RobertSchultek

About Bob Schultek

Bob has more than 30 years of service as a senior sales and business development executive, CEO and business owner. His expertise includes customer-partnered business development, strategic planning, sales management, customer service, operational alignment, lean process analysis and improvement, quality assurance, and performance management. He has worked in the energy, medical device, bioscience & pharmaceutical, discrete and process manufacturing, packaging and distribution, communications and information technology, and business-to-business service industries.

3 Factors That Persuade Customers To Choose You

In this age of limited time and unlimited access to information, customers want more than better, faster and cheaper. They specify 3 factors that persuade them to choose you.

 Customers seek to learn if you are more interested in helping them make money or in taking their money. They choose you once they sense your commitment to their success, and evaluate your motivation using these 3 criteria:

Sharing valuable insight about market trends. Customers understand that their exposure to new concepts or challenges evolving in their market may be limited, and they recognize that they can be overwhelmed with readily accessible, but unfocused, information from the web. They value the expertise of a salesperson that knows their business, shares trends, novel ideas and other market insights, and helps them prioritize possible solutions on the basis of strategic value produced for them.

Proposing multiple potential solutions. Customers appreciate the opportunity to explore two or three alternative recommendations rather than just one. Collaborating with you to evaluate the pros and cons of each potential solution encourages a more transparent discussion about the options, reducing the customer’s decision risk and enabling an assessment of your commitment to their success.

Remaining engaged. Customers expect […]

By |October 11th, 2016|Grolistic, Grolistic...No-Excuses Growth Blog|0 Comments

3 Steps to Defeat the Initiative Dilemma

When organizations promote “initiative” as a core value, they often encounter the “initiative dilemma.” How can you encourage initiative and avoid the typical pitfalls that prevent action?

Encouraging initiative energizes employees to make improvements, solve problems, deal with change, and provide customers with exceptional service.  When executives were recently polled about the most productive way for employees to advance, 82% responded with: “Ask for more work and responsibility.”

When employees are asked why they are reluctant to take the initiative, the most frequently stated barrier is their belief that their managers really don’t want them to do so. A Gallup survey of 1,200 U.S. workers cited that 66% of the respondents have been asked by their managers to get more involved in decision-making, but only 14% feel they have been empowered with the authority, resources, and support necessary to be successful in doing so. This is the “initiative dilemma.”

Most employees want new challenges; it increases the meaningfulness of their work and restores their enthusiasm. But they need guidance and support from their leaders before they will take action.

Leaders seek to unleash untapped innovation, creativity, and risk-taking in the workplace, but they don’t specify how their employees may demonstrate this initiative.  So, […]

By |October 4th, 2016|Grolistic, Grolistic...No-Excuses Growth Blog|0 Comments

7 Questions That Drive Marketing Strategy

Every marketing strategy must answer seven key questions.
1. WHO are you trying to reach? Specify your target audience and stay focused.
2. WHAT is your story? How credible is it?
3. HOW does your story align with the established perceptions of your target audience? What do they believe?  What do they need?
4. HOW will you alert your target audience to your offering? How will you raise their awareness?
5. HOW soon do you expect your audience to act on your offering? How are you motivating them to act sooner?
6. WHAT will prevent your audience from taking action? What fears/barriers must be overcome before action will occur?
7. WHY will action occur? How will the customer experience you create be shared with others?
How has your marketing strategy addressed these questions?
Which answers challenge your strategy?
 

By |September 28th, 2016|Grolistic, Grolistic...No-Excuses Growth Blog|0 Comments

Mastering Mindset

When your team encounters challenges, obstacles or criticism, they face a choice about how to react.

At moments like these, they need you to help them adopt a mindset that leads to success.

Stanford University psychologist, Carol Dweck, uses the word “mindset” to describe how people are constantly monitoring and interpreting what’s happening to them, what it means, and what they should do. People can choose to react to challenges or criticism using a “fixed” or a “growth” mindset.

In a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are fixed traits. They focus on validating their intelligence and talent instead of developing them because they believe that inherent qualities alone create success—without effort. As a result, the fixed mindset concentrates on judging or being judged.  Situations in which their qualities might be assessed as lacking are to be avoided.

In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. They understand that effort gives meaning to life; effort signifies caring about achievement and a willingness to work for it.  Rather than judging, a growth mindset focuses on learning and constructive action to […]

By |September 20th, 2016|Grolistic, Grolistic...No-Excuses Growth Blog|0 Comments

3 Steps to Managing Autonomy

Give people choices, some control over their actions, and their performance improves. This is the essence of autonomy and why it is a proven motivator.

But once autonomy is earned, then it must be managed, because the circumstances that originally enable it are likely to change. If you want your high performing, self-directed people to succeed, then monitoring the situation in which they work is critical; one change in your team’s work pattern can cause a crash.

It’s a leader’s responsibility to recognize changing circumstances and direct how an autonomous person or team adapts to them. Adding a new person, revising an established process, or implementing a new policy are examples of subtle revisions that can impact autonomous performance. When such a circumstance develops, it’s time to get directive again, if only for a short while.

Review your rationale. Change is often accompanied by altered expectations. Allowing a high performing person or team to assume how your expectations for goal achievement and behavior might have evolved in reaction to a new circumstance increases the probability that mistakes will be made and well-earned success will be compromised.  Share your rationale for temporarily increasing your direct engagement; to support their efforts and ensure that they […]

By |September 7th, 2016|Grolistic, Grolistic...No-Excuses Growth Blog|0 Comments

Why 80% of Qualified Leads Get Wasted

Since directly linking sales growth to some marketing program is unrealistic, measuring the ROI for these initiatives is often based on monitoring the number of newly generated leads, tracking these through qualification to proposal.
But what if the lead-to-proposal process is not being monitored? According to a recent report, 80% of qualified leads get wasted…they never get followed-up by the sales team.  

A qualified sales lead is a prospective customer whose need has been validated and is deemed ready for the next stage in the sales process. These leads have a shelf life. If they are not promptly followed-up, then the opportunity is lost to convert them into proposals and orders; the marketing investment is wasted. Why does this happen?

Lack of Sales Commitment – Busy sales people don’t often differentiate between qualified leads and raw leads. Chasing raw leads is time-consuming, frustrating and usually unproductive; it’s easy to become discouraged when nothing is yielded by following-up. Instead, investing precious time to call on existing customers, fix known problems and increase transactions is much more efficient than pursuing leads that might, someday, produce a new customer or two.

SOLUTION: Qualify raw leads before you assign them to the sales team. Use an inside sales […]

You Can’t Achieve What You Can’t See

Goal achievement is accelerated when results can be visualized. What does exceptional customer service, or extraordinary teamwork, or a successful new product launch look like? How do realized benefits from these initiatives fulfill the Company’s purpose or create momentum towards a Company’s vision.

You can’t achieve what you can’t see.

Throughout history, humans have practiced the act of visualization, thinking in mental images or pictures. Athletes consistently utilize this technique to help them achieve their goals.

To accelerate goal achievement, help your team “see” how success looks, inside their minds as an image. Once a goal is specified, ask these questions:

What steps must be taken to reach the goal?
What benefits will be realized by achieving the goal?
What will be different after reaching the goal?

Next, stimulate all the senses to bring a visual of the realized goal to life. Imagine specific details of the image: what will be heard, what will be felt, will scent be different? The clearer the visual, the more compelling is its motivating action.

Goal visualization:

Activates creativity at the subconscious level, opening minds to inspired new ideas;
Attracts people and other resources who share a similar perspective about the meaningfulness of goal success, generating the critical mass […]

By |August 24th, 2016|Grolistic, Grolistic...No-Excuses Growth Blog|0 Comments

With Customers, Think Lifetime

During the lifetime of a customer relationship, your company benefits from a stream of revenue and profitability that is progressively more difficult to replace if lost. Investing in customer support strengthens your relationships, increasing each customer’s lifetime value

With customers, think lifetime, all of the time.

Customer support is not a cost center, it’s a profit center. When companies measure their investment in customer support, they often track the cost per hour or other support function metrics.  But their business would gain more insight by measuring retained customer dollars as the return on their support investment.

Understanding the distinctive value that each customer seeks to deliver to their served market, and appreciating how each prospers and grows, is more vital to your success than ever before. It’s not enough to treat customers with respect and urgency – you must know how your business helps build their business. Each interaction is another opportunity to increase the value of your relationship. This commitment is what creates enduring customer relationships. When the value chain is sustained, both organizations benefit and lifetime value increases; but every time the chain is broken, the customer and you both lose value.

In our highly connected marketplace, every customer has an effortless means for telling the world about their unhappy experience […]

By |August 17th, 2016|Grolistic, Grolistic...No-Excuses Growth Blog|0 Comments

3 Benefits of Change

Leaders are expected to improve results through change, but their teams often resist.

Change requires movement, away from what is known. Change can be tumultuous, causing disorientation that elevates anxiety and vulnerability; fear of the unknown can be paralyzing.

Change is also a constant condition in business and in life. There are 3 benefits to change that can improve a team’s engagement.

The antidote for the fear of change is to appreciate its benefits and to exercise some control over its consequences. These benefits can drive change.

Choosing to change increases a person’s value. Greater flexibility boosts each person’s versatility, opening the door to additional opportunities. On the other hand, resisting change only elevates the stress generated each time the need for change is confronted. Operating only in a confined mental space with well-defined boundaries creates a box that limits exposure to new opportunities.

Embracing change expands knowledge. Without experiencing the challenge of change, there is no motivation to learn and develop new skills. Each time you choose to adapt to a new circumstance or to learn a new skill, you increase your awareness, your intellect and your competency.

Deciding to change enables the possible. Needing to make a change can trigger fear about losing control; deciding […]

By |August 4th, 2016|Grolistic, Grolistic...No-Excuses Growth Blog|0 Comments

Two Issues That Drive Change

Leaders are hired to improve results. It’s expected that they will change the status quo to accomplish this objective. But leaders can’t change things by themselves; they succeed by inspiring and influencing others to get it done.

When driving a change initiative, be aware of two issues that influence how motivation for the change is perceived.

Impact and imperfection drive change by clarifying the reasons for it and by accelerating it.

People need to understand why a change is necessary or beneficial for them. There’s no chance of inspiring change without first answering the “why” question.

But striving for explicit clarity in your change rationale can reduce its impact, and the urgency needed to cause movement. Change can’t be achieved via memo – it requires an emotional connection, best accomplished through story-telling, using inferences to create perspective, and inviting others to engage in action. Meticulous explanations won’t drive the change, but they are often used later to justify it.

Change involves breaking things. It’s the pursuit of a better way or an entirely new approach; it is not a pursuit of perfection. Things are moving too fast for that – by the time you perfect something, the target has moved.

Unless you’re in the compliance […]

By |August 2nd, 2016|Grolistic, Grolistic...No-Excuses Growth Blog|0 Comments