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Are You Really Spending Your Time Selling?

By Entrepreneurial, Business Insights, Sales Advice, Foundations of Success No Comments

One of the most frustrating aspects of managing a sales force that I experienced is people not making their quotas, the same applies when I observe businesses or entrepreneurs miss their revenue targets. Ultimately when sales targets are missed it’s either a lack of activity or skill or both. In my experience for the most part it’s a lack of activity. It’s simple math actually, if you’re 70% to your target, observe the hours or amount of dials, meetings or whatever other metric leads to results and increase them respectively and math tells you that’s how you will reach your target. The problem is people in general are inherently lazy, or don’t spend their time wisely, for the most part, assuming you have two individuals with equal intelligence, skill and talent, it’s how they spend their time that differentiates them and more often than not, the person who outworks the other makes more money or succeeds more in life. We also see it in sports, countless examples of athletes with inferior talent making it up with work ethic and what you find is that more action leads to mistakes and you learn from your mistakes and that practice does in time make perfect.

Ok so where to start?

First, you need to map out how you’re spending your time now. Sit down for an hour and review your calendar over the last three months, and figure out your own blocks of time for actual selling, prep and research, prospecting, lead management, administrative and CRM, traveling, meetings-both sales and “other”. Whatever the major blocks of time are that make sense to you. What we’re focused on here is to figure out the actual time spent working opportunities in the sales funnel. “Opportunities in the funnel” are the operative words.  Not marketing, not lead gen, not prospecting, not onboarding and servicing. Actual time in the funnel

A few B2B-all industries-stats to help you think about your own mapping:

  • Average “successful” salesperson spends 57 hours a week working
  • Roughly, that’s 3,100 hours a year
  • Lose 25% for holidays, vacations, sick, & non-utilizable time
  • You now have around 2300 hours “available”
  • 37-39% spent face to face or over the phone actually selling
  • 19% spent generating leads and researching accounts
  • 17% on average spent in administrative meetings
  • 14% in handling customer service calls (not selling)
  • 11% in travel and training

How do you stack up? This doesn’t even include smokers, which studies have shown spend upwards of three weeks of sales time per year outside killing themselves as opposed to selling.


  1. Create your own time map of your approximate time as a sales professional/manager
  2. Figure out your ATS (Available Time to Sell) in hours/month
  3. Do that by month for the next quarter

I started my B2B sales career in selling audio conferencing and it changed my life. But what helped lay the foundation for my success believe it or not was a summer job I had dialing for dollars as a telemarketer selling newspaper subscriptions, it helped me overcome objections as far as skill development but the real value was that in that environment you are constantly watched and your number of calls are monitored and coffee isn’t provided and you weren’t allowed to wander around the office and breaks were scheduled and lateness wasn’t tolerated. Now although that boiler room doesn’t make for an ideal prolonged environment, it definitely taught me the discipline to be effective and spending every minute of the work day actually doing the activity that yields results and ultimately success!

Positivity = Prosperity

By Success & Inspiration, Entrepreneurial, Business Insights, Foundations of Success No Comments

Is your attitude holding you back from success? I’ve always been a big believer in positive thinking. It has helped me accomplish much in my life as an entrepreneur. When advising others, positive thinking is my first suggestion on the path to success.  All this made me wonder if there was any actual scientific links between positive thinking and success in business. Positive psychology is, in fact, a whole discipline centered entirely around the study of positivity and its effect on well-being, productivity, and success.  According to Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage, if you start a positive habit and see that it has a positive effect upon your business or health outcomes, your brain is more willing to utilize resources to continue that behavior and scan for new ones. The resulting effect is a cascade of success as greater meaning and well-being fuel more successes than garnered by defensive pessimism or cynicism.

Is your bad attitude losing you money? An upward spiral certainly sounds better than a downward spiral, but unfortunately, the business world is full of challenges, stresses, and reasons to make you want to hide under your covers in the morning. While there are always the bright days when everything in your professional life goes according to plan, somehow we always manage to remember the rainy days where everything goes wrong. You would generally be more upset about losing a business deal rather than winning a deal of the same value, we tend to dwell on our failures more than our successes.  Debbie downers are less resilient, and resilience is a necessary emotion in professional life, especially when it comes to entrepreneurs starting up businesses with a high probability of failure. Positive thinking can mean the difference between an entrepreneur who picks himself or herself up and starts over again, and someone who stays down for the count.  It’s no secret the most productive people also tend to be the most successful, but if you’re caught in a negativity loop, your productivity is likely to falter. Negative thoughts and self-doubt can make you question every decision and second guess yourself, and while you’re second guessing, it’s likely that not a lot of work is getting accomplished. Which probably explains why the positive brain is 31 percent more productive than the negative brain.

We have already discovered negative occurrences tend to stick in the mind longer and stronger than positive outcomes. If you received 20 compliments on your business plan and one criticism, odds are you will focus on the one and ignore the many. So for every negative emotion, you need three positive emotions to keep your mood sunny. So how do you start tipping the balance in favor of positivity in order to improve your career prospects, your entrepreneurial endeavors, and your financial future?  One of the keys is to set your mind on success. Picturing a successful future might seem like Positive Thinking 101, yet it can be immensely helpful when it comes to meeting your goals. After all, the typical career path is littered with pitfalls, and the entrepreneurial path can sometimes become a 90-degree free fall to failure. In order to succeed, sometimes you need to have a little hubris — and plenty of self-confidence.  When mentoring others, there are always two steps I ask my mentees to take to improve their outlook. The first step is to write down 10 affirmations you want to achieve on a piece of paper. These affirmations can range from large-scale achievements to just small victories — “I want to be a millionaire” to “I want my presentation to go well.” Then every morning read these goals aloud to yourself. By focusing on your dreams, you can remind yourself why you work so hard. The other step I ask people to take is to write out their perfect day if money and time were not obstacles. Then, like your 10 goals, read your perfect day out loud every morning. By visualizing success and clearly defining your goals, you start your day by focusing on the positive instead of the negative. When your career, your business, or life gets you down, you can return to these visualization exercises to imagine a brighter future.

Another key is to surround yourself with positivity.  Stresses are all around us, especially if you’re starting up a new business. The life of an entrepreneur can be both exciting and exhausting. And too much stress can tip your positivity ratio into the danger zone.  Studies have proven that negative moods can be most easily and quickly altered by imagining positive or calming scenarios. So the next time you’re under the gun and think you don’t have time for a funny video of a panda sneezing, think again. Surrounding yourself with positivity is a good way to calm down in stressful situations. Make your work area somewhere you enjoy being and fill it with happy mementos of friends, family, and hobbies you enjoy.

Positivity doesn’t just make your life better, happier, and more fulfilling. It can also lead to professional success, which means you’ll be smiling right to the bank.

Gimme Five!

By Comments & Opinion, Success & Inspiration No Comments

What story are you telling yourself that is holding you back in life? What if the truth was that you could be, do, or have anything you dreamed of? What if it were true that we all tell ourselves stories about what’s not possible in life because it seems our need for love, connection and certainty is being met by staying small?

Most people are happy for you at first if you shine, but if you shine too brightly, they start to not like you. Not because you have done anything wrong, but because they get jealous of your success – because it is a reflection of their own failure. We tend to get jealous of others when they have something we wish we had – so when we become successful, we become a target for jealously from others.

How far you will go in life is usually based on the 5 people we spend the most amount of time with. If success is what we are after the goal is to make those declarations and shine our light loudly and proudly. It’s important to understand that people will love and bond over our empowerment. It just may mean we have to redefine our current relationships, it also may mean that we have to let go of some, too. Being around toxic people brings us down, loving and being loved brings us up.

Many times we get our thoughts and opinions about Life, not from ourselves, but from others, from advertisements or the media. So what thoughts do you have about what’s possible in your life? The thoughts and story you tell about your life will come true because when we believe something, we act on it and that action produces a result.

If you want to live your dreams, if you want to grow, love and experience life to the fullest, then it’s vital to begin telling a new and empowering story. Think your own thoughts and consciously surround yourself with people who support and approve of your empowerment. Then do the same thing to the people in your life and celebrate each other’s successes and choose to be in partnerships and relationships that build us up instead of keeping us down.

8 Key Steps to a Successful Client Relationship

By Entrepreneurial, Business Insights, Sales Advice No Comments

I’ve effectively been in sales all my life, though I didn’t realize this until much later when my entrepreneurial endeavors became successful. Upon reflection of my earliest memories I realized sales and entrepreneurialism was in my DNA. It began when I was 3 years old, performing songs in front of my family for money, operating lemon aid stands on my front porch, newspaper routes, starting a grass cleaning business, snow removal, pretty much anything for a dollar through my toddler years. I was clearly looking to get a quick
start to my journey of riches!

I finally succumbed to the entrepreneur in me, during my second year of university, when I postponed my law degree to venture into a career in sales. When working as a sales professional, you are in essence in business for yourself within the safety net of the company.  You control the outcome of your income and directly impact the exponential growth. Or in short, you get out of it what you put in. Sales provides you with limitless
income opportunity, which is why I find it the best occupation on earth.

Through my years of being in sales and in business, I’ve made several observations of what the philosophies, actions and attitudes of the most successful salespeople are and today I’ve outlined them for you.

Start by considering and answering these four key questions:


What are you opinions, prejudices, values, beliefs, and old baggage that may be sabotaging your sales success? A thorough and honest self-appraisal is critical if you want to successfully sell in today’s business climate.


Is it to make money, serve your clients or grow your company? What aspect of
selling do you feel passionate about? Your reasons, more than your goals, will
determine your sense of peace, balance, and fulfillment in your sales career.


How do you like to spend your career time? What else is important to you in your life besides your career? Selling is about building successful, positive, ongoing relationships.
Your overall success will be greatly affected by your willingness and ability
to establish and maintain positive relationships.


Do you regularly read books; attend seminars and network with people that can
help you? A successful selling career requires stamina, energy, and passion.

To be successful you must thoroughly know your clients’ business. Follow these key steps to develop successful client relationships and sales results:


Find out what is preventing your prospects from getting a good night’s sleep. Determine what is worrying them, and you won’t have to worry about customer loyalty, reducing prices, or over-aggressive competition. Even poor salespeople can solve a client’s problem with the right product or service.


They key to building trust is simple. Promise a lot and deliver more. Do what
you say you will do and then some. Peak performance salespeople study their
clients’ business, industries and their competition and are walking encyclopedias
on their own products and services.


When you focus on price because of poor product or client knowledge, or poor
sales skills, you will always lose in the long run. Clients want the best value
for their dollar so if you always sell value, you will never have to worry
about losing business to the competition.


It is more important than good closing techniques or presentations. The most important element of the sales process is gathering information. The best salespeople never go into a sales situation without planning their questions to gather the information they want, so focus on asking questions and listening as opposed to presenting.


Many salespeople have been trained to deliver their sales message as a programmed discussion of features and benefits and the pros don’t deliver this way. The successful salesperson customizes each sales conversation to the buying style, needs, interests, desires, and problems of each buyer.


Successful salespeople don’t try to maneuver around this resistance but get it into the open quickly; they don’t run and hide from price objections but bring up the value of working with a quality supplier early in the sales process.


Poor salespeople try to turn poor prospects into customers; good
salespeople identify good prospects early and help them get what they want.
They accomplish this with good listening skills, a lot of client or prospect
understanding, and a willingness to be flexible and compromise.


The best salespeople work as hard to keep their clients as they did to get them. They understand that clients always have new choices for the services or products they sell.
Poor salespeople take the money and run.

If you want to excel in the greatest profession on earth today and in the years ahead, refocus your attitudes and approaches, and don’t be afraid to adapt or change your

Creatures of Habit

By Entrepreneurial, Business Insights, Sales Advice No Comments

If you make something a habit it doesn’t tax your willpower constantly. Think about the last time you needed to engage your willpower… Ugh, it is draining just thinking about it. The more you create habits in your life the more you have willpower for other tasks. The good news is it only takes 21 days to create a habit, whether a good or a bad one, so choose to make them good!

First decide what task or goal you want to accomplish, maybe start with something small such as: I want to spend more time ___________.

Let’s say you chose “selling”. You get busy everyday with admin work, writing content for your blog, taking service calls, planning out marketing messages, filling in expense reports, whatever. But you still want to spend more time selling, you know you want to do this, it’s just not happening. Every day, from 9:30 – 10:30 you are now selling, no other option. Force it to become habit until it does not tax your willpower every day. It will take great discipline and willpower for the first few weeks but there will be a time where you will move from using willpower to simply, a habit. And a habit requires little to no willpower. Mark it in your calendar, using a calendar as a tool to keep you disciplined and accountable is one of the tricks I learned very early in my career and it works like a charm. You are more likely to actually complete a task or take the time to do what’s important versus urgent if you schedule it in your calendar.

As a salesperson from my experience most of us don’t want to prospect or spend time on the phones trying to schedule appointments with potential clients. To make it easier what we do at The Wish Group is schedule an hour each day where every sales associate clears their desks of everything besides their phone and call script and essentially we make a concentrated effort to schedule meetings and usually average 20 dials, we call these our “Hours of Power”. We like to make declarations to the team ahead of time of what our goals are for the hour, and twice a week we even get on a conference call with associates across all the offices throughout the province to share our results and success stories.  I’ve been trying to exercise and get in better shape for years to no avail, when I look back at why I’ve struggled to maintain consistency I realize that if I apply the good habits that I’ve done in selling to the gym I would have a much better chance at success. This is why I think cross fit is a fitness craze that might actually stick. The principles of having a clear schedule every session, the benefit of having a leader or what is essentially similar to having a personal trainer to keep you motivated, targeting all types of training and using the method of team and accountability are all proven to assist in developing consistency and creating a habit which is ultimately the secret to all success!

The Most Valuable Trait for Success

By Comments & Opinion, Success & Inspiration, Entrepreneurial, Business Insights No Comments

Whether as friends, parents, associates or leaders we want to have a positive impact on all of those we come in contact with on a daily basis. In my 12 years as an entrepreneur I’ve made many observations about the thousands of people I’ve interviewed and hired over that period.  I could make a list of several dozen attributes of people who seem to have success from both a professional and personal perspective as opposed to those who seem to struggle often at both.  But if you were to ask me if there were only one key criteria or common trait that I’ve observed of people who seem to live a powerful, happy successful life it would unquestionably be integrity.

Each moment of each day is an opportunity to live with a value of integrity. But what is integrity and why does it matter?  There are several definitions or examples of how to demonstrate integrity but in its simplest form, Integrity is doing what you said you were going to do or honoring your word.  There is a difference between honoring your word and keeping your word, it’s not always possible to keep your word whereas it’s possible to always honor your word.  For example, if you tell a friend you will meet up with them for lunch at 12pm and your car got a flat tire on the way to the restaurant and therefore cannot be there for 12pm you simply didn’t keep your word and the circumstances were out of your control.  However, you could have honored your word by being in communication with your friend as soon as the incident occurred and thus honoring your word.  The challenge or bad habit that a lot of us develop is we begin to believe that not honoring your word + having a good excuse = Integrity.  It simply doesn’t.

Many people live their lives this way because you can get by, no different than your car could physically drive with 3 regular tires and one of those donut spares that are meant to be temporary replacements to get you to a service station until a full replacement tire can be installed.  Most of us live our lives with that donut tire yet the challenge is we can never truly live up to our full potential as you simply can’t travel at 100 miles an hour on that donut and worst yet, if you hit a pothole or when life throws you a curve, the tire will fall off or your life seems to fall of the rails so to speak.  So if you want to live a powerful life, one that you love and attract quality people into it and live up to your full potential professionally, financially, as a friend, partner or parent, you must learn to live with integrity at all times.

Integrity is treating others the way you want to be treated, even sometimes better.

Integrity is being able to look into the mirror and say, “I like myself”.

Integrity is making decisions for the long term, not just for today.

Integrity is putting the truth on the table.

Integrity is standing up for yourself.

Integrity matters because at the end of the day and at the end of our life we answer to ourselves and nothing is more important than being able to say, “I lived a life of integrity and I would be proud to be my own friend.”

Getting the Balance Right

By Success & Inspiration, Entrepreneurial, Business Insights No Comments

For a lot of young entrepreneurs, balancing work with your life can sometimes be overwhelming. You’re so focused on getting yourself to where you need to be that it’s easy to let everything else fall by the wayside. As an entrepreneur I’ve made a commitment to never use time as an excuse to miss out. The difference between a receptionist and a CEO is time management. The CEO simply knows how to focus time on their top priorities and not get distracted with menial tasks. The bottom line is that busy people get things done.

By organizing your work life, your social life and your love life you can easily find a balance between the three. Figure out where your priorities need to be, then create goals for how to achieve them. You first question should be “are you happy with where you priorities are?” If you’re working long hours, and barely getting home in time to make dinner and head to bed, then your priorities are clearly on work. If you’re missing deadlines and always tired, your focus is probably somewhere else. Start every weekend by looking over your week, and identifying your daily goals. Then each night, break your next day down into an hourly schedule.

For most, the hardest hurdle to overcome is daily time killers such as surfing social media websites, texting, taking several coffee breaks or the dreaded smoke break every hour. These are time wasters and I’ve seen many a dream lost over them. You have to be your own dream’s champion, write down what you want in life, plaster pictures of your dreams all over your cubicle or office and every time you catch yourself procrastinating, look up at that picture of your dream home or car and let it inspire you to get back in the zone. Everyone’s priorities are different, but If you utilize your time better with equal portions of work, life, and love, a successful balance is possible

5 Roads to Wealth

By Success & Inspiration, Entrepreneurial, Achieving Wealth, Self Education No Comments

One of my earliest memories from my younger years was driving around wealthy neighborhoods with my father. Together we would marvel at the beautiful estate properties and talk about how he aspired to one day own one of his own. I remember asking myself, “How does a person make this much money?”, since my neighborhood was filled with only modest family homes. When I asked my father, he simply said most of these people own their own businesses. It was there that a deep conscious seed was planted that grew in to a desire to be an entrepreneur and gain the financial status I saw on those tours with my father.

To do so has required a constant focus on personal growth. The quickest way to achieve personal growth is through reading books. If you take a trip to your local book store or library you will find hundreds of books on personal growth, self-help or business that all apply to somebody looking to improve their skills in order to create more income and wealth. In order to achieve my goals, I prided myself on focusing on the diligent study of business, successful individuals, and most importantly the wealthy inhabitants of North America. Over my last 25 years of research into North American millionaires, I’ve found all of the top earners have gained their financial status in one of five ways:

  • Inheritance:

Only 10% percent of North Americans have inherited their money, a trend that is decreasing every year.

  • Entering a Top Tier Profession:

Becoming a doctor or a lawyer or an architect has in the past been an open door to improve financial status. These top occupations require hard work, talent, and dedication; all part of the recipes to success in any terms. The down side to this route? Over saturation, and being just one face in a very talented crowd. 

  • Become Part of a Large Corporation:

You can be highly paid, you can have stock options and bonuses, and if you stay with the company long enough, various perks. Being part of corporation means being one part of (an often successful) machine.      

  • You Can Win It:

One percent of wealthy Americans got that way by winning their money some way or another. As a matter of fact, the odds of you winning the lottery are the equivalent of lightning striking twice in the same place. They’re a billion to one.

  • Start Your Own Business :

Starting your own business has been, and always will be, the high road to becoming wealthy. Entrepreneurship in North America offers more opportunities and opens more doors than all other possibilities put together. This is why it has been said that if you have the ability to start your own business or obtain equity in the company you work for, such as the Wish Group of Companies, and you don’t do it, you’re missing out on maxing not only your personal potential – but your wealth potential. As mentioned above, what I noticed about all of those beautiful estates full of all the wealthy people is that each and every one of them had a library or study full of books.

The Future can be Bright

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It often seems like our past experience is calling the shots. Here’s how it works: When we’ve had a bad day, or a bad experience, we put that past experience into our “future,” as something we’re afraid might happen again, and something we want to make sure doesn’t happen again. Or if we’ve had a great day and something we did worked well, we store that past experience in the future, too. So essentially, we take our experiences and circumstances, which are behind us, and put our decisions about them—how we feel and think about them—in front of us. In doing so, we lock ourselves into relating to the past (or some facsimile thereof) as if it were going to happen again in the future. That’s the wiring.

Trying to resist or avoid the enormous influence of the past keeps us foolishly focused on it. Yet we’re reluctant to leave it behind, reluctant to transform the hold it has on our present-time lives. Not doing so, however, results in a “now” that’s shaped by and littered with the stuff of the past.

If we take out of our future everything from the past that we inadvertently placed there, then what’s in the future is nothing—nothing like a “clearing,” one in which we can be fully ourselves. It is from nothing that a “created future” can come into the picture. If we’re going to create a future—in our relationships, in our work, in our lives—it’s a matter of saying so. It doesn’t rest on anything—it rests on nothing and that’s the foundation for possibility. In creating possibility, we get to know what’s possible in being human.

Let the storm pass, it will be alright!

By Comments & Opinion, Success & Inspiration No Comments

It seems that floods are the new norm in North America these days, after the hurricane that hit the East Coast of the U.S. last year, the devastating flooding in Alberta, and the now famous Toronto flood of July 2013. I’ll never forget the drive home that night, the rain seemed to get stronger and stronger and within no time the water levels had caused mass flooding, citywide blackouts, and Internet and cellular service to go down. I remember that evening at home being so eerie, with no working cell phone or power to watch television I had no connection with the outside world until well into the next day. 

When I finally got access to a television I was shocked at the impact of the storm. Subway stations completely flooded and inoperable, trains stranded with thousands of passengers aboard for several hours, not to mention hundreds of flooded basements leaving residents with quite the mess to clean up, lost mementos, and insurers with a financial disaster.

What was so interesting to see in moments like this is how people responded.  Some people loved the power being out. Some people loved the loud crackle of the thunderstorms. Some people loved the lightening. Others – not so much.

We witnessed people coming to the assistance of their neighbors, officers and fireman working through the night in small inflatable rafts in order to rescue people in need. It was fascinating to me to see how people respond in moments of uncertainty. I have come to believe that it is our response to the uncertainty of life that greatly determines the outcome of our lives. When you get uncertain – do you run or do you press on? Do you run to alcohol, drugs, sugar, sex or food? Or do you drop down on your yoga mat or meditation pillow and do some inner work?

Are you afraid of the storms of life (because we all have them) – or do you welcome them all as teachers?  I’m not generally afraid of storms; my uncertainty trigger is not having enough money to get by. When that gets triggered for me, it’s very hard to see it as a lesson, because I’m fearful that my survival will be challenged. What works for me is to go within and surrender to my higher power, all my fears, all my doubts and all my worries. And then with a little help from my friends and amazing partners in business I begin to take action. Action towards my dreams, action towards serving others and action towards fixing the problem.

I have learned to not let my response to uncertainty run my life, but instead choose my response to uncertainty and welcome it as a natural part of life.

So – what do you do when you face uncertainty?  Is there a healthier way for you to deal with what’s going on in your life right now? By finding the strength within ourselves and from those around us, we can overcome obstacles and create better habits to weather life’s storms.