Building Relationships #1

Not step one, and not necessarily the most important, although most certainly top 5.

Do what you say your going to do.

  • Manage expectations.
    • Don’t be overly optimistic, be realistic. 
  • Don’t make promises about things you can’t directly control.
  • If you think it will take a week don’t promise a week, give yourself a buffer. 
  • Communicate, Communicate, Communicate.
  • Don’t be late, if Siri says you’ll be there in 10 minutes let your party know you’ll be there in 15 minutes. 

I know there’s more but you get the point. What am I missing? 

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What is Relational Selling?

Let’s start with what it’s not. 

Relational selling is not being so nice to your prospect that they fall at your feet and beg you to buy your product.

There are very few things in life that are all “this” and none of “that”. Relational selling, from my perspective, is not all “How to Win Friends and Influence People“, and the salespeople with the best results are not all “The Challenger Sale“. The very best, those with sustained, consistent results, are both and. 

Relational selling means you work through the sales cycle while focusing on the needs of the person in front of the sale. 

When I first started in insurance sales in the early 90’s one of the other newbies in our group would always have more appointments than anyone else, by far. But over the following weeks he had no sales. What we found was that he was building lots of relationships but never adding value or asking for the sale. He didn’t last 90 days. 

The other extreme is the person who has several trial closes, asks for the sale 7 times, and won’t leave without a yes. He puts up great numbers early but those purchasers never answer his calls again. Congratulations you completed a transaction but you didn’t gain a client, or an advocate. Your number one source of new business is referrals from existing clients. If your focused on a transaction you are sacrificing a career for a sale and limiting the big picture. 

The best salespeople I have been around are very relational. They also believe strongly in their solution, care deeply about people, and are intentional about helping connect people with solutions. 

The Rain Group has studied over 700 B2B purchases from the buyers perspective and this is what they found:
Sales Winners:

  1. Connect
    • Sellers connect the dots between buyers’ needs and solutions they offer.
    • Sellers connect with people by listening to buyers and connecting with them personally.
  2. Convince
    • Sellers persuade buyers they will achieve worthwhile results.
    • Sellers minimize the perception of risk by demonstrating experience, building trust, and inspiring confidence.
    • Sellers persuade buyers they are the best choice.
  3. Collaborate
    • Sellers collaborate with buyers by being proactive and responsive.
    • Sellers educate buyers with new ideas and perspectives.

Sounds like relational selling to me.
Run the play (the sales cycle) and care about the person in front of the sale.

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Action Cures Fear

In my last post I mentioned a sign my first sales manager had in his office. It’s a quote from David J. Schwartz. 

“Action Cures Fear”

It’s from the  book “The Magic of Thinking Big“. When David sets up the quote he acknowledges that fear is real. Telling yourself it’s only in your mind doesn’t help. Rationalizing and trying to talk yourself into action doesn’t help. The hesitation only “fertilizes your fear” and makes it grow. 

He then goes on to tell the story of sailers during WW II. Non swimming sailors were required to jump off of a 6 ft diving board into 8 feet of water. Once they hit the water the fear was cured. 

If you’ve not read Mel Robbins excellent book “The 5 Second Rule” you should pick it up. It’s a life changing idea. Profound in its brilliance and simplicity. When special ops soldiers are getting ready to do something crazy they start counting down from 5 and when they reach 1 they take action. This interrupts your subconscious mind, which is designed to keep you safe not to help you grow, and allows you to do something that will stretch you and in the process begin to re-wire your brain. 

There was another sign in my managers office that read:

“If you don’t have anything to do,
don’t do it here!”.

It took me awhile to really understand this one. I, at first, thought it meant don’t stand in my office and waste my time. But what it really meant was get out of the office and go, as he would say “get in amongst em”. Go get coffee and talk to people, go to the mall and shop and introduce yourself to people. No agenda just be friendly, look for ways to help people, ways to connect people with solutions.

Make sure you are focused on Income Producing Activities. Know what your avoidance activities are, acknowledge them, and re-focus. Make your calendar your boss. Schedule administrative activities and schedule Income Producing Activities. Do you know what yours are? What are the top 3 activities that get you paid? I guarantee it’s not organizing your filing system. What is your Prolific Quality Output? 

If you don’t know the answers to these questions and you would like help. Reach out to me. I’d love to help. I get it, I’ve been there. Let me know in the comments what your Avoidance Activities are and how you will take action this week to re-focus. 

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How The Person I Want To Be Handles This?

When you find yourself in a tough situation, ask yourself the question.

“how would the person I want to be handle this?”

Several months ago my coach asked me to get clear on two things:
What do I want?
Who do I want to be?

He said “get crystal clear on these two things, and then live into them.”

At the time I thought I knew what he meant but later I realized I only partially understood what he meant. One of the ways to “live into” who you want to be is to ask yourself that question every time you find yourself in a place of decision. Whether it’s a tough spot or just decision time.

Ask yourself “how would the person I want to be handle this.”

Try it out, let me know how it works.

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You Are One of “Those” People.

Success is not a matter of Luck.

Are you ready to make a positive choice what you want? Are you finished with hoping and relying on luck? Let me know what you’re going to do.

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Gary’s Rules

Several years ago we started watching NCIS. It used to be a great show about the Naval Criminal Investigative Service before it got political. The characters are great and the story’s were great. I really liked all the characters but I loved Gibbs.

Gibbs is the leader of the team and is a seemingly heartless pragmatist. Until you get to know him. You find out quickly that he has a huge heart and lots of baggage. But is very good at his job and a great leader. Someone I would like to emulate in some ways, in others not so much. One of the mainstay of the show is Gibbs rules. He doesn’t write them down. He feels it’s his job to teach the rules and he expects everyone on the team to know them.

I started thinking. “what are my rules?” so I started a list and here they are, 30 of Gary’s rules:

  1. Always default to relationship
  2. Always assume the best in people
  3. Don’t make arbitrary rules
  4. Always give your people a “why”; or they will come up with their own and they will be wrong
  5. Always give honor and respect; not always obedience
  6. Never judge motives, only fruit
  7. What you allow you promote
  8. What you reward you get more of
  9. Unity trumps disunity
  10. Continually cast vision
  11. Email is the lowest form of communication; texts are the next lowest
  12. Vision that creates opportunity for others; will never lack the involvement of others
  13. Sometimes your’re wrong; when you’re wrong apologize, it’s a sign of strength.
  14. Direction comes before correction
  15. Always over communicate
  16. Don’t give too much attention to your biggest fans or your biggest critics
  17. If you’re going to get into trouble anyway; get into trouble doing the right thing.
  18. Be predictable; your team should always know how you will react
  19. Training too close to the decision making process looks like lobbying.
  20. Ignore the squeaky wheel
  21. Ignore your weaknesses; hire or delegate to your weakness
  22. The best time to remove a team member is before they’re on the team.
  23. Always reward faithfulness over giftedness.
  24. Never confuse familiarity with understanding
  25. Focus on building big people not big organizations
  26. Nothing grows without conflict
  27. Consensus is the end of leadership
  28. Be very careful when playing the “God” card
  29. Take responsibility not blame
  30. Always give credit, take blame

These are not all original. I’ve stolen most of them and have forgotten mostly where they came from so if you know the origin feel free to give credit in the comments.

I plan to do a series of blog posts expounding on these rules someday. Stay tuned.

What do you think?
What would you add?

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What is God’s highest priority on the earth?

According to scripture;
What is God’s highest priority on the earth?

On February 5th & 6th I have the privilege of addressing worship leaders at the Continuous Worship Conference at Maranatha Bible Camp. I have a premise that will be the basis for the entire weekend and you can help my expressing what you think the Bible says is God’s highest priority on the earth.

It’s only one question. Please click through and answer the question.

God’s highest priority is….

Feel free to comment below as well. Thanks again.

Don’t forget to check out the conference.

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Walk In Your Gifts

“We don’t see the world as it is, we see it as we are”
Anais Nin

Are you ever frustrated because people don’t behave in a certain way? Do you ever get angry because someone didn’t respond the way you would have?

The right way.

We tend to be a self-centered bunch. I don’t mean selfish I mean self-centered. It’s something we have to constantly stay vigilant about. We are all uniquely made by God with specific gifts, talents, and bents. This is how a community is built. This is how a church is built. We all bring something unique and valuable to the community.

We must constantly be on guard against expecting others to behave in a certain way or respond to things the way we would.

This morning I was looking through my Strengths Finder results and realized I have put expectations on people based on my personality and my priorities. I haven’t been fair.

I’m reminded of a song by the band DOWNHERE called “The Problem”

Today I repent of my judgmental spirit and my expectations on people that have been unreasonable. I will walk in my gifts, not someone else’s, and I will not expect others to walk in mine.

Will you join me?

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The Sheep Are Not The Problem

Before I get into the purpose of this post I need to clarify a few things.

First of all life for me the past year has been very busy. Learning a new job that requires all of me for at least 45 hours a week leaves me with no bandwidth at all to maintain this site or any of my social media the way I would like so I have been posting articles written by others that I think are interesting. Also I’m sorry for not responding to every comment I wish I could.

The primary purpose of these posts are to start a conversation.

Recently I posted an article entitled “Who Will Lead Through The Church Disaster” by Randy Bohlender. Over the weekend I posted “Are We Headed For A Crash? Reflections On The Current State of Evangelical Worship” and “Why They Don’t Sing On Sunday Anymore“. I’ve also got coming up in my buffer app “Why Men Have Stopped Singing In Church

This morning I was looking through my Facebook news feed and a friend posted something to the effect of “Stop posting negative things about the way we worship”. I’m not assuming he is responding to me specifically because there does seem to be a lot of articles about what is wrong with worship.  Today I got comments on “Why They Don’t Sing On Sunday Anymore” and while looking through my news feed for something else I found “What Is The Real Problem With Todays Evangelical Worship

Looks like I’ve stumbled into a conversation.

Here are my thoughts.

Since 1982 I’ve been in this arena. Reading and searching for wisdom from all kinds of people. When I first started there was very little being written on contemporary worship. Now everywhere I look someone has an opinion on it. Some good; much of it not so good. I’m also a part of several online worship communities from communities like Worship The Rock to groups within LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google+. Frankly I’m saddened by the bulk of the questions and answers being posted.

One post asked the question “What do I do with people who complain the songs are too high when they don’t know how to sing?”. Others are talking about “At what point do I have enough musicians on my team?”, or “Our worship team is full how do I tell people no”. I even saw a post by someone who I highly respect. A staff worship pastor, songwriter, teacher, and mentor say. “As I get older I want to be purposeful about raising up the next generation”. I’ve commented on this here so I won’t go over it again. These are just a few of the many threads that break my heart.

Every problem is a leadership problem.

I’m not saying every problem is caused by leadership but I am saying if your people are distracted, not passionate, or don’t understand what you’re doing its your job to lead them and lead them with a pastor’s heart.

I found “Misplacing Charisma: Where Contemporary Worship Lost Its Way” on a Methodist website that is spot on.

Here is the money quote:

What’s missing? The answer is found in looking at what happened when “praise and worship” was adopted by mainline denominations. During the 1990’s many mainline congregations began to import the songs, sounds, and some of the sights (like hand raising and clapping) of the praise and worship style. In many cases, what got lost was the robust pneumatology behind this approach to worship. In other words, many mainline churches brought the form, but didn’t bring the theology of praise and worship into their congregations.

I hope this is not your problem. I hope you understand your role as a prophet, pastor, teacher, and theologian when you stand in front of your congregation. If not get this book.

May I also suggest a few practical solutions.

  1. Have the correct EQ.
  2. Have the correct volume. Sometimes its necessary for people to not hear themselves other times its necessary that they do. It depends on the size of the group.
  3. Have songs in the correct keys. If you’re doing everything in the keys of B and C I wonder if your leading worship.
  4. Leave the lights up so we can see people’s faces and lead them in worship.
  5. Keep your eyes open and connect with people.
  6. Pick songs that are congregational. If every song in your set list is from KLOVE or have octave jumps in them I wonder if your leading worship.


Bottom line, stop blaming the congregation for not worshiping. It’s up to us to lead them and teach them. Bring them lovingly into the presence of God. Meet them where they are and take them someplace.

Maybe the reason there are so many articles about what’s wrong with worship is because something is wrong with worship. 10 years ago there was lots of criticism of contemporary worship that was based on style not substance but when the congregation stops participating its time for us to start asking why.

Let the conversation continue.

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Worship Culture

This weekend I had the privilege of attending Peak Life Churches “Worship Culture Weekend”.

It was a weekend meant to define what the worship culture at Peak Life Church would be.

Culture is defined this way:

To till, to plow, to guard. Culture is the sum of attitudes, customs, and beliefs that distinguish one group of people from another; a set of traits that have been plowed into a groups way of life.

What culture are you plowing?

If you don’t define it and guard it. Your culture will become something you probably don’t want.

It is essential that you cast vision at every meeting and every practice. You must establish a foundation and then continually build and repair as you grow. Those who were there in the beginning will forget and new people will not pick it up by osmosis.

Culture must be plowed and guarded.

Let’s partner together to lay a solid foundation you can build on. Worship team retreats are a great way to get everyone on the same page.

Contact me here to talk about the possibilities for your team. You can preview some of the teaching here.

I look forward to helping you build what God has entrusted to you in your context.

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