Tips, Rips, and Reviews
By Michael Dalton Johnson

While the melodramatic term "energy vampire" smacks of the occult and late night movies, there really are people who suck positive energy from a room as soon as they enter it. You will become drained and exhausted if you are exposed for any length of time to the negative energy these people throw.

You have probably had the experience of encountering a person who drained your energy. There is no scientific research on this subject that I am familiar with, but there is a great deal of anecdotal evidence for its existence.

Some years back we employed a part-time independent contractor who started his work at our office mid-mornings. When he entered our small office, you could feel the energy draining. This was mentioned to me by several team members. One of my colleagues likened it to a plug being pulled on a fan.

The contractor seemed to be a normal person although he was unusually quiet and never smiled. I am sure that his negative effect on those around him was unintentional. However, his presence really did cause others to become exhausted and unfocused.

It would normally be easy to simply walk away from an energy-draining person, but in a small office setting it’s not always possible. I handled the situation by arranging for him work from home.

The high energy, creativity, and fun were no longer interrupted each morning.

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"Be the Hero of your life," -- Jim Rohn

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Shut Up and Ask Me Something
By Tim Wackel

Many sales reps have convinced themselves (and try to convince others) that their "communication" skills are exceptional. These folks are hired for their outgoing personalities and infamous gift of gab. They are fun to be around and are great at telling stories. I’m just not convinced they’re very good at connecting and creating real dialogue.

Talking comes easily for most sales reps, but getting others to listen is a bigger challenge— and a critical element to your long-term success.

Talk about what you’re interested in and your customer quickly loses interest. Their eyes turn dull as the conversation turns towards budget, timeframe or decision-making process. These topics may be of great interest to you, but not to your customer. They have problems to solve and that’s the primary reason you’ve been invited to the conversation.

Experience tells me customers want you to understand … customers want you to care … customers want you to help. And it’s impossible to understand, care, or help unless you you’ve asked the right questions. Asking better questions sounds easy enough – but there are many obstacles that get in the way. Here are the three most common "traps" I see reps fall into:

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