Songs that get stuck in my head: The Ultimate Showdown!

I’ve been pretty deep all week long so I thought I’d lighten things up a bit today and share yet another of the songs that get stuck in my head: The Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny!  This is an oldie but a goodie going all the way back to 2005! Here is the educational blurb from Wikipedia so you have a little background on the artist Lemon Demon:

The Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny, often shortened to The Ultimate Showdown, is a comical song and video released on December 7, 2005. The song was written and performed by Neil Cicierega under the pseudonym “Lemon Demon”, with art and Flash animation by Shawn Vulliez.

I love this song because it’s catchy, but it also manages to use nearly every pop culture icon of the time into one video and somehow pull it off spectacularly! That and the twist at the end.

If you Would like to know more about this little gem you can get the complete lyrics at Albion Black Sheep.

Enjoy!

Selling is Caring… Really!

Helping Others Gives Success True MeaningGreat Salespeople Care About Others

People are going to think I’m crazy for saying this but it’s true. Great selling is 100% about caring. Think about the best buying experiences you have ever had. Did it feel manipulative? Could you see the awesome closing techniques they used? My guess is no.  A great sale feels very natural and “good”? We think we are helping people by sharing all the awesome features and benefits we know and showing off our expertise and product knowledge, but we are not. I think Theodore Roosevelt nailed it when he said: “No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.”

A great sale should feel very natural and ''good'' #sales Click To Tweet

The best Buying Experience

For me, the absolute best buying experiences have been with salespeople who really got to know me. They were not technique laden “hunters”, “killers”, or “closers” (believe me I’ve done this long enough that I can spot them!). They were genuine people who took an interest in me, understood my problems and goals, and set out to present me with well thought out solutions.  All of them had good habits and techniques. However, they were not focusing on themselves or on those skills, they were building a relationship.

I’m Not a Sales Apologist

Really I’m not. I make good money helping people improve their sales technique. Moreover, I think it’s important that you regularly practice those techniques so you can perform with smooth flawless delivery. However, I do not think they should be your focus. Good technique is there to assist you in staying on track, gathering information, and presenting well thought out meaningful solutions to your client’s problems.

An Example

A great example of this is the real estate agent who sold me my 2nd house. When we met for the first time he sat down and talked to my wife and I like you would expect.  What surprised me was that he also took the time to talk to my kids and see what was important to them. He was really trying to understand what all of us were looking for so he could meet all of our needs. He then laid out his plan. First time out 5 houses absolutely no offers. Next time out 3 houses no offers, but we will really like these houses. Then on the third time out 2-3 houses and a solid offer on the house we would buy. To be honest at this point I was like NO freaking way! How does he know this?

The next thing he did was lay out his plan. First time out 5 houses absolutely no offers. Next time out 3 houses no offers, but he promised we would really like several of these houses. Then on the third time out 2-3 houses and a solid offer on the house we would buy. To be honest with you, at this point I was thinking NO freaking way! How does he know this? What if I like the first house I see?

So the first time out we looked at 5 houses and he did not sell one bit. He was in the background watching everything. He watched my kids, listened to my wife an I talk about what we liked or didn’t, and when we left he would ask questions. What really blew me away was when I’d say things like: “I really loved that deck!”  he would say “Yes it was very nice, but did you see Sophia trying to get up and down those steps?” Me… “Ya I guess I did.  They were really steep and there was no rail.” We looked at a lot of nice houses That day. They were all very different and we had things we liked about all of them. We didn’t place an offer. However, it felt like a productive day overall.

The next time out we looked at 3 houses and we loved them all… same story. Lots of questions and interaction paired with great feedback that led us to reconsider. Then on the third trip out we looked at 2 perfect houses and placed an offer.

This salesman did a lot of things right and he had great technique, but his goal was to build trust in himself and his system. He did that very well and we sent referrals later. He did a great job not just because of his skill but because he was a good guy, a professional, and was sincerely interested in helping us get the right home we would love.

Closing Thoughts

I do not care what you sell… your customers have goals, dreams, and desires and if you focus your sales strategy on these things you will close more sales. If you are looking for a good read on how to master building relationships and hone your technique I highly recommend Joe Girard’s How To Sell Anything to Anybody. This book has had a very powerful influence on my selling style and helped me mature from a skillful sales person to a true professional.

For Discussion

I’d love to hear about your GREAT sales experiences or tragic failures and how you think caring played a role in that experience… As always I promise to replay back and keep the conversation going!

-Brad

Are Your Social Media Connections REAL Connections?

Are you real? Are your “friends” real friends?

In this social media enriched world, we are more connected than ever before, but are we REALLY connected? Are your Facebook “Friends” really your friends? If they are, do you ever show them the REAL you? I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately.

Social Media Buzzwords and Fake Gratitude

In a private Facebook group I share with other bloggers/web entrepreneurs I shared a rant today about the word gratitude… I’ll spare you the details, but my point was that the word was getting thrown around like a buzzword when no real gratitude was being shown, and I was irritated because I had done nothing to deserve thanks or gratitude. Anyways… I’m rambling, but my point is we all go through the grocery checkout line and ask the checker “How’s your day going?” And they always say “Good and you?” and you always say “Good”… but is it REALLY good?  I’m thinking about Kansas City Chiefs Linebacker Jovan Belcher… How many people ask him this question and what was his answer? I don’t know where I am going here, but I feel like we need to make more of a connection with the people we interact with daily.

So many people are out there surrounded by “friends”, but feeling so alone. We need to make an effort to be real with each other. To share our thoughts and feelings. To say what’s on our mind. If you do this you may irritate some people, but I also feel like people will get you… They will know you care, and if you are willing to ask sincere questions and give real answers when you need your friends your REAL friends will be there. You may also luck out and get a chance to help a friend in need. This may sound like personal advice, but it’s also good leadership advice too. Think about your staff… what do you know about them? Do they trust you? Are you real with them? or are you putting up a front?

If you are serious about building real connections you should look at Craving Connections: 30 Challenges for Real Life Engagement by Crystal Stine. In this book, she will help you create better connections with God, your friends, and your community.

For Discussion

How many social media connections do you have? how many are “real” connections? What can you do to connect better with others?

Why Gamification Fails!

Why Gamification Fails

Why Gamification fails… Just a few quick thought on this topic before I go to bed tonight. I think about this a lot because as a sales manager I see “games” put out by senior management all the time that are not well thought out and poorly implemented. They push these to the field and then no one engages with the “game” because it’s neither interesting or fun, then one of two things happens. Scenario 1: Mid management pretends it was successful inspiring additional time wasted on something no one cares about. Scenario 2: There is tremendous bellyaching from the field and the idea is chalked up as a loss and never done again.

So the question is: Why does gamification fail and what can we do about it? I think I can sum up the problem in one word. Engagement! The number one problem I see with “games” put out by management is there is a LOT of thought as to how to manage and measure the metrics the game is designed to improve. There is also a lot of thought and effort put into the collection of data and additional work placed on lower level managers to track and report results, but very little thought is given to why anyone would want to play the game in the first place. Herein lies the problem… games like this may inspire a few people but most employees will ignore them.

Why? Because we failed to engage them. When designing these games there are two key things that need to be thought about. First, what key metrics am I trying to improve (The more there are the harder this is to do), and second how can I ensure that the maximum number of people are actively engaged? Our problem is we talk a lot about the first issue and very little about the second.

I’ll talk about how to do this tomorrow, but for now I’d like to hear about your experience with games managers have made and what your experience is with them as a developer or player. Were you engaged? Why or why not?

-Brad

PS: If you are looking for a GREAT book on gamification and how to make it work I recommend Reality is Broken. It is truly fantastic and will change the way you think about gamification and what it can do for you and your business.

Why Do I Blog?

Why do I blog? Why do I blog? Why does anyone blog?  Well they are both good questions, but I can only share with you the answer to the first question… The real answer to the next one is hard to nail down because everyone has their own reasons. What I can do is give you some insight into mine.

When I started blogging back in 2006 on my first WordPress.com blog it was because I wanted to share my thoughts on sales and management with the goal of networking with some like minded people, sorting out my thoughts, helping other people and maybe picking up the occasional consulting gig.  To be honest, it worked fabulously! I met some great people, secured several consulting jobs, and even launched a social network and podcast called Sales Management 2.0!

My next blog was a health and fitness blog called Running For 365 Days. On this blog I shared my experiences as a runner. When I started this blog I was just starting my doctoral program, so it fell apart after a few months because I was simply too busy to write as much as I wanted to (daily). At the same time I was also trying to launch an education blog to share my experience in my doctoral program, but again it was all just too much.

That brings us to this blog: Just My Life in Words or The Uber Geek! This is the place where I am pulling it all into one place. It lets me blog about all the things I care about, but if it takes a few weeks to come up with something on one topic it’s no biggie because I have probably written something on at least one of the 15 topics I am covering.

Now that tells you what I have blogged, but not really why… Well it sounds silly, but in part to change the world. I think about a lot of stuff and I am a pretty smart guy so I like the idea of using the internet to leverage my voice and spread ideas. I also do it to help and inspire others. I hope that people will read about my thoughts on leadership, sales, and sales management and learn that the industry is about helping people and not making a quick buck off someone. I also hope they will learn that you don’t have to be a pushy jerk to be successful as a sales manager. I hope people will see how I lost over 30 pounds so far eating paleo and running and give it a go! I’m a geek and I like to share cool things and share games I think are fun! I’m also in the dissertation phase of my doctorate of education where I am studying gamification so this lets me flush out thoughts and network with others interested in my topic. Finally I have 2 beautiful girls who I love very much and I hope long after I am gone they will be able to read my thoughts and take a little something from it that will help them out some day, or maybe gain some insight into who I am as a man and not just as their father.

As you can see I am just one person and I have a LOT of reasons why I blog and I can promise you this is not an exhaustive list. So the real question is why do YOU blog? If you don’t why SHOULD you blog? Share your thoughts in the comments. I’d love to talk to you about it!

-Brad

PS: If your looking for a GREAT book on how to get started blogging I highly suggest you check out Pro Blogger by Darren Rowse! It’s truly fantastic and will help you with all aspects of blogging whether its as a career or hobby!

Can Tabletop RPG’s Make You More Confident And Successful?

When people think of tabletop RPG’s the first thing that most people think is “Wow… Huge nerd!”  I have for many years thought that there were countless uses for games as a tool for teaching children, developing skills, and developing quality real life relationships. So much in fact, that I have committed a lot of time and study to the idea, so it’s always nice to see that someone else agrees with you!

By the way he uses DnD as the example, but the case is just as true if you use Shadowrun, Traveller, World of Darkness, Mouse Guard, Eclipse Phase, or any other game you can think of. Honesty, I believe the more games you play the more this may be true, because it is teaching you to be flexible and uses different systems and tools to solve a similar issue.

Games teach imagination, problem solving, strategy, and social skills. They also encourage reading and develop strong long-lasting relationships with others. I honestly can not think of a single reason a parent would not want their kids to grow up gaming. I understand the argument about violence many people will make. To that I will say some of the best gaming sessions I have had have lasted 4-6 hours and not have a single combat. Fighting is not always the best way out of a problem and nearly every game has rules for negotiation and other alternative solutions many of wich are far more entertaining! That however is a topic for another post. 🙂

The question here is: What do YOU think? Can games make us better people?

Free on Amazon: Gluten Free Cookbook: Gluten Free Diet and Gluten Free Recipes for Your Good Health

Gluten freeMost people know I have been a paleo eater for a few months now and I thought I’d give a quick update and share a fantastic free resource! As of right now I am down about 25 pounds, but the more important thing is I feel awesome. The two main things Paleo cuts out are gluten (wheat) and dairy. I don’t know wich one has had the bigger effect for me, but I know I can absolutely feel a difference!  A BIG part of eating Paleo if figuring out how to cut gluten. It’s in EVERYTHING! Right now on Amazon you can get a copy of Gluten Free Cookbook: Gluten Free Diet and Gluten Free Recipes for Your Good Health free from Amazon in the Kindle addition. If you have a Kindle or any iOS device or Android tablet you can get the free Kindle app for it and take advantage of this opportunity! I just downloaded this tonight, but I will try to do a more thorough review soon!

If you download this please let me know what you think in the comments!

 

 

Delicious Paleo Pancakes!

Gluten and milk free palio pancakes
My kids LOVE these!

I haven’t had a chance to blog about it, but most of my friends know I have tried many different eating strategies and while I like most of them in the long-term it always seems extreme and I never get to eat the things I really like. I’ve juiced, gone vegetarian, raw vegan (that didn’t last long), and numerous other “plans”. My opinion is they just don’t work well for me for a couple of reasons. First I don’t enjoy it, and second I feel trapped. I don’t really have time today to go into why I enjoy Paleo eating or how much better I feel on a paleo diet, but I did want to share this awesome gluten and milk free Paleo pancake recipe because it was fantastic and my kids LOVED it!

Here is the recipe for them:

Start with 1 package gluten-free all-purpose pancake mix (cravings place)
8 eggs
2 scoops protein powder ( We use vanilla egg protein nothing with milk or soy)
2 cups unsweetened almond milk
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup grape seed oil
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 package enjoy life mini chocolate chips.

put everything in a mixing bowl and thoroughly mix everything together, then brown on a lightly oiled griddle.

This makes a HUGE batch of pancakes. We eat all we can then freeze the rest. They are great tossed in the toaster oven and re-warmed. I like them with a little organic maple syrup but this morning I at three of them plain in the car on my way to work. They taste great and the chocolate adds just the right amount of sweetness. Eating well on a Paleo diet is really not hard at all once you learn how. If you would like to learn some awesome Paleo Hacks check this out.

Let me know how you like these! If you have another recipe you enjoy please share in the comments!

Songs that get stuck in my head! Re: Your Brains!

I may have to start a new reoccurring category on my site called Songs That Get Stuck In My Head! This song came up on my random play list on Spotify 4 or 5 times yesterday and the situation I was dealing with made it SO appropriate! I LOVE Jonathan Coulton’s music! If you get a chance to see him in concert DO IT!

Have you ever felt like you were in this situation?

 

The Whole Foods Parking lot

I went shopping at Whole Foods yesterday to pick up a few things I wanted that were hard to get at the regular grocery store and some how this got stuck in my head:

I hate it when this happens because 24 hours later it’s still there so I’m just going to leave it here so it can get stuck in yours too!

The personal blog of Brad Trnavsky