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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Dollarized Benefits of the MODEL System: Part Two

Sector: Sales&Marketing
Part Two

Point Seven:
“It is more consultative than ‘hard selling’
in delivery and presentation”

It is provable that the buying public has little appetite for high pressure, manipulative or suspicious sales techniques, and the resistance is growing greater by the day.


How many lost sales in your industry sector and/or your organization may be blamed on poor, questionable or pressured sales tactics? A sensitive issue, but be critical if you were to see a pattern here. Then, consider your average case size...Ouch!

Point Eight:
“It is the ultimate sales training tool because of the
‘accountability’ factor”

You can track most any sales or presentation problem or issue by analyzing each step, their respective requirements and order of importance. In other words, you have an accountability trigger.


Again, the time, lost sales, excessive sales training and monitoring, sales reporting/tracking and inventory controls equals major $$$ dollars.

Point Nine:
“This is a transferable concept and can even be
understood by children and seniors”

That should be the acid test of any selling marketing system...
Q. Could your young son/daughter or your mom/dad understand it?


Calculate your lost sales due to a confusing-complicated-or misunderstood concept....Could be more than one wants to admit?

Point Ten:
“With the addition of the MODEL Calculators…
this system is unique in the market”

The unique MODEL Calculators create even more interactivity and qualification criteria, and they are also available in an eBook and PDF format.


This is a USP (Unique Selling Proposition) that should definitely help create a higher quality referral from your "value-added" approach. Can you accurately calculate the dollar value of a referral…over your sales career?

The list goes on and on *(you will want to add from your own experience). This will be an ongoing and interactive communication from MODEL practioneres that will be frequently updated.

Most of these benefits can be calculated with a quantifiable monetary result in most industry sectors. If all the above were added together, they would easily add up to thousands of dollars. And, that is based on only one salesperson. Consider this same calculation with a full sales force in the mix.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Dollarized Benefits of the MODEL System for Sellers

Part One
Sector: Sales&Marketing

Jeff Fox, in his excellent book, MARKETING SUPERSTAR has several transferable marketing concepts that would be easy to adopt. One that seems to be obvious, yet often overlooked, is the principle of “Dollarizing.” Simply put, every aspect of the marketing process should have a price tag as to value, ROI, cost, pricing…everything. If not, it gets a strong look from the round file. So, for our purposes, we will list categories from the MODELTM System and then summarize them as a “Dollarized” benefit.

Here are but a few:

Added note: For this exercise, let's assume a five year period

Point One:

“The MODELTM System is a well documented and successfully proven process for over 30 years”

Question: If you have witnessed and/or participated in other sales and marketing systems in the past, do you use any of them today? Why...Why Not? How many have you tried? How much time and how many dollars did they cost?


Let's say that you sampled five systems and/or concepts [average of one per year] at an average of $250 per system or concept (including the marketing costs) plus your time, travel costs and the lost opportunity and lost sales of the systems that did not work...Added together it would have to equal a few thousand dollars (at a minimum). Now, think about it nationally over all sales occupations in just five years…Zillion$?

Point Two:

“Works with both big and small situations and events...
It is a Universal System”

When (for example) you move from one industry and product/service to another, there is no need to reinvent additional presentations or "shoot from the hip" that could question your professionalism and effectiveness. You will have a consistent and Universal System.


This area involves the cost of your time, travel, marketing expenses, and the lost opportunity of missed sales. Depending on your industry sector, average case size and average sales volume over this period…again, this could be in the thousands individually and zillions nationally. Remember that, universally across all industries, a face to face sales call averages $420.

Point Three:

“The MODELTM System serves as a very early
and continuing qualifier or eliminator”

As stated, considering that the average person to person sales call averages $420 (or more) and this area becomes very quantifiable.


This area can be very expensive if you require 3-4 interviews per sale (nationwide 3.4 interviews) and carry falsely inflated inventories of unqualified prospects over the five year period...Thousands?

$420 X 3.4 interviews = $1428 in marketing costs…Hopefully, when sold, your product/service is valued at more than this figure?

Point Four:

“Requires interactivity, agreement, effective and decisive communication”

This System automatically deters domination by the seller and requires the buyer to become involved in the process (active vs. passive).


By making your presentation interactive and buyer-friendly, you are creating "clients" (repeat buyers) rather than "one-shot" sales...Based on the dollar value of a repeat client in your industry sector and your experience...again, thousands of dollars at stake.

Point Five:

“Contains a simple and transferable graphic element (triangle/pyramid)”

A graphic triangle can be sketched or transferred to most any surface and most anywhere almost instantly. That transfers the focus to the graphic MODEL initially and away from the "solution first" oriented presentations. It is best introduced by allowing the buyer to individually develop it in real time.


Consider the time cost, timing and lost or missed opportunity of not always being prepared (which is inherent in this system). What is a missed opportunity worth to you in dollars…all opportunities…all the time?

Point Six:

“This concept is logical,” easily and quickly” communicated…
and it develops trust.”

People in the dark are rarely cooperative and are usually suspicious. Being enlightened ahead is vital before buy-in or action" (From another famous book on the "thinking process")


Since the prospect/receiver sees the concept right up front, they are "not in the dark" about your procedure and process. Consequently, they are more apt to buy-into the concept as well as being willing to refer others (because of no surprises). Considering what a referral is worth, in dollars, in your industry sector and over this time period...

Can we say thousands...(Individually?…Nationally)?

To be continued…Part TWO.

Monday, February 21, 2011

What Makes a Concept a “Classic Message?”

At the minimum it should include:

-Profound > Timeless > Fundamental Process > Icon > Standard
-Unique (In its Category or Sector)
-Memorable > Measurable > Formula Driven > Calculators
-Self Testing (Acid test-Calculators-Others)
-Transferable (At the widest range of ages)
-Understandable (At the widest range of ages-intelligence)
-Applicable to the broadest audience
-Will not go out of Style or Lose Importance
-Will Continue to Gain Significance in the Future
-Not Based on Politics (or politicians)
-Not Based on Tax Laws (or other laws)
-Not Based on Markets or Market flux
-Highly Objective (vs. Subjective and Non-Factual)
-Completely Measurable/Provable/Proven
-Works for all Genders
-Works with most Religions
-Works in Other Cultures and Internationally (Blog Audience)
-Has Wide Range of Applications
-Is a Problem Solving Device and/or System
-Requires Commitment and Agreement as a Key Element
-A Universal Success, Personal and Business tool
-A Transferable MODEL is at the core of the process
-Endorsed by Notable Third Parties and Curriculum Providers
-A Legacy Concept to pass on to others
-Requires Interactivity
-Flexible (can substitute words and categories)
-Not Based on a Product or Service
-A Vision-Mission-Values-Model
-Cause Oriented = Integral in Making Life Decisions
-Works in High or Low Tech Environments

These are probably the bare minimum ingredients one would ascribe to a classic concept. Point is, decisioning and the tools to get better at it will never go out of style. As such, we respectfully submit:

Zillion Dollar Thinking TM

The MODEL for Intelligent Decision Making TM

as a concept that could potentially qualify…You decide.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

What is Your Decisioning Pattern?

One of the best signs and predictors of a response or decision is the track record, pattern or history of the individual or entity. The commodities and futures markets live by the slogan “the trend is your friend.” We believe that this also applies to decisioning.

One definition of “insanity:”

“Doing the same thing over and over today
and yet expecting a different result tomorrow”

Not sure about this as an absolute or its origins (ranging from Ben Franklin to Einstein), but this pattern would definitely be a source of disappointment. Key here is that unless you change the habit or pattern, you can probably predict frustration and/or indecision.

The best alternative may be a system or model.

Due Diligence (information intelligence):

Again, there should be a conscious and deliberate effort to identify, prove, qualify, quantify, guarantee, study, research, on and on. So, if the habit/trend lacks this stage, the result could prove to be shallow and suspect.

A model or system that requires due diligence as the beginning step would logically be a preferred alternative to a factually baseless (gut feeling only) approach.

“Garbage in…Garbage out:”

We have all heard this one for years. Point here is that not only should the first effort be intelligence, but it should be the accurate and factual intelligence that would lead to commitment. The test is that unless you are committed to the intelligence (not garbage), there is really no need to proceed.

A model or system that creates the confidence that leads to commitment is a good test of its value.

“By their fruit ye shall know them”

This is an age old verse that frames the decision maker…both good and bad. As stated, demonstrating the pattern of using reliable and effective decisioning tools will show consistent and well framed decisions (i.e. Good fruit).

In contrast, the habit of no path, pattern or methodology will generally yield inconsistent, unfounded and immature decisions (i.e. Bad fruit).

With this post as a backdrop, a model or system that has a proven track record and is easy to adopt, should be considered by anyone who has a mounting responsibility in decisioning.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

What was Your Deciding Factor?

In other words, what was the line, the word, the evidence such as:

A Written Guarantee
Real Time Examples
Research Studies
Personal Testimonials
Facts and Histories
Provable Superiority of Product/Service
The Unique Selling Proposition

What was it that convinced you to decide? We must go through this scenario a zillion times each day, but in your experience, has it gotten any easier? The larger question is “Do you have any Method or System to help you in the decisioning process?”

If not, getting more organized and efficient with some proven decisioning tools should definitely be worth your consideration. For example, the above list of avenues will help guide you and move you in a direction, but if they were a product of a simple model, they could be more useful…quicker (time being money and all).

We can suggest a “standardized” model with four steps:

1. Due Diligence [Where you establish the problem and measure proof…]
2. Commitment [The vital step where you measure yours and theirs…]
3. Solution [The match up of the product/service/idea to the problem…]
4. Action [Where you get the plan, delivery conditions, ability to execute…]

Important Notes

These steps should stay in order and build off one another. The key is that if one step breaks down or is simply not there, no decision should be made at this point or possibly not at all.

One easy example is in Step 2 of commitment e.g. If you have to search for, yet cannot find any meaningful commitments from the manufacturer, supplier, representative, dealer, etc. you have a red flag starring you in the face. And, you should stop right there and analyze if it is worth the price and/or time to proceed.

Again, a major tipping point is the order of each step. In many decisioning considerations, the solution is the target. Seen here, it is not Step 1…but, Step 3. That is important because if you get the order wrong to start with, your final result will probably be doomed. Many do not consider order as a significant ingredient. It is.

The illustration of this model is best captured by an equilateral triangle. The reason is that it perfectly shows how the time and work effort should be divided (From Step One as the base [most] to Step Four at the top [least]). Again, many decisioning techniques give little to no consideration to the weight and placement of effort. Worth considering?

As the world becomes faster, more informational, more litigious, more intrusive…on and on, the more important each decision becomes. So, can we all use as much help in decisioning as we can find?

We have expanded this model in a short e-Booklet that you can access. Simply drop us an email and we will send the link.

Please let us hear from you.

Key Word: "Zillions"

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Is it a Decision or a Habit?

When you go to the store, and you are confronted with brand choices, do you put that box (e.g. cereal) in your cart based on the brand and benefit? Or, do you ignore any conscious decisioning and make your selection based on habit?

The reason that may be important is because of the tendency to let that same template (MO) repeat itself in other more important areas of our lives. It may be kin to making decisions on auto-pilot…how safe is that?

These links are only a sampling of topics that explore the idea of habit over conscious decisioning.

Procrastination: Habit or Disorder?

Decision Making: Implications for Prevention Programs

How to Kick the Habit of Over-Simplified Thinking

Consensus Decision Making

How to Develop the Habit of Definite Decision to Overcome Procrastination

The key here is that unless the spotlight is placed squarely on this subject, the potential is for habits (good and bad) to have a stronger influence and resulting consequence than we are aware.

This subject is definitely worth your (and our) continued due diligence.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Zillion Dollar Thought

“A bowling pin only has to tilt 7.5 degrees in order to fall down. Just think how many strikes were lost by a fraction of one degree…Zillions?”

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Deciding in the Rear View Mirror

Could it be that today:

Israel is trying to decide about taking action against their enemies?
Egypt is deciding about regime change?
China is deciding about several world changing events?
Obama is deciding to go to the center?

Because historically:

We decided to elect him two years ago.
We were deciding on hope and change in government.
We were invaded by terrorism under Bush, and he decided to retaliate.
One world government regimes decided to come out of the shadows.
We decided on presidents (often) based on party, popularity and platform.
We decided on a free society based on the wisdom/laws of our forefathers.
We decided that individual liberty was worth dying for.
We decided to connect all the states after several domestic conflicts.
We decided to explore and find what is now called America.
We decided that being free to decide and act was a unique privilege.
After centuries of rulers and oppressions, we decided that individuals count.
After washing the earth, God decided to scatter mankind and nationalities.
When given the choice, Adam and Eve decided to disobey God.

All said, decisions have ruled from the beginning, and they will determine the future. For some, it may take a second glance in the rear view mirror.

You decide.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Case for Decisioning vs. Selling-POV III

A Decisioning Platform
In a Series - From ZDT Blog Post Dated February 2, 2011
Continued POV III-Posted ZDT 2-08-11

As previously discussed, many of today’s sales methods can easily breed pressure, intimidation and confusion which can lead to mistrust and ultimately product/service terminations (see ZDT Post Dated 1-28-11).

Decisioning is a daunting subject. As apposed to a selling platform it has several distinctions. A few examples of decisioning characteristics applied to this industry:

A Definable Platform
Agreement and Objective Driven
Universal Apps (Within Compatible Industries)
Template Structured
Model Designed
Non-Technique Driven (e.g.“closing”)
Fact and Due Diligence Based

Point is, a universal delivery system based on decisioning is a substantially more solid, tangible and repeatable approach to a consumer audience. Conversely, and in light of the volume and diversity, new selling techniques are being churned out every hour in the digital world of salesmanship.

Something and some kind of a standardized model or system needs to be designed and adopted that could have at least these attributes:

A tested and successfully proven system over several years
Works with both big and small issues and problems...a universal system
Requires interactivity, agreement, effective and decisive communication
Includes a simple and transferable graphic element
Logical, “easily and quickly” communicated and develops trust
Consultative rather than “hard selling” in delivery and presentation
Serves as a very early and continuing qualifier or eliminator
Works across most any industry market, product or service
A transferable model that can be understood at most any age

(Summary Excerpts from ZDT Post Dated: 11-03-10)
How Will the Buyer and Seller Decide?

Q. If the buyer and the seller could definitively agree on the true objective between them, would that motivate both parties to work toward a more professional and agreeable process?

From the beginning, we have treated the buyer and seller roles as players in the “sale.” When in reality, the objective of this relationship is the goal of a decision. One path develops in the world of selling…the other, in the universe of decisioning.

The Sales Approach says: Probe, Promote, Push, Close…
The Decisioning Model says: Discover, Commit, Solve, Act…

Going forward, which direction looks like a fit? As we are getting more technologically oriented (via smart digital apparatuses), our decisioning intelligence is automatically strengthening and being fueled.

We will have an increasingly resistant attitude toward the cold, hard selling of yesterday. We do not want to be sold, but we will welcome the ones who can help us decide as long as they represent our best interest.

As a by-product, we will get ever more critical and demanding (of the proof supported by facts) as we are developing our decisions.

Again, our dilemma is cold selling or warm decisioning. The reason this is so important is that we are now living with a product of the former. We believe that in order for us to graduate to our next level of potential; we will all need to become better at decisioning as buyers and sellers in all commodities, governments and peoples.

Let’s decide while we can.

The decision makers need to hear your voice.

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Case for Decisioning vs. Selling - POV II

(In a Series - From ZDT Blog Post Dated February 2, 2011)
(Continued POV II-Posted ZDT 2-07-11)

Decisions-Decisions…Beneful Dog Food/National Ads
Decision Points…Best Selling New Book/George Bush
Good Decision…Mass Mutual Insurance Company/Current Theme
We Report You Decide…Fox News Corporation/Meme
Decision 2010…National General Election/National Theme
Decision Making…Exhaustive Study and White Papers/N.W. Edmund

A Zillion Others…

Are we reading the “tea leaves?” Since the beginning, the consequences of our decisions have had profound effects. Has it taken this long for us to finally decide that this area of our life needs to be more recognized, formalized and systemized? More importantly, how does this apply to the subject at hand (selling or decisioning)?

No matter that it has taken this long…point is, the time is now. Picking up from the previous post (POV- dated 2-3-11), we have highlighted an industry that is at the crossroads of a dilemma. How and by what means do they distribute and communicate their products/services going forward?

As discussed, this industry was established and developed on the basis of a personal selling distribution platform. And since then, the methods and techniques have been unlimited…they still are.

For example, there are countless sites that promote new offers, products and services that are updated every hour. Can we say…industry information overload? The access of most of this new methodology is digital, portable and available 24/7. So what’s the downside? While the agent may have a growing appetite for all this new intelligence…the public will have its limit (maybe already has).

Here’s the deal and the question: Because this industry could easily be perceived as becoming fragmented today, would it not be prudent timing for this industry to access, adjust and adopt a simple, uniform and transferable model of delivery?

“The greater dynamic is that the shift would be from a selling platform to a decisioning platform.”

(To be continued: POV III “The Case for Decisioning vs. Selling”)

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Case for Decisioning vs. Selling

(Opening POV)

Technology Talks…Complacency Walks

With the dynamic announcement this week of the iPad and The Daily as an exclusive and strategic alliance, it has brought information, communication and digital apps to a new level.

Now, those who remain in that business will have a decision to make in order to remain competitive. On interview, Rupert Murdock acknowledged that this was a bold move and it certainly had risks, but he made the decision that he believes will have revolutionary effects. That’s the way business, markets and strategy work in this country. If you elect to stay complacent, you may get left in the dust (of paper products in this case).

Those of us who have been in the Financial Services Industry for the last 25+ years are witnessing a similar crossroad. But right now, it may seem more mechanical than substantive.

Some of today’s mechanical buzzwords are: virtual; interactive; digital; dimensional; universal; high def; real time…to name a few. Back in the day, these labels were not relevant. Now, they are defining. How is this industry responding and converting?

Paradigm Shift

Question: If a notable paradigm shift is taking place in one industry (information and news), can it be ignored or not create some pressure for other industry applications?

The Financial Services Industry was built on the back of a personal selling platform. This platform had to be built around an intangible product, with the probability of a non-uniform or non-standardized delivery system.

Consequently, countless selling methodologies have permeated the industry largely as techniques to sell products and services to private and commercial markets (e.g. a buyer and seller relationship). Yes, in recent years, a shift toward consultative selling has emerged somewhat, but in general, that approach was geared toward or embraced by the more experienced and educated practitioners. Still and yet, the industry has not adopted a standardized transactional model that can be used by both new and seasoned agents.

Industry Dilemma

Traditionally, young agents have had to “learn the business” through arcane selling philosophies that are decades old. The result today is that these new folks go out the door with impressive hardware gadgets and colorful illustrations, but with a selling and communication platform that is way old. With that, the fresh agent is an easy target for an audience of rejection, confusion and ultimate defeat (equaling high turnover).

So, the rookie goes to more seminars on selling, buys more books on closing and totes the party line of the mother company to survive while using a growingly inverted process.

While that’s happening, the experienced agent is so busy satisfying compliance, rules/regs, continuing ed and designing advance techniques while trying to keep the clientele he/she has worked so hard to acquire, that he can’t be bothered with the bigger picture. And, so it goes.

In all, this is not coming into focus as a win-win proposition for the industry or the individual.

Question: Where is management, and will there be a Rupert Murdock to emerge in this industry?

[Please see POV2…to follow]

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Zillion Dollar Thought

Before 1850, golf balls were made of leather and stuffed with feathers…A zillion dimples later…Professionals are averaging 300+ yards of driving distance. Amazing.