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Art Sobczak, President of Business By Phone Inc., specializes in one area only: working with business-to-business salespeople--both inside and outside--designing and delivering content-rich programs that participants begin showing results from the very next time they get on the phone. Audiences love his "down-to-earth," entertaining style, and low-pressure, easy-to-use, customer oriented ideas and techniques.

He works with thousands of sales reps each year helping them get more businesses by phone. Art provides real world, how-to ideas and techniques that help salespeople use the phone more effectively to prospect, sell, and service, without morale-killing "rejection."

For more information he can be reached at: Business By Phone Inc. 13254 Stevens Street Omaha, NE, 68137 Phone: 800-326-7721 Fax: 402-896-3353 Email: arts@businessbyphone.com Website: www.businessbyphone.com

Transforming Your Sales Force

Transforming Your Sales Force for the 21st Century
The book, written for sales managers and executives in the distribution industry, provides a blue print for executives to transform their sales forces into highly directable, effective, focused performers.
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This newsletter is helpful for me in outside sales, and our inside sales people benefit from it as well. I use a lot of the tips that Dave gives in everyday sales calls, and they have helped me out immensely. This is a great training tool for the price."
Travis Dhein, Waytek Inc.



Attitude and Ownership are Everything by Art Sobczak

There are two attributes I've observed over the years that separate achievers, producers, and wealthy people from those just getting by or are failing, also being miserable, and perhaps bankrupt.

They are a great attitude, and taking ownership.

Without these two, you don't have much of a chance of passing mediocrity.

WITH these two, you can accomplish anything.

Attitude of course is comprised, among other things, of your desire, how you view everything around you and what happens to you, and your vision of where you're going.

Ownership is taking personal responsibility. Viewing and handling situations as if you owned them, even if you don't.

When attitude and ownership are in place, you can move mountains.

Let me share an example of attitude and ownership that I view as extraordinary.

This week I traveled to Dayton, Ohio to conduct a training program with some great pros at LexisNexis. While waiting for my bags at the airport, I finally realized that no more were coming out on the carousel. One of mine was missing. The one that contained the 50 training manuals for the next day. Gulp.

Being a road warrior, I know the drill. So I calmly got in line at the United baggage claim office. While waiting I studied the service representative handling the other unlucky bagless travelers.

The rep was masterful. Calmly answering questions, assuring the customers--a few understandably frustrated, and one inexcusably rude -- that their bags would arrive and be delivered to their destination that night. She handed out courtesy kits containing toiletries for those who needed them. She acted like a mother tending to a sick child, comforting, helping, reassuring.

Now, if you think this is unusual, consider the circumstances here:

  • United is in bankruptcy. Many, if not most, United employees are wondering if the airline will be around in a few months, and in what form, and if they will have a job.
  • United just this week won a court decision allowing them to walk away from its employee pension plan, meaning losses of lots of retirement money by employees.
  • United is still seeking further wage concessions from its employees in order to stay in business.

As if that wouldn't be enough to reduce any remaining morale to vapor fumes, consider the job of a person staffing the lost-baggage counter. All of the customers they deal with have just come off a flight (typically not a good experience), they are either going home or need to be somewhere WITH the items in their bags, and now they have the potentially pushing-them-over-the-edge news that their bag is not in the same city they are.

But, despite all of this, Erica Gehret had a great attitude, and took ownership.

When it was my turn, she again demonstrated the same helpfulness I had observed:

"Mr. Sobczak, I am so sorry. There is another flight coming in late tonight, and I will be certain your box is delivered to your hotel by 5 a.m. In fact, I'll update the status of this and you can check on that by calling this phone number tonight. I see you're a Premier customer with us and we appreciate the business."

I complimented her on a great job. She reiterated, with heartfelt empathy, "Again, I am soooooo sorry."

"It's not like YOU personally lost the box." "I know, I know. But I'm a representative of the airline, and I want you to know we will take care of you."

Wow. Most people don't have a fraction of the issues Erika, and other United employees are dealing with right now. Yet, she is looking at what she can control, and going beyond even reasonable expectations.

In my mind, she is acting as if she is being compensated based on how well she services her customers. And in her mind, perhaps that IS her compensation.


  • What is YOUR attitude toward your environment, what happens to you, and where you're going in your career and life?
  • Are you an optimist, or a pessimist? When difficulties arise, a pessimist says, "Oh, it figures, this always happens to me." An optimist says, "OK, what am I going to do about this, and what can I learn from this?" Then they do it to the best of their abilities.
  • Do you take ownership of what you do, or do you just put in time as if you're serving a jail sentence? Ownership means going above and beyond "good enough," ensuring the job is done at the highest level. Taking ownership means the difference between someone who dreads what they do, and someone who thrives on what they do, and are proud of their accomplishments after the fact.

When you own something, you take better care of it. You take responsibility for it. Keep in mind that you own your life, your career, and your future success.

This is just an example of one of the type of material you will get each month with in Art's Telephone Prospecting and Selling Report. Take a look at www.businessbyphone.com for a special subscription offer.

Transforming Your Sales Force for the 21st Century
Transforming Your Sales Force for the 21st Century
Buy it now!
Only $69

Distribution companies, by their nature, should be sales-oriented companies. But, most distributors don't do sales very well. That's the premise behind this new book.

The book, written for sales managers and executives in the distribution industry, provides a blue print for executives to transform their sales forces into highly directable, effective, focused performers.

The book begins with an analysis of current conditions that pressure the distributor to revise the way he/she thinks about his sales force. Kahle then paints a picture of the distributor sales force of the future. The sales force will be:
  1. more specialized
  2. more directable
  3. more flexible
  4. more professional
  5. more productive.
His advice begins with "See it as a system," a concept that is based on one of the key principles for the book, "When you change the structure, you change the behavior of the people who work within that structure."
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