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July 26, 2017

The Difference Between Management and Leadership

Businessman and whiteboard concept words type business
Management Skills: How to Differentiate Management from Leadership

Management and leadership are two sides of the same coin, and both are necessary for a business to succeed. Learning the difference between management and leadership is important for developing effective management skills.

Great leadership is about inspiring enthusiasm and drive, while great management is about building highly efficient teams that produce impressive results. Managers are experts at getting things done and meeting targets and deadlines; leaders know how to evolve people and organizations and help them meet their potential. Each is a unique discipline that helps teams meet their short- and long-term goals, while also fostering commitment to a shared vision and outside the box thinking.

So What IS the Difference Between Management and Leadership?

Management skills are concerned with assigning tasks, committing to deadlines, and creating systems, while leadership is focused on defining a purpose and uniting individuals behind big ideas. Managers ensure teams meet their deadlines and deliver what’s expected of them, while leaders focus on the future and how teams might prepare for challenges on the horizon.  Management is about limiting risk, while leadership encourages bold action. Leadership is primarily about engagement, while management has more to do with execution.  Management focuses on performance, while leadership focuses on development. Managers develop processes and create smooth operations, while leaders build relationships, encourage communication, and build trust. The most successful businesses are built with an ideal balance of management skills and leadership skills.

The most successful businesses are built with an ideal balance of management and leadership. Click To Tweet

Can you differentiate between management and leadership? Test yourself with the scenarios below:

Scenario 1: Suzy Business Owner has promised a new client 2,000 flyers by the end of the month, but she recently lost two employees, and she knows it’s going to be a stretch. She creates a workflow document that helps remaining team members understand when they must complete their portion of the project, and she meets with each team member one-on-one to train them on the new system. By following the workflow correctly, the team is able to meet their deadline.

Is this an example of management or leadership?

Answer:  Management

Suzy is faced with a short-term business challenge, and by managing her overstretched team correctly, she’s able to help them successfully achieve their goal.

On the other hand…

Suzy should be careful. Her team is being pushed beyond its limits. To continue her team’s successful streak, Suzy must also lead. She has to remind team members that accepting these kinds of challenges can help them transform the organization, leading to a more successful future for everyone involved.

Scenario 2:

Jim Entrepreneur is hoping to push his company to become the leader in its industry within the next five years. He knows it’s possible if everyone gets on board. He calls a team meeting where he presents his long-term vision and asks team members to imagine what it will feel like to someday be the best of the best. He hands out paper and crayons and asks everyone to draw a picture of one thing the company can start doing differently to help towards its goals. The team eagerly participates and many turn in more than one idea.

Is this an example of management or leadership?

Answer:  Leadership

While Jim’s meeting may not produce any tangible results immediately, it serves to unite the team and get everyone excited about the company’s potential. His brainstorm encourages creativity, and it reminds each team member that his or her ideas matter. The meeting also helps inspire people to focus on the big picture rather than just short-term results.

On the other hand…

Jim has a talent for getting his team fired up, but this effect could fade if his team members start to notice that he’s all talk and no action. Jim will need to use his management skills to prove that he can translate ideas into tangible business systems.

Scenario 3:

Eric the Executive grows concerned when the company does not hit its goals for the quarter. He schedules one-on-one meetings with each member of his team to investigate the problem. One team member, who has struggled to meet his deadlines, says he’s been having trouble with the company’s current software, and he has been leaving work 10 minutes early every day to take a training class on another software he was hoping to pitch as a replacement. Eric tells the team member he’s sorry to hear the current software is challenging, but he asks the employee to consider dropping the class to allow him the extra time needed to finish his daily tasks. The employee agrees to focus on his work.

Is this an example of management or leadership?

Answer: Management

Eric is doing a great job using his management skills to monitor the bottom line and ensure his company is meeting its quarterly goals. He understands that every team member must be contributing 100 percent of what is expected of them if the company hopes to produce the results it has promised.

On the other hand…

While Eric has solved the problem in the short term, he may be missing longer term opportunities to help the company operate more efficiently. If he had found a way to help the team member stay in the class, Eric would have provided the employee with a chance to develop himself while also exploring a new software solution which might improve company operations far into the future.

Scenario 4:

Brenda the Boss has discovered that her team’s projects have consistently come in over budget, and the executive team has suggested that if Brenda can’t curb spending, they may have to reduce her department’s budget for next quarter. Brenda can think of a few ways she could reduce spending, but instead of implementing those ideas automatically, she decides to throw the problem to her team, asking them to brainstorm some solutions to cut costs.

Is this an example of management or leadership?

Answer: Leadership

By empowering her team to find solutions, Brenda encourages them to think outside the box and demonstrates confidence in their abilities to problem solve. She also shows that her priority is not implementing her ideas, but rather, finding the solutions that are best for the team.

On the other hand…

Brenda will still need to make sure the solutions her team comes up with will deliver as promised. If they cannot reach their cost cutting goals, the whole team will suffer under a slashed budget, so Brenda may have to nix more creative ideas if they don’t seem likely to reach the goal.

Managers help businesses function like well-oiled machines, while leaders help organizations evolve and grow. Click To Tweet

Every business needs both great management and bold leadership in order to achieve its goals. Vision without action is ineffectual, and efficiency without a purpose is a recipe for maintaining the status quo. Managers help businesses function like well-oiled machines, while leaders help organizations evolve and take giant leaps forward. Innovative companies can count on their managers to work out the kinks, lower costs, and increase volume, while well-managed companies benefit from the creativity, passion, and unity leaders inspire. Whether it’s achieved by one executive or a team of one hundred, the most successful companies will be those who recognize the difference between management and leadership see the two as complementary and inseparable parts of any thriving business.

To find out more about Cydcor, check us out on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter.

We are Cydcor, the recognized leader in outsourced sales services located in Agoura Hills, CA. From our humble beginnings as an independent sales company to garnering a reputation as the global leader in outsourced sales, Cydcor takes pride in having exceptional sales professionals and providing our clients with proven sales and marketing strategies that get results.

 

July 21, 2017

Retail National Conference 2017 Photo Contest: Official Rules and Regulations

PInk photo contest graphic sunshine
Retail National Conference 2017 Photo Contest Rules and Regulations

Terms and Conditions (Facebook)

Post a photo on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook using the hashtag #gone2natcon anytime from Monday July 24th (8:00AM PST) until Wednesday, July 26th (8:50 PM EST) and you will be automatically entered in the Retail National Conference photo contest for a chance to win $100 cash awarded on site.  To be eligible, entrants must be (i) at least 18 years of age and (ii) a member or affiliate of a Cydcor independent corporate licensee attending the event (Cydcor employees not eligible). Multiple submissions per participant are allowed. Profanity or inappropriate language or images, as determined by Cydcor, in its sole discretion, will be disqualified. There will be one winner selected by Cydcor, in its sole discretion, and announced via Cydcor’s Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/CydcorLLC?ref=hl) as well as on Cydcor’s Instagram (@Cydcor), and on Cydcor’s Twitter (@Cydcor) on Wednesday, July 26th any time after 9:30PM EST and no later than 11:59 PM EST. This promotional offer is not intended to create a partnership, joint venture, co-ownership or other association between Cydcor and the participant.

This promotion does not have a connection with Facebook in any way and is not sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. By entering the contest, participants agree to fully release Facebook from any and all liability.

Terms and Conditions (Instagram)

Post a photo on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook using the hashtag #gone2natcon anytime from Monday July 24th (8:00AM PST) until Wednesday, July 26th (8:50 PM EST) and you will be automatically entered in Retail National Conference photo contest for a chance to win $100 cash awarded on site. To be eligible, entrants must be (i) at least 18 years of age and (ii) a member or affiliate of a Cydcor independent corporate licensee attending the event (Cydcor employees not eligible). Multiple submissions per participant are allowed. Profanity or inappropriate language or images, as determined by Cydcor, in its sole discretion, will be disqualified. There will be one winner selected by Cydcor, in its sole discretion, and announced via Cydcor’s Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/CydcorLLC?ref=hl) as well as on Cydcor’s Instagram (@Cydcor), and on Cydcor’s Twitter (@Cydcor)on  Wednesday, July 26th any time after 9:30PM EST and no later than 11:59 PM EST.  This promotional offer is not intended to create a partnership, joint venture, co-ownership or other association between Cydcor and the participant.

This promotion does not have a connection with Instagram, Inc. in any way and is not sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Instagram. By entering the contest, participants agree to fully release Instagram from any and all liability, and agree to Instagram’s terms of use.

Terms and Conditions (Twitter)

Post a photo on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook using the hashtag #gone2natcon anytime from Monday July 24th (8:00AM PST) until Wednesday, July 26th (8:50 PM EST) and you will be automatically entered in the Retail National Conference photo contest for a chance to win $100 cash awarded on site. To be eligible, entrants must be (i) at least 18 years of age and (ii) a member or affiliate of a Cydcor independent corporate licensee attending the event (Cydcor employees not eligible). Participant may not create multiple accounts to enter the contest – the creation of multiple accounts will make participant liable to have all accounts suspended by Twitter.  Any participant found creating multiple accounts to enter the contest will also be disqualified.  Multiple submissions per participant are allowed; provided, however, that the participant posts a different tweet each time.  Participants may not post the same tweet repeatedly (no duplicate tweets).  Posting duplicate tweets is a violation of Twitter Rules and jeopardizes search quality. Profanity or inappropriate language or images, as determined by Cydcor, in its sole discretion, will be disqualified. The winner will be selected by Cydcor, in its sole discretion, and announced via Cydcor’s Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/CydcorLLC?ref=hl) as well as on Cydcor’s Instagram (@Cydcor), and on Cydcor’s Twitter (@Cydcor) on Wednesday, July 26th any time after 9:30PM EST and no later than 11:59 PM EST. This promotional offer is not intended to create a partnership, joint venture, co-ownership or other association between Cydcor and the participant.

This promotion does not have a connection with Twitter in any way and is not sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Twitter. By entering the contest, participants agree to fully release Twitter from any and all liability, and agree to read and abide by Twitter’s Rules.

July 21, 2017

5 Tips to Be a Beast at Sales & Customer Service

How to be a Sales BEAST words
5 Tips to Be a Beast at Sales and Customer Service

Ready to go beast mode? Beasts at sales are energetic, engaged, and capable of accomplishing just about anything! Unleashing your inner sales beast means stepping up your game to succeed at sales. Being a sales beast is a state of mind that drives you to be the best at what you do, but it also has a lot to do with how you behave and the image you project. While it’s important to trust your animal instincts, sometimes it takes a little good, old-fashioned discipline before things become instinctual.

By practicing the five B.E.A.S.T factors – body language, eye contact, awesome attitude, smile, and timing – you can start building great habits proven to help you succeed at sales.

Body Language:Your body is communicating with customers even before you’ve said a word. It’s important to understand the message you’re sending. Leaning on counters, tables, or desks as customers approach sends the message you’re bored and disinterested in speaking to them. It also doesn’t look very professional. Good posture has been shown in studies to make you feel more confident and prepared to make a sale. Facing the customer during a sales pitch can feel too confrontational, instead, stand to their side while you show them information. Don’t invade their personal space by getting too close, and avoid touching them other than a handshake, a high five, or a fist bump. Many people prefer not to be touched by strangers.

Eye Contact: Ever heard someone described as “shifty-eyed,” or have you noticed when somebody won’t make eye contact when they talk to you? It’s never a good thing. Keeping consistent eye contact helps you earn the customer’s trust by demonstrating that you’re confident and that you believe in what you’re telling them.  It communicates sincerity and genuine interest. It also allows you to connect with the customer, build rapport, and improve their engagement in the conversation – all customer service wins. By focusing on the customer’s eyes, you encourage them to pay attention and listen to you, and you can gauge whether they understand what you’re saying.

Keeping eye contact earns the customer’s trust by demonstrating that you believe what you’re telling them. Click To Tweet

Awesome Attitude: By working in sales, you are helping to connect customers with services and products. Thinking of your role in terms of serving the customer, rather than just selling to him or her, helps you create a better experience for the customer, and most likely will result in more sales. That’s because people like to buy from people who make them feel good, cared for. People are busy, and not everyone is going to be polite when you approach them to make a sales pitch. But there’s no excuse for a salesperson to be rude, and it certainly won’t help you succeed at sales. When you maintain a great, confident, and friendly attitude, a customer who has already said no might change his or her mind later. But a customer you’ve been rude to is lost forever, and he or she might encourage others to avoid you, your product, or your company.

Smile: Studies have shown what you probably already know instinctively, smiling makes people feel good about you. Have you ever been in a bad mood and tried to keep a scowl on your face while the person you’re talking to is smiling. It’s tough, isn’t it? Smiling is contagious. It puts other people at ease, helps to change their mood, and most importantly, it leaves them with a good impression of you and what you have to say. While learning to smile consistently, and in a way that feels sincere and not forced, take practice, it’s probably the simplest thing you can do to improve your chances of making the sale.

Smiling is contagious. It puts people at ease, changes their mood, and it leaves a good impression. Click To Tweet

Timing: Even when you do everything else right, the success of your sales pitch can sometimes come down to timing. Starting your pitch when the customer is too far away can force you to shout at them. Waiting until they are right in front of you can create an awkward feeling of intimacy. When approaching customers in person, start speaking to them when they are about seven feet away. Don’t wait until they have already passed you, or else you’ll be speaking to the back of their head, which puts you at a disadvantage.

Unleashing your inner sales beast takes more consistency and discipline than the name might suggest. Becoming a sales beast requires developing great communication techniques and professional habits that make the customer feel that you sincerely care about them and have their best interests at heart. The best sales beasts don’t depend on their killer instincts; instead, they use their B.E.A.S.T factors to convey confidence, sincerity, and helpfulness, which add up to the kind of creature qualities customers can’t resist.

To find out more about Cydcor, check us out on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter.

We are Cydcor, the recognized leader in outsourced sales services located in Agoura Hills, CA. From our humble beginnings as an independent sales company to garnering a reputation as the global leader in outsourced sales, Cydcor takes pride in having exceptional sales professionals and providing our clients with proven sales and marketing strategies that get results.

July 19, 2017

6 Surefire Tips to Help You Remember Names

Name tag hello my name is
6 Tricks to Help You Remember Names

Think you’re terrible at remembering names? You’re not alone. Studies have shown that people have an easier time remembering almost any other detail about people, including what they do and where they’re from. Scientists think this might be because names, in themselves, aren’t particularly meaningful, but as anyone who’s ever forgotten the name of an important business contact will tell you, they are important. Remembering people’s names is a simple but powerful indicator to others of how important they are to you. Here are some easy tricks you can use to outsmart mother nature and make yourself seem like a memory whiz.

Remembering people’s names is a simple but powerful indicator to others of how important they are to you. Click To Tweet

 

Here are 6 simple tips to help you remember people’s names you can start using right away:

 

  1. Raise the Stakes: One reason we often don’t remember names is that we don’t tend to think names are very important until it’s too late. Decide that from now on you are going to remember names of everyone you meet because your fortune depends on it. You’ll be surprised how well you’ll do.
One reason we don’t remember names is that we don’t think names are important until it’s too late. Click To Tweet
  1. Listen Up: Too often, people don’t remember names because they simply weren’t listening. Work on forming a habit of always listening during introductions. Tell yourself that learning to really listen to people’s names is going to be your secret to success.

 

  1. Repeat After Me: Every time you meet someone new, repeat their name back to them. Repeating a name forces you to pay attention to it, and saying a person’s name back to them can become your mental que to remember the information.

 

  1. Get it Right: Asking someone to confirm the spelling of their name can be a great conversation starter as well as a mental reminder to take note of their name. Find out whether there are a Casey or a K.C., and a Geoff or a Jeff to give your brain an extra visual cue to remember them by.

 

  1. Make a Connection: The next time you meet someone new, make a mental connection between their name and something else. What you choose doesn’t really matter as long as it has meaning to you: someone they remind you of, where they are from, an actor they look like, or a distinguishing facial feature. If your new colleague Sabrina reminds you of tennis champion Serena Williams, you might rename her Sabrina Williams in your head. Or you might remember Brian, the very smart new IT guy, as Brian “the brain”. The very process of making those connections helps send your brain a message to remember the information.

 

  1. Picture: Draw a mental image of the name based on what it sounds like, it’s spelling, or your things you know about the person. See a picture of the name in your head that stands for that person. For example, if you meet a history teacher named Douglass, you might picture an archaeologist who has dug up glass fragments from some ancient civilization.

 

Learning to remember names isn’t not as difficult as it seems. With a little mental coaching, and by using some very simple memory tricks, you’ll discover that your capacity to remember names is a lot stronger than you first thought.

To find out more about Cydcor, check us out on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter.

We are Cydcor, the recognized leader in outsourced sales services located in Agoura Hills, CA. From our humble beginnings as an independent sales company to garnering a reputation as the global leader in outsourced sales, Cydcor takes pride in having exceptional sales professionals and providing our clients with proven sales and marketing strategies that get results.

July 14, 2017

How to Write a Winning Elevator Pitch

Old fashioned elevator doors
Writing an Elevator Pitch

You don’t have to be in sales to benefit from a great elevator pitch. The right elevator pitch can open doors. It can help you land a new job, sell a product or service, earn new clients or investors for your business, or propose a new idea to your boss. Your elevator pitch is the way you tell someone everything they need to know about you or your business in a very short amount of time. The goal is to hook them; to whet their appetite for more information. An effective elevator pitch takes some thought, but perfecting your pitch is more than worth the time and effort. The right elevator pitch can be your secret weapon. It can stop strangers in their tracks and convince them you’re someone worth listening to.

The right elevator pitch can be your secret weapon. It can stop strangers in their tracks. Click To Tweet

Here are some surefire tricks for writing an elevator pitch that does the selling for you:

Start with a Headline: If you were the top story of the day, what would your bold print say? Start with an introduction, followed by a quick statement that summarizes you or your business and what you do. Keep it concise and easy to understand.

Know your Audience: To really wow your listener with your elevator pitch, you’ll need to tailor it to your audience. Not every listener will be interested in the same details. Whenever possible, do a little research about the person you’ll be pitching to or their business, and try to adjust your tone, style, and the details of your pitch to their specific interests. What is most important to this person, and what will they most want to know?

Think Like a Brand: Leading brands like Nike, Apple, and BMW, are unmistakable. That’s because brand marketers expend a lot of time, money, and effort developing strategies to set brands apart from their competitors by identifying their unique selling propositions. Treat yourself, your business, or your product like a brand by thinking about the one thing you or your business can offer that no one else can. Incorporate your unique selling proposition into your elevator pitch to communicate to your audience why they should choose you over anybody else.

The Rule of Three: An elevator pitch doesn’t have to tell everything about you or your product; in fact, it shouldn’t. Your pitch should communicate only the most important selling points. Save the details for later. Instead, to get your foot in the door, to get them to pay attention, or to persuade them to listen to what you have to say, stick with no more than three big ideas you’d like to convey. Write down all the top benefits of your business or service, and assign each of them a rank by importance. Once you’ve identified your top three, come up with a sentence or two that clearly communicates those benefits as succinctly as possible.

Talk About Benefits, Not Features: Cool product features are fine, but they aren’t really why customers buy. Customers buy products and sign up for services that provide a benefit to them. They help fulfill a need, fix a problem, or make their life easier or better in some way. Figure out what you, your product, or your company does to benefit the customer, and weave those ideas into your pitch.

Provide some Proof: Anybody can say they’re the best, but a great elevator pitch leaves the listener with little reason to doubt, because it’s backed up with evidence. What have you or your business accomplished? How has your service saved customers money? What results have you produced? Don’t bore the listener with a lengthy list of accomplishments, but pick one or two compelling details or facts that prove your case.

Take the 30-Second Test: Your elevator pitch should be short and sweet – about the length of an elevator ride, to be exact. Time yourself as you recite your pitch, and be strict about sticking to 30 seconds or less. This doesn’t mean you should sound like an auctioneer. Speak slowly and clearly, and be honest with yourself. If it takes longer than 30 seconds to recite, get out your red pen and do some editing. Keeping your pitch under 30 seconds is a great exercise in getting to the point.

Call to Action: Don’t forget to tell the listener what they are supposed to do. It seems obvious, but without a clear request for an investment, a purchase, or a job offer, your audience could feel confused about the point of your speech. Make it easy for them to give them what you want, by including a clear request at the end of your pitch.

Rehearse: Ironically, it takes a lot of practice to sound like you’re speaking off the cuff. Practice presenting your elevator speech at least 50 times, and you may be surprised how much you’re able to improve it as you go. With practice, you’ll also begin to sound more confident and convincing.

Here’s an example of how to put it all together:

Headline: Hi, I’m Dee Signer, and I’m an award-winning web and graphic artist, and I’ve been helping companies like yours stand out in a crowded marketplace for the past seven years.

Target your audience: I know that your industry, home landscaping, is very competitive, and having a great logo and website can be critical to helping you attract new customers.

Unique selling proposition: But, I have created a one-of-a-kind, design system, guaranteed to deliver a unique logo and website design that gets you more clicks – and more customers.

Three big selling points: My system is simple to use, includes a free, one-on-one consultation, and when your design is finished, you own all rights to it for life, no strings attached.

Proof: After using my system, my past three clients have gone on to see their web traffic increase by 30%.

Call to action: Why don’t I help you fill out your online design request form right now, so we can get your one-on-one consultation scheduled for this week. Ready to get started?

The perfect elevator pitch will help you transform casual encounters into lucrative business opportunities. Click To Tweet

They say you only have one chance to make a good first impression, and your elevator pitch can ensure you make the most of those precious moments. Mastering your elevator pitch also helps you identify the most important benefits of your product or service.  It can also produce better results by quickly grabbing the listener’s attention and by quickly focusing the conversation on the things that matter most.  The perfect elevator pitch will help you transform casual encounters into lucrative business opportunities.

To find out more about Cydcor, check us out on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter.

We are Cydcor, the recognized leader in outsourced sales services located in Agoura Hills, CA. From our humble beginnings as an independent sales company to garnering a reputation as the global leader in outsourced sales, Cydcor takes pride in having exceptional sales professionals and providing our clients with proven sales and marketing strategies that get results.

July 11, 2017

How to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone – and Why You Should! | Cydcor Blog

How to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
Take a Leap of Faith and Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

We all have a comfort zone, and we like it there. It’s true. Even naturally adventurous, risk-takers have a comfort zone and are susceptible to falling into familiar patterns. Why? Because it’s natural, normal, and sometimes necessary. What is a comfort zone anyway? Your personal comfort zone is a state of being that protects you from risk, stress, and anxiety through habit and familiarity. When we are in our comfort zone, we are most at ease. So, what’s wrong with that? After all, isn’t being stress-free a good thing? Yes, too much stress and anxiety can have sometimes extreme negative consequences like illness, reduced productivity, and anxiety. Staying in your comfort zone too often, however, can put you at risk for becoming complacent, unproductive, and unmotivated. Studies have shown that a small amount of stress, like the kind that comes from learning something new, setting a deadline, or doing something out of the ordinary, can boost productivity. We perform at our best when we allow ourselves to get just a little bit uncomfortable, and breaking away from our usual routines can have other benefits too.

 

Here’s why getting out of your comfort zone is good:

It Motivates You: Accepting an ambitious deadline or taking on a new job duty can help you get more done. There’s that healthy dose of extra pressure to deliver what you’ve promised, and there’s also the potential for reward if you succeed.

It Educates You: Trying new things can help you learn and grow by exposing you to new information and new approaches, while also adding to your skills and abilities.

Gets You Ahead: By taking on more responsibility or by speaking up to share ideas and propose solutions to problems, you can bring positive attention to yourself in the workplace, which can help you climb the corporate ladder faster.

Provides Inspiration: Doing uncomfortable things like meeting new people, trying new things, and taking risks can help to boost your creativity by changing your way of thinking and exposing you to new ideas and experiences.

Builds Confidence: When you get out of your comfort zone to try something new or take on a new responsibility, it can boost your confidence by helping you discover that you’re capable of more than you think you are.

Keeps You Flexible: Getting out of your comfort zone by facing new challenges can improve your problem-solving skills as well as your adaptability.

 

Here are some tips to help you get out of your comfort zone every day:

Give Yourself Permission to Be Imperfect: Fear of making a mistake, embarrassing ourselves, or looking foolish is one of the leading reasons we prefer to stay in our comfort zones. We get so caught up in appearances that we stop putting ourselves out there. Remind yourself that absolutely no one is perfect. It’s better to look a little bit silly than to never try at all.

Tell yourself it’s okay to be human and see where opportunity leads you. Click To Tweet

Remember that a Little Stress is a Good Thing: It’s called a comfort zone for a reason: because stepping outside of it doesn’t always feel good. Accept that growth and learning are going to feel a little bit weird, and those experiences make cause a bit of unease or anxiety, but remember that small doses of anxiety can help you accomplish more and perform at your best.

Think the Worst: Getting out of your comfort zone is all about fear of the unknown. What if things go wrong? But what are those mysterious consequences? Instead of getting caught up in worry, force yourself to think of the worst possible outcome, and label it. Many times, the worst-case-scenario turns out to not really be that bad. Once you realize that you’ll survive, even if everything goes wrong, it makes the idea of taking that risk just a little bit easier.

Face a Fear: We all have things we’re afraid of, but when we let those fears keep us from accepting offers or trying new things, we risk missing out on some of the most exciting opportunities life brings. Decide that you are going to overcome one of your fears. Don’t try to conquer them all at once. Instead, choose one thing you’re afraid of, like public speaking, and decide that next time you’re offered a chance to speak in front of a crowd, you’ll take it. It will be a challenge, but you may be surprised by where the new experience takes you.

Take Pleasure in the Unknown: One of the biggest reasons people avoid getting out of their comfort zones is a fear of the unknown. Because we don’t know what might happen if we try something new, we simply don’t do it. But, what if you decide to think of the unknown as a surprise, an adventure, a gift? The beautiful thing about the unknown is that it’s limitless, and that means it can sometimes provide new and exciting opportunities we haven’t even imagined.   

Start Small: Getting out of your comfort zone doesn’t always require a huge leap of faith. There are little ways you can challenge yourself to get uncomfortable on a daily basis. Simple changes like trying an unfamiliar food, taking public transportation instead of driving, or introducing yourself to a stranger can help you get into the habit of disrupting your usual routine.

Make a Snap Decision: Staying in our comfort zones helps us feel in control, and that’s why making decisions can sometimes be such a lengthy, deliberative process. We think that if we spend enough time weighting the pros and cons of each choice, we can control the outcome. What but what would happen if you just quickly make a choice and stick with it? Try it and see what happens. The results may be a pleasant surprise.

Feel Free to Fail: Some of the greatest learning opportunities, innovations, and achievements have come from flat-out failures. Failing is sometimes the best way to force yourself to think differently and come up with new solutions. Stop running from and obsessing over the idea of failing, and start seeing it as just another route to success.

Getting out of our comfort zones is something we all must constantly work on. That’s because even people who tend to be more open to new experiences and challenges can find themselves slowing down and getting comfortable once the unfamiliar becomes routine. The more often you push yourself out of your comfort zone, however, the less afraid you’ll be of the process and the more likely you’ll be to develop a habit of doing so. There’s nothing wrong with allowing yourself to fall into a comfortable routine every occasionally, because it can give your mind a much-needed rest, and it can provide room for you to absorb the lessons of recent challenges you’ve faced. It’s when comfort turns into complacency, slowed growth, and low productivity that it’s time to shake things up and get uncomfortable.

To find out more about Cydcor, check us out on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter.

We are Cydcor, the recognized leader in outsourced sales services located in Agoura Hills, Calif. From our humble beginnings as an independent sales company to garnering a reputation as the global leader in outsourced sales, Cydcor takes pride in having exceptional sales professionals and providing our clients with proven sales and marketing strategies that get results.

July 6, 2017

One Foot in Front of the Other: The Benefits of Taking Risks

By Vera Quinn, President and Chief Revenue Officer at Cydcor

When you’re ten years old, your mom is just about the last person in the world you want to hang out with. So, when my then ten-year-old son asked me if I wanted to join him for a day hike, I knew I couldn’t refuse, even though it would mean sweating profusely as I drag myself, panting and terrified, uphill for two hours, getting whacked in the face by branches, tripping over rocks, and the risk of falling over the edge of a steep cliff. Refusing to let him down, I took one agonizing step at a time, knowing eventually, if I just kept moving forward, I would climb my way to the top.

That day on the mountain left me with some valuable lessons about what is possible when you take risks, face your fears, and dig in to overcome the things that you believe are holding you back.

Focus on just getting through that next step, and before you know it, the mountaintop will come to you. Click To Tweet

Here are 7 ways taking risks can change your life for the better:

  1. Do Things You’re Not Good At – Nobody likes to look stupid or fail, but only by risking embarrassment, disappointment, and failure do we create room for real change, growth, and astounding personal achievement. Put yourself out there, get uncomfortable, and create your own opportunity.
  2. Exceed Expectations ­­- Other’s and Your Own – My son never thought I’d accept his invitation to go for a long hard hike, and I never thought I’d be able to finish it. But by pushing to exceed both my son’s expectations and my own, I opened the door to an entirely new experience and a new accomplishment I once believed was impossible.
  3. Face Obstacles Head On – As I stumbled over rocks, vines, and narrow, slippery pathways, I realized obstacles are unavoidable and the ONLY way to continue forward is to face them as they come and conquer them one by one.
  4. Stand up to Your Fears – Change is scary and so is growth. For me, climbing my personal mountain meant dealing with my intense fear of heights. But I refused to fail, not this time, and I refused to let my son down. Deciding that failure was no longer an option became my secret weapon to overcome my greatest fear.
  5. Fake it Till You Make it – Find your motivation as you go. Sometimes, you just don’t feel strong enough to take risks and face the challenges ahead. But what if you trust that your motivation will grow along the way? Sometimes just getting started is enough to unlock the motivation you needed to keep going.
  6. Take it one step at a time – Don’t focus on the mountain top you’ve got to conquer. Instead, focus on just getting through that next step, and before you know it, the mountaintop will come to you.
  7. Trust in the payoff – Even if you can’t see the benefits of risk taking, trust that eventually the payoff will reveal itself. While I struggled up that steep mountain path, I wondered what magical fairies might greet me at the peak to make it all worth it. I decided to believe there would be a payoff, even if I couldn’t imagine what it would be. When I saw the look on my sons face as I finally reached the top, I knew what all the hard work had been for.
I’ve learned that if I just keep putting one foot in front of the other, I can accomplish almost anything. Click To Tweet

On the mountain and in life, you can only discover what you can do when you say yes to challenges, as daunting as they may seem. No matter what obstacles have presented themselves over the years, I’ve learned that if I just keep putting one foot in front of the other, I can accomplish almost anything.

To find out more about Cydcor, check us out on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter.

We are Cydcor, the recognized leader in outsourced sales services located in Agoura Hills, CA. From our humble beginnings as an independent sales company to garnering a reputation as the global leader in outsourced sales, Cydcor takes pride in having exceptional sales professionals and providing our clients with proven sales and marketing strategies that get results.

 

June 21, 2017

Why Successful Salespeople Have Grit, Not Just Talent

Grit words on pavement
How Grit can be a Salesperson’s Secret to Success

Grit is a mysterious and powerful mix of passion and perseverance that gives some the strength to keep going where so many others before them have given up. In fact, studies have shown that grit may outrank either intelligence or talent as an indicator of future success. Salespeople know a lot about grit. They work in a competitive business, but for those with the grit to stick with it, the rewards can be huge. The best salespeople know that grit can be the secret ingredient that makes the difference between success and failure.

Here’s how grit can make good salespeople great:

  • Persistence: To get good at sales you have to become okay with rejection. You have to hear “no” enough times that you finally figure out why people say no and what you can do to get a “yes.” People who thrive in sales are the ones who can persist, persevere, and learn to embrace the word no as a challenge to identify what will get the “yes”. To them, no is just another exciting challenge to overcome. Salespeople with grit are the ones who brush themselves off and wonder how many more people they can meet with before the sun goes down.
Salespeople with grit tough it out by trusting their guts and believing they can make it even no matter what… Click To Tweet
  • Self-belief: Salespeople with grit tough it out by trusting their guts and believing they can make it no matter what anybody else thinks. Only the gritty keep moving forward regardless of the obstacles that may stand in their way.

 

  • Long-term perspective: Salespeople, must be able to envision that future. Achieving long term goals means keeping your eye on the prize, and having grit means you focus on doing what it takes to win, overcoming hurdles and celebrating wins along the way.
Successful salespeople are fearless. They take pleasure in achieving the hard things, and they welcome the… Click To Tweet
  • Unwavering Courage: Successful salespeople are fearless. They take pleasure in achieving the hard things, and they welcome the unknown. They want to overcome weaknesses, revel in change, and capitalize on their strengths. Salespeople with grit get out of their comfort zones in order to realize their dreams.

 

  • Endurance: Having grit means having the stamina to follow through on your promise to yourself, and finish what you’ve started. It’s an attitude of always finishing what you start.

 

  • Owning it: In the sales business, excuses won’t get you very far. It’s the effort you put out, your commitment, and your unwillingness to give up that will determine your success. The ones who succeed in sales are those who are accountable for their own actions.

 

  • A Winning Attitude: To beat the odds, you have to ban negative thinking and immerse yourself your passion for your work. True grit takes keeping self-doubt, fear, frustration, and even disappointment from derailing you. It takes an absolute belief in yourself and confidence that with hard work, you can achieve your dreams.

 

  • Drive: Leaders in sales will tell you that to accomplish something extraordinary, you must remember why you’re doing it. You have to stay connected to the things that are most important to you, because they are the things that will make all the hard work worth it in the end. The most successful salespeople never forget what they’re working towards.

 

Intelligence and talent are huge advantages in business that can help you innovate, perform well, or solve problems. Without the grit to stay the course even when it gets bumpy, those advantages can be fleeting. Brains and natural ability are the reason many people are good at their jobs, but without the grit to overcome challenges, bounce back from stumbles, and the drive to push themselves further, they may never truly be great.

To find out more about Cydcor, check us out on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter.

We are Cydcor, the recognized leader in outsourced sales services located in Agoura Hills, CA. From our humble beginnings as an independent sales company to garnering a reputation as the global leader in outsourced sales, Cydcor takes pride in having exceptional sales professionals and providing our clients with proven sales and marketing strategies that get results.

June 14, 2017

How to Create and Define Corporate Culture

Wooden signpost with words, blue sky with clouds.
How Create and Define a Great Corporate Culture

Defining Corporate Culture

Corporate culture comprises some of the hardest to define aspects of your business: vision, values, philosophies, leadership, language, norms, beliefs, habits, and more. Because defining corporate culture is so challenging, though, many business owners overlook it altogether. Corporate culture exists, however, whether a company’s leadership actively takes a part in creating it or not. Business leaders who do not help shape their organization’s corporate culture run the risk of letting their businesses lose control of such an important facet.

Why is Creating Corporate Culture Important?

Creating a vibrant, easy-to-understand corporate culture can help organizations attract and keep top talent. It is critical to employee engagement and retention, and it can have an impact their happiness and satisfaction in the workplace. Creating a thriving corporate culture can also affect performance by instilling values relating to work ethic or by the way it shapes management styles. Culture can also influence the way your company is viewed by its competitors and industry.

How to Create Corporate Culture

It’s All About Authenticity: Defining corporate culture is valuable, but the definition must fit your unique company and its values. Don’t base your idea of culture on what competitors are doing, and don’t try to force your company culture to fit within a narrow definition based solely on what you’d like the company to be. Instead, take an honest assessment of your existing corporate culture, and define specific adjustments you’d like to make over time.

Corporate culture is something that permeates every aspect of a business. Click To Tweet

Corporate culture is something that permeates every aspect of a business, and changing it means changing employees’ feelings about the business, their understanding of what is expected of them, and a shared sense of the things that matter most to the business. Simply slapping a new label on your corporate culture won’t do much to change those deeply ingrained ideas. Shifting the perception of what your business stands for will take plenty of time, planning, cooperation, communication, and demonstrating that the company’s spoken values are much more than mere words.

Clarify Purpose: Start simply by defining your organization’s purpose. Then, ensure all employees and stakeholders understand that purpose, have bought into it, and are united toward fulfilling it. A clear definition of your corporate culture is pertinent to how effective it is.

Make Culture Part of Your Communications: Build a shared cultural vocabulary by reinforcing company purpose, vision, and values in all weekly and daily communications. Creating corporate culture means keeping it in mind when you set goals, announce achievements, plan events, and celebrate successes. Take advantage of company meetings as opportunities to reiterate core philosophies and unite the team. Weave culture into the visual design and layout of your workspace, as well. Prove your company’s stated values are more than just lip-service. For example, make sure your “green” business offers employees access to plenty of recycling bins, and avoid filling your business that touts “creativity and outside-the-box thinking,” with small cubicles, which literally box employees in.

Lead by Example: Call on your executive team to help define corporate culture. Other members of the organization will look to what the executive team does, not just to what they say, to determine their cultural reality. Setting the right example is critical when it comes to culture, so hold meetings to ensure your highest-ranking leaders are on board and fully committed to doing their parts.

Hire with Culture in Mind: Maintaining a specific corporate culture requires hiring not just quality people, but the right people. Communicate your corporate culture clearly during the interview process, just as you would other company goals, and make sure it fits with prospective employees’ own values and work style.

Grow Your Culture as You Grow Your Organization: When companies grow, culture becomes vulnerable because new employees bring with them new ideas, ingrained values, and past experiences. Set clear guidelines and provide reminders of cultural priorities to help maintain control of company culture during growth periods.

Get Everyone on Board: Make team members accountable for living up to the company’s standards and representing its values. Accepting shared responsibility for creating company culture gives employees a sense of ownership and purpose. Set clear expectations for employee behavior, and encourage managers to label and confront actions that violate company values. Make culture part of performance reviews , and address culture when measuring company progress as well.

Shape the Culture Around Your People, Not the Other Way Around: As company priorities and processes naturally evolve over time, the way you define your corporate culture may no longer fit. If your company’s value statements focus on the importance of in-person, face-to-face meetings, but 80% of your new employees now telecommute, it may be time to rethink whether those values still make sense. Don’t try to force your people conform to a cultural definition that is no longer relevant. Instead, adjust your concept of corporate culture to fit your people and what’s important to them.

Corporate cultures are born with companies. They have lives of their own. Click To Tweet

Corporate cultures are born with companies. They have lives of their own that go on whether business leaders intervene to help shape them or not. Defining and guiding corporate culture is about much more than words. It requires that companies and their leadership commit to a set of values and agree to a clear set of actions to weave those values throughout all of the core business functions. A thriving corporate culture is like a company’s soul: it is present in the way it does business, what it says about itself, who it hires, who it promotes, what it delivers to clients, and so much more. Business owners who understand the importance of corporate culture, can build happier, more engaged, better performing, and united work forces driven by people who understand their shared purpose.

To find out more about Cydcor, check us out on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter.

We are Cydcor, the recognized leader in outsourced sales services located in Agoura Hills, CA. From our humble beginnings as an independent sales company to garnering a reputation as the global leader in outsourced sales, Cydcor takes pride in having exceptional sales professionals and providing our clients with proven sales and marketing strategies that get results.

June 7, 2017

How to Always Make a Good First Impression

Business woman shaking hands with a man at a meeting.
Your First Impression Checklist

Studies have shown that first impressions last. That’s why it’s important to be sure people’s first impressions of you are good. And if you only have one chance to do it right, it pays to do everything you can to improve your odds. In business, a first impression can decide whether or not you get that new job, or it could help a customer choose whether they’ll buy from you or not. A poor first impression could cost you money or an opportunity, but a good first impression can help you establish relationships with people that can help you reach your goals.

Here’s a first-impressions checklist, guaranteed to help you make your next first-impression a good one:

Be on Time: It’s so easy, but so many people get it wrong. Being late to an important meeting shows disrespect for the other person’s time, and it makes you seem arrogant and disorganized. Being on time, on the other hand, shows that you’re taking the appointment seriously. It also makes you appear more confident and poised, because you’ve had time to gather your thoughts and review your notes.

Do your Research: Before any important meeting, make sure you know a little something about the person you’re speaking with. People naturally connect with those with whom they have something in common, so find out if you’re from the same city or whether you’ve traveled to the same landmark. Those shared experiences can be great icebreakers. When meeting with a company, prepare some talking points that are relevant to the business, or think of questions that show you understand their unique challenges in the marketplace.

Be Positive: Maintain a great attitude and a positive perspective whenever you’re meeting someone for the first time. A first encounter is not the time to start complaining about your last employer or grumbling about business setbacks. While some of your complaints may be valid, they can give the impression that you’re someone who looks to assign blame rather than taking responsibility for his or her own actions.

Say it with a Smile: Some studies indicate that 90% of what we communicate comes not from what we say, but rather, how we say it. Body language is critically important when making a good first impression, so even if you’re feeling tired and stressed, remember that keeping up that friendly smile can help put the other person at ease, even when words fail you. Other simple, non-verbal ways to make a good first impression are maintaining eye contact, nodding in agreement, and giving a nice, firm handshake.

Studies indicate that 90% of what we communicate comes not from what we say, but how we say it. Click To Tweet

Say Less and Listen More: What you say is important, but what might be even more important, is how well you listen. People like to talk, and they enjoy people who pay attention to what they have to say. Show you’re genuinely interested when the other person speaks, and ask follow up questions that show you understand the point they have made.

Stay Focused:  Eliminate distractions like your cell phone, and plan meetings in quiet spaces where you’re unlikely to be interrupted and where you can hear the other person clearly. Don’t check your watch, and avoid glancing at the clock more than necessary. While staying on schedule is important, obsessively watching the clock gives the impression you’re anxious for the meeting to end.

Show Your Manners: When it comes to good first impressions, manners can go a long way. Build rapport by asking the other person about their day or pay them a compliment before diving right into business. Offer to get them a cup of coffee or a cold drink. Thank them for their time and shake hands, or walk them out, when the meeting is over. And, don’t forget to send a nice thank you note or follow up email.

When it comes to good first impressions, manners can go a long way. Click To Tweet

Dress to Impress: Putting a little extra effort into your appearance before an important meeting isn’t just about looking attractive. It’s about showing effort. It lets the other person know the meeting is important to you, and it puts you in a mindset to act professional and feel confident. Dressing sharply sets the stage for success, and it helps you play the part.

A first impression sets the tone for what’s to come. It can determine the way an employer, business partner, or client thinks about you, and no matter how the relationship evolves, that first meeting will always play a role in how you are perceived. Don’t squander the opportunity. By taking first impressions seriously and following the tips in this checklist, you can be sure you’re putting your best foot forward when it matters most.

To find out more about Cydcor, check us out on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter.

We are Cydcor, the recognized leader in outsourced sales services located in Agoura Hills, CA. From our humble beginnings as an independent sales company to garnering a reputation as the global leader in outsourced sales, Cydcor takes pride in having exceptional sales professionals and providing our clients with proven sales and marketing strategies that get results.