial ‘rocket science’ but it will place you in the top 5% of networkers at your next event.

And one last word or two about networking.

When you do arrive at the venue, do get into conversation very quickly….don’t just stand there by yourself drinking coffee…waiting for somebody to approach you. The best ice-breaker, if you don’t know anybody, is to walk up to the nearest group or solo person , smile and say these words. “Good morning….My name is I don’t know anybody here…will you talk to me?” I GUARANTEE that you will NEVER be rejected with this approach….never! In fact whoever you’re talking to will see you as some sort of brave networking hero. After that ice-breaker try not to tell the others what you do until asked. Ask questions whenever you can and show undivided interest in what other people are saying – try not to let your eyes flick from side to side in search of someone more interesting to talk to. This total-focus trick is espoused by all those people who are said by the people they meet, to be ‘charming’ and ‘charismatic’.

Finally when you get back to your office DO follow up with interested prospective customers. They are NOT going to chase YOU.

In the past six months, in the process of setting up another new business, I have attended approximately one networking event per week and met over 800 business people and secured 37 new customers for my business. But also in that 800 I found about 15 companies that offered services and products I would buy or would have bought. These varied from book-keeping to brochure printing, accountancy to office supply. I have registered my interest during these networking events and told each one to call me as soon as possible. Do you know how many have made contact since?
I don’t mean to be rude but the answer is: none of them!

My name is Bob Etherington and I can make your customers buy from you. Whether your customers are internal (colleagues, bosses, team members, staff) or external (customers, shareholders, partners) the processes of persuasion are universal.In fact you rarely persuade other people to do anything…they actually persuade themselves. You can make that process happen once you understand how decisions are made. You can read my books “Presentation Skills for Quivering Wrecks” and “Selling for Complete Amateurs” And you can attend the seminars we offer. You can discover a lot more at beltd-sales.com

To Be a Top Negotiator – Just Behave Like One

Negotiating is the ‘poor cousin’ of ‘selling’; simple as that.

It is highly probable that you would prefer not to have to ‘negotiate’ if you can do a deal using your standard terms and conditions. This reluctance to negotiate is most likely if you are from somewhere outside the classic negotiating centres of the World, like South America, Middle East and Asia. For people in these places ‘negotiating’ is a way of life. For most of us (mainly Caucasians) however, negotiating can seem like a nightmare…a sort of verbal game of chess or poker in which our every move is being read by some clever, cunning opponent. He who blinks first loses’ and all that stuff.

Well, if you’re fool enough to enter into a negotiation without knowledge of the basics you will get crushed. On the other hand, the basic behaviours of successful negotiators have been researched and are very easy to copy and this is what this article is all about. There are four basic things that top negotiators do all the time and four things that ‘average’ negotiators do which top negotiators avoid getting dragged into doing.

Before we get into the four ‘do’s and four ‘dont’s something needs to be said. Because it is a cold hard truth that, in business, if you ‘sell effectively’ in the first place, you probably won’t have to negotiate. Effective selling is based on finding out what a customer wants to buy (in other words the specific problem he wants solved) and then focusing, laser-like, on that alone. Most sales are messed up to the point at which a negotiation is required, because the seller couldn’t or wouldn’t shut-up talking about all the other spurious benefits of his product.

The golden rule of effective selling is: ‘Never miss a good opportunity to shut-up’.

But let us say (unhappily for you) that the straight-forward sale has been messed up and you DO now have to negotiate. First of all it is probably not, “all about the price” as so many of my clients tell me. Most negotiations are about value and not price. If you sincerely believe that price (and price alone) is what it is all about then you probably need an article on ‘haggling’ rather than negotiating.

The word ‘negotiation’ implies an ability and a willingness on your part, to vary your terms in some way. It is highly unlikely that you will make any progress at this stage by just standing on your side of the negotiating table (hypothetical or not) making demands and digging your heels in. So start by using the most powerful persuasive tools you have: “Questions”. The first behaviour of top negotiators is that they ask a lot of questions.

A ‘question’ gets you information. And you can’t start ‘negotiating’ and investigating areas in which you might be able to vary your normal terms, until you get an idea of what is going on in the head of the other side. A top negotiator never makes a statement when she could ask a question. A top negotiator constantly seeks Information, Information, Information before and during every negotiation. A top negotiator will always be thinking, “Why did he just ask me that?” and will be saying things like, “Suppose we could offer you that concession…then would you be prepared to agree our contract period?”

Always think ‘questions’ rather than statements whenever possible.

Each question will potentially raise another agreed point or result in a rejection on the way to finalising the whole deal. There can be many such twists and turns on the way to a successful outcome. So the second ‘top-negotiator’ behaviour is to regularly summarise and agree the items covered so far. Failure to do this can and often does de-rail complex negotiations if summarising is either omitted or left to the very end. We, on our side of the table believe that something has been settled (sometimes days ago) only to discover this is not the understanding of our counterparty. Summarising throughout and at least once an hour, is the second noticeable behaviour of top negotiators.

Having advised you, a couple of paragraphs ago, to ask questions rather than make statements, I’m now – for the third ‘top-negotiator behaviour’, going to back up a little and tell you to open up a bit too. Many of the executives I teach to negotiate, tend to take the ‘ask questions’ theme to the extreme and virtually refuse to give away anything when the other side asks them questions. This is not what it’s all about. In fact a top negotiator learns to treat both questions and answers like ‘negotiating currency’.

Of course, before sitting down to negotiate, he will have decided what information can be released to the other side and what highly confidential and sensitive information cannot. But having decided what can be given away, he is quite careful how it is done.

He will often, having answered two or three questions in a row from the other side, say, on being asked a fourth question, “Well OK…now we’ve answered three of your questions, if I answer this one as well I will need you in turn two answer three important questions that we have and in particular…..”

So the process of asking questions and surrendering information is played very carefully…nothing is given up unless something is gained in exchange.

The fourth and final ‘top negotiator behaviour’ is the way in which impossible requests are handled.

For most of us, faced with an unexpected outrageous request from someone we would like to do business with, our reaction is an outright immediate rejection: “Oh please!…you REALLY can’t be serious with that request…the answer is NO!”

However, skilled negotiators never give such an instant knee-jerk response.

Instead they spend time, before they say NO, explaining the situation and never give advance warning that a rejection is coming up.

They will give an explanation first and say something like, “Reducing the contract period to one year is a very interesting proposition, John. As you know, the way we operate in this market sector is to offer every customer exactly the same 3 year contract. As you have already said, we are quite flexible on price, size and color so that your needs are fully accommodated. On the other hand the contract period is kept the same for all so that no customer can accuse us of ‘horse-trading’. If we vary it for one customer we will lose the trust of all the others who will inevitably find out. So for this reason I hope you can understand why the contract period must be the same for all.”

This willingness to give a clear explanation before rejecting a request, usually results in a more ready acceptance than a straight ‘NO’ followed by an explanation if required.

So your four desirable negotiator behaviours are:

1) Seek information and ask questions constantly
2) Summarise regularly to avoid late misunderstandings
3) Be prepared to surrender information but always exchange it for reciprocal favours
4) Explain the background to something you must say ‘no’ to before you say, ‘NO’

On the other side this article are the far more common behaviours which you may find yourself drifting towards and which you should try to reduce or eliminate.

The first of these is the natural human desire to argue. After a day or so ‘negotiating’ the teams are getting a little tired. Suddenly ‘somebody’ says something ‘daft’ to which the obvious reaction is something like, “Oh do shut-up!” The problem is somebody does actually say it! “Don’t you tell me to shut-up! I’ve been sitting here listening to your drivel for the past 7 hours!” “You’ve been listening to MY ‘drivel’ …I like that!” “Look here, I want to say something!…We came to see you in good faith and……” and so on and so on. A slow, spiral descent, into a negotiating black hole.

The automatic charge and counter-charge of a classic argument, each trying to out-do the other, will not get you anywhere.

In short: Arguments can be ‘fun’ but they are not persuasive negotiating behaviours: AVOID.

The second ‘poor behaviour’ indulged in by average negotiators is the speed at which counterproposals are produced in response to the other side’s suggestions. To explain the folly of doing this, a negotiator must appreciate one particular facet of human psychology. That is that the point at which another person is least receptive to another person’s idea is if he has just presented one of his own.

So, if a counterparty has just presented a proposal: “How would it be if we agreed to a five year deal with your company and all our servicing is guaranteed to go through your workshops?” and you reply… “Well maybe….but we were thinking of a completely different approach…..” , then you are already en-route to a pretty well guaranteed disagreement in the next few minutes.

As a top negotiator you can avoid this ‘average behaviour by ALWAYS being seen willing to consider and discuss the other side’s suggestions – however crass you may think they are – before introducing any counterproposal yourself.

The third poor behaviour is the false notion – beloved of untrained business-persuaders and amateur negotiators- that facts are persuasive. The result of this folklore is that, the more somebody disagrees with you or fails to accept your proposition, the more facts you pile up in order to prove your point. Alas this is not what happens in the collective mind of those in the other side of the table.

The more facts that are brought in to support a proposal, the more confused the other side becomes and the more – horror !! the more the price or the cost will become the central feature.

Knowing this interesting ‘fact’ however can provide you with an interesting and effective negotiating lever.

Next time you need some way to demolish or weaken a proposal from the other side simply act as if you are not convinced by the initial argument. You will find, inevitably, that another suporting fact will be produced. But you still act ‘unconvinced’. Keep this going: “I’m still not sure that this is a good idea”.

You do this until four or five new supporting facts have been produced.

You will then discover something very interesting is happening: each new fact produced by the other side is successively weaker than the one before. It won’t take long, therefore, until a very weak supporting fact is produced. At this point you say, “Hang on just a moment….are you really saying that you can’t deliver on Saturday because we only open Monday to Friday?..well that’s easy we will get somebody there to meet you! So there’s actually no serious issue.”

You will discover that it is very rare for a counterparty to reverse back into their previous stronger supporting facts and you win the point. Just beware of being trapped into this ‘ploy’ yourself.

Finally, when it comes to unhelpful negotiator habits, there’s the old standby which, alas, is spoken by nearly every business executive on the planet at some time every day. We negotiators call it an ‘annoyer’.

An annoyer is an annoying phrase or sentence thrown into the mix in a misguided attempt to give the other side confidence. The two most common are, “To be honest with you…..” and “Look we are offering you a really great deal here”.

In the first case, the psychological effect on the other person (or persons) is, “So are you saying that up until now you haven’t been honest?”

In the second case, telling somebody that you (in your opinion anyway) are making a ‘great offer’, has a very negative effect on the counterparty mind. Far from convincing the other side that you are making a generous offer, it actually implies, in one sentence, that you feel that the other side is not being ‘great’ if they reject your offer.

Both of these ‘annoying’ phrases and others in a similar vein are aimed at increasing confidence. But they have a very bad effect on other people’s perception of you as a negotiator.

So in summary, whilst incorporating the previous top negotiator behaviours take good care to avoid the following average behaviours:

1) Defend and Attack arguments of any sort
2) Your own counterproposals introduced, without first discussing the other side’s proposals
3) Too many facts to support your proposals
4) Using very common and unintentionally annoying phrases.

Being a top negotiator isn’t difficult if you behave as you should. Sometimes you won’t win -that’s life- so when the deal looks daft from your point of view be prepared to walk away. And the more times you are prepared to walk away you will be amazed how often the deal chases you out of the door.

Charm Power- Gaining The Unfair Advantage

Presence, Charisma and Charm (PCC) are seemingly intangible attributes which you either have or you have not.

And yet the lucky few who are labelled with those titles are not always the ones we would expect. They are often not conventionally handsome or beautiful and yet, undeniably they have ‘The X Factor’.

And, whether you like it or not, having the X factor and working hard to develop it, is well worth the effort!
Psychologists have witnessed that ‘PCC’ or ‘X factor’ people are listened to more and are given many additional opportunities. They are forgiven their sins more often and other people are prepared to give them the benefit of the doubt. Their friends make excuses for them and endlessly try to please them.

So what if you were able to generate that same desire in other people? How valuable would it be to your social and business life?

Luckily.. things maybe ‘looking up’ for those of us who are not so spiritually blessed. As the charismatic ‘few’ have to live here in the physical realm with the bland and samey ‘many’ of us, scientists have studied what it is that they (the blessed) do with their body and mind that gives them their attractiveness. After all they, being human like us, have bodies that work in the same way as ours, so there must be something we can copy that will make us as charming and charismatic as they are. And it turns out there is.

As a main desire of each one of us is to have others pay attention to us and listen to what we have to say (and there is even a new profession called ‘Professional Listener’ ) it should not come as a surprise to learn that PCC people are the all time great attention payers….this is their big secret.

In the time that they spend with you will find that a PCC person concentrates totally on YOU; their focus will be 100%. A PCC person will make you feel as if she is genuinely interested in liking YOU and will not be concerned about trying to make you like her.

PCC people indicate that they are giving you their total attention in six measureable ways.

1) Eye contact.
A PCC’ person will hold your gaze for much longer than anyone else. You will not catch their eyes flicking over your shoulder or out of the window while you’re talking to them So to begin communicating your charm and charisma look directly at the other person for as long as you can.

2) Alternate Signal
Once you have established unerring eye contact, you need to ensure that the person you are charming doesn’t find your gaze intimidating. To do this let your concentration shift from the other person’s left eye to right eye every few seconds. This will indicate to their subconscious that your interest is still 100% and you haven’t drifted into a glassy eyed day-dream.

3) Smile.
PCC people accept you as you are. They are not judgemental nor critical. They let you see that they are enjoying your company. The charismatic movie and TV actress Helen Mirren when asked how she projects her obvious charisma said, “It’s simple…I adopt an expression that suggests I am just about to tell the other person a wonderful secret”.

4) Nods and Winks
If you have ever been interviewed on TV you will have heard of ‘nods and winks’. Often a camera operator and a journalist will turn up and do the interview with the one camera focused totally on you. Afterwards you will see that the operator turns the camera on the interviewer who will ask all the questions again to the now empty chair where you were previously sitting. After that, for about a minute, the interviewer will simply nod and smile at the camera and occasionally tilt his head as if listening. Later that night you will see the edited version on TV News with the nods and winks mixed in with your replies. This illustrates to the viewer that real interest was being shown in your replies and that the communication process was very much ‘two way’.
So when you are charming your way into the heart of another person, make sure that you too nod, tilt and slightly narrow your eyes occasionally to indicate your total focus.

5) Undo your body
All practiced and experienced communicators know that Body Language accounts for 55% of received human communication. One particular trait of charismatic people, observed at parties, meetings and other social functions, is that they show the palms of their hands to other people much more than ‘normal people’.
They also never fold their arms whilst listening to somebody else. Their body remains open at all times and they use their arms in an animated way when talking. They face other people directly during a discussion and convey a feeling of energy by keeping their weight on the balls of their feet, dropping their shoulders and unlocking their knees.

6) Voice of approval
Slow and deep are the key signs of charming verbal reassurance. Whereas the masses on the planet tend to talk fast and move quickly, what differentiates the ‘charmers’ is their complete lack of hurry and deep warm tones. In the movie ‘Dirty Rotten Scoundrels’ ( Michael Caine and Steve Martin) Caine’s ‘suave’ character educates the brash Steve Martin in the skills needed to charm unsuspecting rich-widows. As the plot opens up we see the American being slowly educated in just these verbal skills.
In the real World to make any other person feel the charisma emanating from your persona simply slow down and deepen. Every so often, when the other person is talking, encourage them with little verbal reassurances: Really?…. Uh-hu…Mmmm….I see!…oh no!… and they will feel that your concentration is total.

And finally (as “Inspector Columbo” would say): “Oh..I nearly forgot…there is just one last thing!”
Charismatic and charming people are not interested in being ‘right’ all the time. They are quite willing to let the other person be right. As Dale Carnegie said in his famous book: “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, first published 75 years ago: “Just let the other man feel good about himself and he will love you forever”

Pretty good advice I’d say for any PCC apprentice.

Delivering the Winning Proposal in a Sea of Mediocrity

If business proposals were judged solely on their weight and volume (rather than content and focus), then most of them would be very successful.

The problem is that, somewhere in sales folklore, there are two fairy-stories about proposals that, most proposal writers appear to believe, will cast the magic ‘buy-this-one’ spell over any prospective customer.

The stories are:

1) Lots of ‘bumph’ is better than too little.

2) The first thing proposal-readers are looking for is information about us.

Driven by an almost universal belief in these stories, the assembly order of most business proposals tends to be as follows:

– Title page
– Information about ourselves- how long we’ve been in business etc
– Pictures: Our directors (with career backgrounds), Our office/ warehouse
– Detailed Information about our services and products
– Confirmation of the amount of product/service the customer wants to buy
– The Price the customer will have to pay
– The Installation and implementation requirements
– Terms and Conditions and copy of our contract
– Conclusion

The first, horrible truth I have to set before you, in an effort to wean you off this mythical-magic-proposal- template, is written below. It is so fundamental to the whole sales process that I would like you to do this for me right now: (write, print, draw, daub the following words on a very large piece of paper and place it over your desk where you can see it every day:

“NOBODY CARES ABOUT YOU AND YOUR BUSINESS”

The word ‘I’ (alongside its close companion words, ‘We’ ‘Me’ and ‘Our’ ) is the weakest and least persuasive word in the World. And yet it is the commonest word in all business communications. Yes, despite the fact that every bit of research on business-persuasion says that, ‘stuff about you and what you think’, has no positive effect on the selling process, business people still cram their proposals full of it.

If you want to read up on the research and books about why this is not the way to do it, you can start back 75 years ago with Dale Carnegie’s seminal work: “How to Win Friends and Influence People” (still a best seller and still in print) and work through to all of the most recent business books. But they will ALL tell you the same thing: (Apart from your family and close friends) Nobody cares about you….nor what you are…nor what you do….nor what you think. And ‘no’ your business is NOT different. And ‘yes’ this does apply to YOU too.

So, if you kick-off your proposal with a whole lot of guff about you and your business, it will soon have a key position in the pile labelled: “Same As All The Others”.

Not only do the majority of proposal-writers pad out the first few pages of their proposals with stuff about themselves (“Yeah-this is what they want to know…this’ll impress them!”), but they go into tremendous detail about it too. You will find full ‘Bios’ and CV’s of all their key players, smiling head-shot photos, photos of the premises, pictures of warehouses and offices and even photos of the trucks and vans used for delivery.

As the reader ventures further into the proposal, in a vain search for that which he truly seeks, he is next confronted by ‘the product brochure’. This usually consists of a description and/or pictures of the products the customer is interested in, plus – for good measure- all or nearly all the other products and services offered (just in case). This is several pages long and often includes detailed technical specifications.

After that comes the price list and bottom-line quotation for the job in hand. Plus a full description of payment terms and penalties for not paying on time and other ancillary costs.

Finally comes the killer conclusion: “Do not hesitate to call us if you require any further information. We look forward to hearing from you soon.”

OK You’ve got your wish: You’re dead.

So what’s to be done?

Would you like me to show you how your proposal can go in the rare pile marked “Winner.”

OK it’s not difficult…here goes:

First let us remind ourselves about the reason your business exists. It exists, like all businesses, companies and commercial organisations, to solve at least one problem. That’s it!…If you are not clear about the problem your business solves then you probably don’t have a business.

When your customer made contact with you -or responded to an overture from you- the only reason they did it was that they thought you might be able to solve at least one problem for them. What that specific problem is (and there maybe more than one) depends on the type of problem your business is set-up to solve.

So the first thing that needs to appear in your proposal is something about ‘the problem’. Because the first thing your prospective customer will be saying to himself, as he opens the pages, is: “My problem.. where is it?…Was this person listening when I was telling him about all my problems- the ones he might be able to fix?… Does he show, somewhere here, that he understands my problems and the effect they are having on me?”

To satisfy this basic customer need, the first few pages of your proposal must therefore feedback to the customer, in his/her own words if possible, that you were listening and have understood all the problems that your customer wants fixing. There should be nothing ‘problem-solving’ in your early words. It should be a mirror-summary of what the customer said to you.

Immediately following this opening section, start at the top of a new page.

In this next section you will be outlining what, ‘might’… ‘has’… ‘could’ happen if these problems are not fixed. Enlarging on the knock-on effects of not fixing a problem, starts a process of psychological reinforcement which increases the desirability of your service. This is especially powerful if you have previously managed to get the customer to tell you what he thinks could happen if the problem rolls on unchecked. And it is even better if he has revealed how much the problem is costing or might cost him. If he’s told you put it in (but don’t invent anything).

So in these first two sections you have shown the customer that, unlike probably ALL the other proposals on his desk, YOU were listening to what he was saying. This is as rare as a ’90 cent Bill’

Only at this point is the customer sufficiently ‘softened-up’ and therefore open to read about how your service and/or product will be able to address the previously described problems. Having been reminded of his problem he is ready for the solution.

But beware; DO NOT at this stage be tempted to talk too much about what the product ‘is’ or about your company and its background. Rather set out the way and manner in which your product or service will solve the problem. In other words concentrate on the solution (‘the benefits’) rather than the raw-facts (‘the features’)

And DO NOT be tempted into the common trap of adding-in a load of other features and benefits which don’t address the specific problems given to you by the customer. Spurious bits and pieces added in, like sprinkles on a cake, in order to give a proposal substance (and generally pad it out a bit), will usually not have the desired effect.

Far from making a proposal more desirable, research shows that there is a direct correlation between loads of unrequested bits and pieces and the prospective customer complaining about the price!

Yes, sometimes, despite your huge arsenal of products, they only want ONE thing from you…that’s it; and in that case, that’s enough!

So if, for some vague masochistic reason, you want to generate price objections, do add in more un-asked for stuff. If you don’t want them then DON’T.

Having now taken the trouble to pay the customer the compliment of clearly having listened to their problems and shown how you can fix them, he/she will be looking for the price.

So, in the next section (new page) set it out very simply. And always endeavor to have already given them a good idea of what it will be in previous conversations. The proposal should ,whenever possible, NOT be the first time the prospect learns about the price. If there has been no opportunity to do this, you must do everything in your power to deliver the proposal in person and go through it with the customer face to face.

If your proposal is actually a response to a Request for Quote (RFQ) or Request for Proposal (RFP) received from a potential customer out-of-the-blue (no prior face to face discussion possible), then I have to tell you something rather alarming: You are probably very late to the table and the whole deal is more or less sown up with someone else. You are being used!

Invariably another preferred supplier has already quoted. But during the decision making process the boss asked for a few comparative quotes just to cover himself if anyone asked. The problem is that the tender document is based on your competitor’s existing quote (and strengths) so you are, from the outset, fighting a very tough battle.

Most out-of-the-blue requests (with no discussion possible) will result in a massive amount of time wasting and mostly no deal.

Well here you are…the bulk of the important work is now done.

You may, if you wish, now add, towards the back, some brief sections about you, your company and how long you’ve been in business, but DO keep it short. People don’t have time or the interest to wade through loads of stuff…would YOU? And, as a general rule, no pictures of warehouses, factories or trucks…one looks like another. Nobody’s impressed.

It is often good to offer references at this point but only if they have asked for them. Remember that the proposal reader has usually and subconsciously made a decision by now. This is because people (your customers) primarily accept ‘you’ based on the amount of interest you have shown in them.

The final part in the compilation of your ‘Winning Proposal’ should concentrate on telling the customer what he needs to do next. This should be expressed in very positive terms with none of the usual, ‘Please do not hesitate to call me’, stuff which accompanies the majority of business offerings and covering letters. Remember that the human brain can’t hold a negative thought and fails to register the ‘do not’ leaving only the, “Please….hesitate to call me”, as the final message.

Make sure too, that you print and bind your proposal with a decent front title page and a see-through front cover. Do several top-copies too in case your prospect wants to distribute it to her colleagues; much better they all have a top-copy rather than a misaligned, gray copy, of a copy, of a copy. If you can’t do it take it to your local copy-store, on a memory stick, and ask them to do it for you. If you do this DO check that the pages look the same on their P/C and that there are no formatting differences that cause words, titles and sentences to leak across on to the next page.

Now print it on very good quality paper (Not the usual 60-80gm copier-stock). Check for spelling mistakes -especially people’s names- and use a good clear font (NOT ‘Comic Sans’ it makes you look ‘stupid’ not ‘quirky’). And do number the pages and, after the front title page, add a contents page….it makes the document look more professional.

There is nothing more I need to add and it isn’t difficult to do.

– Title page
– Contents Page
– Problems in need of fixing
– Knock-on effects of not fixing
– Our Focused Solution
– Price
– Who we are/experience/background
– References
– Any other relevant material (keep it short and simple)
– What to do next

Following the method outlined above is going to make your proposals more interesting, readable and effective when presented to you customer.

It is also going to differentiate your offering from the many, even if your product looks very much like your competitors. And best of all it will bring you more business.
That’s not a fairy story

Bob Etherington

The 30 Day School Of Good Fortune

Luck?! …of course I believe in luck. How else can we explain the success of the people we don’t like?” said Jean Cocteau the 19th Century French Dramatist.

And he’s right isn’t he?

I mean, look at all those scoundrels, liars and rogues who get all the breaks! Typical. As for me I work hard and do all the upright things but I always lose out. Why me? Why me?

What about some luck for me?

OK …if you’re serious, I am enrolling you in my private “School of Good Fortune.”

Your enrollment is Free and the whole course lasts for just 30 days.

If you do what I tell you in this article I can practically guarantee a change of circumstances for the better in less than a month. In fact I’ll go further than that; I guarantee it without reservation of any kind.
Are you ready?

This is serious stuff by the way, and based on several years of academic research and psychological tests, No Kidding! I have studied and tried everything myself and read most of the books. “The Cosmic Ordering Service”, “The Secret”, “The Lazy Man’s Way to Riches”, “The Power of Positive Thinking”, the list goes on (and on). Some material goes back to the 19th century and there are also some very recent findings. Everywhere there are techniques that are effective and some that are not. I have personally tried, tested and logged every technique in this article and I have now refined it all into this definitive, quick way to get you wherever you want to go.

In my work life I have been a salesman, sales manager, and Main Board Sales Director for a large international company. I’m also a pilot and an engineer. Now I lead serious grey-suited business people through the techniques that will bring them just the life they want. So right here and now I can tell you -like I tell them- that this approach works for everybody who uses it. Not for a special few, but for everyone who puts the techniques into action and does what I say for just 30 days.

So , once again, are you ready?

First of all I want you to get yourself a cheap school exercise book with at least 30 pages and a pen or a pencil; these are the only pieces of equipment you will need. I’d now like you to mark each double page spread with a number starting at 1 and going up to 30.

The first exercise in “The School of Good Fortune” is designed to make you feel genuinely happier and happier each day. Would you like that?

This is all you have to do: Open your book and on the left hand page write down everything in your life you are grateful for. Anything and everything you can think of from the roof over your head, your health, your talents, your family…everything. Start the page with the words, Today is the ….of …and I am grateful for….. (write your list).

And while you’re doing it, whether you FEEL like it or not,….put a smile on your face. All the available research proves conclusively that people who do this simple exercise each day actually become happier people. Tomorrow and everyday up to the 30th day I want to to write down the most exhaustive list you can. Each morning turn the page and on the left-hand side write your daily Gratitude List.

The next step on your 30 day journey is to decide what it is that you want. Most people haven’t a clue. They think they have but when questioned they say: “Well I’d like more money in the bank, a better car, a nicer partner, to have a holiday home, more time off.”

These people don’t seem to realise that, to get somewhere on a journey, you have to have a definite destination in mind.

If you want to get to ‘the top’ you have to know what “the top” is to you. You can’t just wander around hoping you’ll find it. The people who conquered Mount Everest in the 1950’s didn’t just go out for a stroll one day and suddenly find themselves at the peak!

So on the right hand side of the first double page spread in your book (Page 1) I want you to list out the precise things you want in your life.

And I want you to do it like this:

1) Write out each goal or objective very precisely and in detail – If it is money precisely how much do you seriously want? If it is spiritual exactly how do you want to feel? If it is a house precisely what does it look like?…Colour? size? garden? garage? and so on

2) Write each goal as if you already have it – The human brain cannot distinguish between reality and imagination when recalling things (that’s a fact) and if you keep telling it “It is January 1st 20xx (date in the future) and I have just taken delivery of my Ferrari…..” , it will start to work on ways to get it….You will be amazed at the coincidences that start to happen – weird. (Give this method time to work by the way…make your future date 3, 6 or 12 months ahead at least…this is science not magic! )

3) Make it challenging- Don’t make your goal something that breaks the laws of physics because if you – for example- say, ‘I am going to jump of a tall building and fly’ , I can assure you that what will happen is that you WILL die in the attempt. Nevertheless don’t make your goals too modest because once you start this programme you will discover the speed at which you achieve your goals and the heights you can reach will totally amaze you.

5) Every morning when you wake up, open the exercise book at page 1, speak each goal out loud as you have written it. Then close your eyes and visualise the goal that you have just spoken for just a few seconds -Why? because, as mentioned before, your mind cannot distinguish between imagination and reality. When you regularly, for these 30 days, practice daily vizualisation, your brain will build a vivid set of memories. It will become convinced that you have already achieved the goal once and can therefore easily do it again. Just do it…it’s only 30 days!

6) Don’t tell anybody else you are doing this if you think they will laugh. Tell people you respect and admire if you wish and tell people who are sharing the goals with you. But tell nobody who you know will scorn the method or laugh at you because it will put you off and destroy the psychological effect. These people will not like it when you do succeed and they will call you ‘lucky’. But what can you do? Of course they believe in luck …how else can they account for the success of people they envy?

The whole objective of this home-work I’ve set you on Day 1, is to start a process of, ‘expectation of good fortune’. This is necessary because one of the key drivers of fortunate people is that they simply expect to be fortunate every day…and curiously enough, because of that expectation, it appears that they are.

On Day 2 -and right through to Day 30- you are going to do both the attitude exercise and goal vizualistaion exercise at least once a day. But in addition from Day 2 onwards you are also, on the right hand side of the page, going to keep a daily log of all the fortunate things that happen to you. This regular ‘writing down’ of your experiences is known to have a much stronger psychological effect than just talking or thinking about what is happening.

Staying with Day 2 now, today’s additional task is to ‘get out there.’

Why? because “lucky” people know more people. In the courses I run for salespeople I am always amazed how many of them sit around in the office all day ‘praying’ for the phone to ring with an incoming order. My first sales manager used to tell us to: ‘Get out…do anything…speak to people about anything…but GET OUT…there are no customers in the office!”

Repeating this story to a conference in Chicago last year, a lady at the back put her hand up and said, “You’re right there sir………..just like I discovered..there are no boyfriends in the apartment!’

She’s right. Over and over again I have discovered that, for some mysterious reason (and I’m not a mysterious person) whenever I have been bereft of ‘luck’ for a few days all I have to do is get out and start mixing. I talk to everybody…people in line at the Post Office…at the Supermarket…in the security Line at the airport…fellow passengers on the train. I always ask them about themselves…or mention the weather…or anything….and it is AMAZING who you’ll meet.

Some people don’t want to talk…maybe they think I’m crazy. But that’s OK; there’s another 6 billion humans out there, so somebody always talks to me.

As the sixties folk singer Joan Bayez says, ‘The best antidote for despair is action’

So here’s your task: starting on Day 2 and for every one of the 29 remaining days, you are to talk to at least 5 strangers a day about anything. Your overall objective is to get to know one new person, by their first name, every six days. You don’t have to become close friends maybe they’ll become just a ‘nodding acquaintance’ . If you are REALLY shy of doing this..then pick up your old phone book and call somebody you haven’t called for years. They will be SO pleased. Your whole objective is to expand your network of human contacts. Quite simply: Fortunate People KNOW more people.

On Day 3 you are going to start talking to yourself.

You are still going to keep up the Day 1 and 2 tasks but today’s new thing is really what most of us do all the time anyway but with a little twist.

Each day, unplanned things happen to all of us. We all make our own decisions about whether they are ‘good things’ -which are beneficial to us- or bad things -which are harmful to us.

Fortunate people are not immune from these daily events. But like William Shakespeare they have discovered, unlike most of the human race, that they are only ‘events’. The process of classing them ‘good’ or ‘bad’ is something we do ourselves. (“There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so”)

So, for fortunate people, any apparently ‘bad’ event is immediately analyzed in a different way. Instead of sinking into the typical self-talk, “Why me, why me?” “Why do I always miss the bus?”….”Why do I always get in the slow line at the supermarket?”…..”Why did I cross the road at the wrong moment and collide with a cyclist….why ?” The fortunate person will actively have a conversation in their head: “What have I learned from this?”… “Why is this also a good thing?”….”Phew….lucky I wasn’t killed!”

By doing this -at first, by making themselves do it- until it develops into a habit, fortunate people rapidly start to see the world full of opportunities to learn rather than holes to fall into.

Look…I’m only asking you to do this for 30 days…you can do this can’t you? Judge it by results.

Finally from Day 4 (This is the final new task) I want you to set aside 30 minutes each day to be awake but by yourself. Fortunate people find time daily to let their brain free wheel and this is what you will be doing. As we each use only 10% of our full brain power (I’m sure you know that already) allowing your brain once a day to focus down on anything except the daily worries of work and family and money and relationships -and all that- is very powerful therapy.

You can do it by lying in bed ‘awake’ for 30 minutes ….or sitting in a church….or sitting in a park…but you must be awake and consciously slow your brain down. It takes practice but 30 days everyday will do it ! Try to focus on any one thing, preferably a single object placed in front of you: an egg….an apple…an acorn…a wooden block. Anytime a thought or worry from your ‘normal’ world intrudes, push it away and get back to your object. When I have no object I simply concentrate for 30 minutes on nothing but my breathing in…out …in…out…and you can do the same.
Once a day make yourself slow down and FEEL the difference.

You will start to notice something strange happening when you begin this process: your intuition and gut feelings about situations become sharper and more accurate. One interesting discovery is that you will start to find money all over the place…it will begin small with coins and rapidly build to you seeing notes and bills dropped in the street. I can’t explain it but it always happens. Once again judge by results.

From now on and for the next 26 days I want you to repeat daily all the exercises given here and record all the fortunate things that occur in your book.

This “30 Day School of Good Fortune” is offered to you free because I have been so fortunate using it myself for over 20 years.

Good Luck….(and that’s not a wish, it’s a guarantee)

Bob Etherington

It’s Later Than You Think

The objective of this blog is very simple: To put more money into your bank account.

It really doesn’t matter whether you believe what you will discover here; the methods work for everybody who applies them. I am not a new-age ‘tree hugger’. I am a sober middle aged business man, very wealthy, not particularly ‘green’. I fly aeroplanes for a hobby. I drive a Bentley. I own a property near London’s Bond Street.I left school with ‘nothing’…..So you get the picture!
I have retired twice and restarted because I got bored.I love showing people how to do exactly what I have done…it is SO easy;
‘Success leaves Clues’.
 The only people who will tell you that these methods don’t work are unsuccessful cynics….(probably your friends and family) On the other hand successful individuals will always tell you ‘YES that is what I do’
I am giving YOU all this insight for FREE although top international business people still pay me thousands to educate and coach them in these simple methods. (One of the top 1000 richest people in the UK is still a client of mine). You can become a one-to-one Inner-Circle client if you wish although that is not free (just email me at robertetherington@yahoo.co.uk and I will tell you how) Some people need it some people don’t we’re all different so it’s up to you.
Here in this blog everything is free to you nothing is concealed it is the same material, although I can’t give you individual advice. And by the way it isn’t only about material success either. If your idea of success is more spiritual then these methods can be applied in the exactly the same way.
So here we go.
This is probably the most important part of the whole series of blogs I will post; so attend! Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin.
First I have a question for you: If I came into your bedroom at 4am in the morning, shook you awake and asked. ” Quick, wake-up, where are you going in your life in the next 3 years?” Would you be able to tell me?. No? Would your answer be something vague like: ‘I’d like to make a bit of money’ ‘I’d like to meet a nice partner’ I’d like to get a better car’.
If so here’s the bottom line: your life is not going to change.
The first step is to define exactly, in detail, what you want. Precisely what does success in the next three years mean to you?  If you can’t do that I can’t help you.
Homework:
So what I want you to do is get a sheet of plain paper and itemise and describe everything you want that would make you look back in 2012 and be able to say: “YES I did it!”. Notice I didn’t say ‘anything’ because that would mean, ‘any one thing’. This method will bring you ‘everything’ you want.(Don’t worry about how this will all happen- leave that bit to me.) First sit down and write your detailed ‘everything list’, item by item and describe each one in detail: the amounts, the colours, the sensations every little detail as you see it in your ‘mind’s eye’.
I’ll be back
Bob
PS Don’t tell anyone that you are doing this if you think they will laugh. I will tell you why next time. Keep this to yourself.

Show Me The (Easy) Money

Are you ready for the next bit of getting yourself very rich in the next 1000 days?
Good you’ve come to the right place>

BTW somebody just asked me about this blog’s title. What I want you to think about when you read it is that One Million Days have not yet passed since the birth of Christ (Since AD Year ‘1’)!!! So where ever you are in your life the days are passing by…..and every passing day is another chance to change your life completely. Have you begun yet? No then start today…I will show you EXACTLY what to do.

You are about to get wealthy !!!
I am your guide….get on board or get out of the way !!
In my last blog I told you first to write down the precise things you want for your life. You need a detailed description of each one. Especially the money: Exactly how much money do you want in the next 1000 days (3 years)? Detail is very important. (See my previous blog) If you tell me ‘you don’t know what you want’ then I have news for you: You’re not going to get anything or anywhere !! \
(And you’re NOT going to win the Lottery so forget it !!!. Next weekend somebody IS going to win the Lottery …..it’s just NOT going to be YOU)
Back to the task in hand (getting you rich) If you were to wake up Richard Branson, Bill Gates, David Beckham, Sir Alan Sugar at 4 in the morning do you think they’d be at all vague about what they are going to get in the next three years? No of course not….that is the ONLY difference between YOU and them. That is the only difference between those people and the other 98% of humanity who die without achieving what they want.
So now I want you to follow these instructions precisely: (This is EXACTLY what I do by the way)
1) Write down each goal in a lot of detail
2)Express it as if it has already happened (Not, “I want an Aston Martin DB6….etc” but “I have an Aston Martin DB6…..etc”  [there are very powerful psychological reasons for this which I will tell you about next time)
3) Set a date for the successful obtaining of each item. In other words, “It is January 1st 2010 and I have just taken delivery of my Aston Martin DB6….etc”
4) Every day when you get up read each goal to yourself out loud. (If you can’t read out loud then at least move your lips)
5) Then after reading each one shut your eyes briefly and imagine -in your mind’s eye- the thing you want in front of you. ‘See’ the colours ‘Feel’ the textures ‘Smell’ the environment…just for a few seconds (again there are very well researched ‘sports-psychology’ powerful reasons for this – I will tell you next time)
6) DO NOT tell any one you are doing this who you think will LAUGH !!! I will tell you why tomorrow too.