Thank God It's Monday®! Blog

Confusion to Conviction:  Creating the Mind that Buys…


You’re watching the Super Bowl when one of those unforgettable commercials comes on.  You grab your sides with laughter.  How do they come up with these things?

The next day everybody at work is talking about that great ad for…

What the heck WAS the product?

We’ve all seen those ads—so much wall-to-wall cleverness and funny characters that there’s no room in your head to notice and remember what should be the one thing that 10 million bucks was supposed to achieve:  the purchase of the product.

The same thing applies to the sales process.  Who hasn’t seen a salesperson, fresh from a seminar on cross-selling, suddenly spread a dozen different account options like a Japanese fan in front of a poor customer, whose expression falls into a blank and frightened stare?

A confused mind never buys.  Tattoo that axiom on your brain.  Choice is a lovely thing, but give people too many options, shared with unclear thinking, causes a client to make no choice at all.

Barry Schwartz drives this point home in The Paradox of Choice—Why More is Less. More couples decide to date again in speed dating events with six options than with twelve.  More customers buy jam from a street market vendor with four choices than from a similar stall with eight choices.

Even if a customer does manage to make a choice, they are likely to be less happy about the one they selected because they know about the advantages they turned down in the other options.  People who were offered a plane ticket to Las Vegas valued the gift more highly when it was offered in isolation than when it was offered with several choices.

You confuse ’em, you lose ’em.  So, keep it simple.

Use fourth-grade language. Make your suggestions in chunks. For example, “I’m going to recommend three steps. The first step is to better align your deposits by setting up a Financial Freedom savings account, another for your 2nd home, and another for a college-savings account for your son. We’ll set up an automatic sweep as money comes into your account to each of these savings accounts. Then, your second step is to set up your loan structure, I’m going to recommend…”

Bring everything into a few small chunks and explain it in a way that makes it easy for your client to understand and to buy.

Remember, a confused mind never buys.

Your ability to help people requires you to demonstrate clear thinking so you can articulate the best options with the least number of steps and words.

This will make purchasing your product or service easy for the client and will create a mind more ready to buy.

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Clean Up Your Messes…


You’re human. Can we assume that? If so, you’ll always make mistakes. You can count on that.

You’ll miss deadlines. You’ll disappoint people by not meeting their expectations and failing to live up to your commitments.

If there are people who evolved beyond their ability to display complete integrity at every waking moment, I haven’t yet met one.

Knowing that, it is critical to sustaining great relationships that you possess the ability to clean up your messes as you make them.

Ron, a marketing specialist, missed deadline after deadline. Suddenly, his entire team felt that he had let them down. They began to work around him whenever they could.

Sharon, a loan processor, repeatedly made mistakes in the loan documents she handled. Nobody ever closed a loan without having to spend extra and wasteful time checking her work. Sharon couldn’t figure out why she wasn’t getting promoted or earning bonuses like the others. After all, she had been at the company longer than most of the others.

Tim, a teenager, told his mom that as a contribution to the family, he would weed the flower garden every week during the summer. But more often than not, he skipped a week. Soon, dandelions outnumbered daffodils.

All of these flaws, taken from the viewpoints of Ron, Sharon, and Tim, aren’t very big. Heck, they did many other tasks quite well.

What each of them missed is this: they consistently defied the trust of the people around them. But relationships are built on trust. Without that foundation of trust, there is no basis for a relationship.

What each of them didn’t understand is that they breached the trust each time they didn’t do what they said they would do. And, of course, they never bothered to come back and clean up the mess.

A cleanup has two parts—acknowledge that the results are not OK, and understand that there must be a commitment to take corrective action.

So, when Ron missed a deadline, he owed it to his team to go to them and say, “I blew it. I missed that deadline. There’s no excuse. It shouldn’t have happened. I’m putting a tickler system in place to remind myself earlier in the process so it won’t happen again.”

Sharon should say to her boss, “I can see that I made mistakes in this document, and I know that’s not acceptable. I will put a reminder at my desk to checklist each document before I submit it to make sure each of these is accurate. I want you to be able to trust me.”

Tim can mend his problem with his parents by saying, “I blew it. I know we had a deal, and I didn’t follow through. That’s not okay with me either because I want you to know you can always trust me. I’m going to set a deadline that I will make sure the garden is weeded by each Saturday afternoon. I won’t miss that deadline again.”

People will always make mistakes. But others will forgive us if we simply come clean and show we understand that we did not demonstrate integrity in our actions and that we care enough to fix the situation.

When we don’t, not only do others lose faith in us, we lose faith in ourselves.

In the end, every agreement that isn’t properly followed through ultimately weakens our own self-esteem. Our self-esteem tumbles into a downward spiral which, once begun, leads to more unkept promises and an even lower sense of self-worth.

What you don’t want is to be an “apologetic liar”—someone who says, “I’m sorry” but then repeats the same outcome. The words, “I’m sorry” are often empty and meaningless for many people.  

Alternatively, a short message of “I blew it, and it isn’t okay. Here’s what I’ll do to correct it” is all people need to hear to restore their faith in us and to have us restore faith in ourselves.

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Be the Miracle…


There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other as though everything is a miracle.

—Albert Einstein

The invention of the television—a miracle.  Man walking on the moon—a miracle. Instantaneous across-the-world-video communication—a miracle.

As every one of these ideas was pondered, there were many who said, “That can’t be done.” And yet each one happened.  And remember that each day, thousands of other miracles happen. Wonderful stuff. Amazing stuff. Stuff that often doesn’t make the daily news feeds … but they are miracles nonetheless.

Whether it’s putting a man on the moon, meeting an “impossible” deadline, or exceeding a stretch sales goal against all odds, we thrive when we commit to create our own miracles. Working toward our own miracles stretches us in every way to be more than we have been in the past. And to pull it off, we can never shrink back to our limited thinking and execution again.

We now own a higher level of power.

What if you lived as if it was your responsibility to create miracles?

Besides, who wants to go to work and shoot for … mediocrity?

“I’ll meet you in the middle.”  “Let’s reach for the middle.”  “It’s lonely at the middle.”  None of those even sound good.

There is a gnawing in our souls to be a part of something great.  Great philosophers write about the desire to be great.

We are all called to make an impact.  To shake things up. To make the world a better place because we lived.

And then the rational mind interferes. You can find 100 people who will tell you something is impossible for every one who thinks it can be done. 

And those 100 are absolutely right, as far as their own horizons are concerned, because, at their level of understanding of how life works, it is impossible. 

Possibility thinking is available to all of us. But it’s only used by a few.  The ego preserves a feeling of safety by refusing to stretch our understanding of what is possible. But safety is an illusion. From our health to our money to our relationships, everything can change in an instant, no matter how safe it feels right now. History books are filled with examples.

So, let’s get over the illusion of safety. It’s not real. If you think it is, you’re diagonally parked in a parallel universe. 

The only thing that is real is that you are here, in this time and place, and you have this moment to dream big and live life to the max. 

So, why not dream about miracles?  Decide to create them. Plan on making them happen. Don’t contaminate your energy or your dream by listening to those who will tell you it can’t be done.  They haven’t yet learned this secret—that miracles are given to those who choose them.

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Unreasonable request…


“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”

—George Bernard Shaw

Pay off the mortgage on your house within five years. Unreasonable.

Appear on the Today Show to promote your latest project. Unreasonable.

Get your cranky family members to promise to play nice with one another during the holidays. Are you for real?

What do you call unreasonable?

The problem is that most of us live “reasonable” lives. We look at what we CAN do and use that as a guide to what we WILL do. We shoot wildly to attain mediocrity.

But a life worth living is about setting unreasonable goals, doing unreasonable things to make them happen, and making unreasonable requests of people every day to stretch them to their undiscovered greatness.

Now there’s nothing wrong with reasonable … it’s just that it’s so … predictable. Plain. Average. Blah. When it comes time to lay back on your deathbed, what are you going to look back at? You retired with an adequate 401K? OK. Big deal.

Why should you settle for mediocrity? Why deprive the people around you of the ability and opportunity to be better than they think they are?

“Reasonable” thinking is a poor foundation for your future. It doesn’t bring out the best of who you are. If you want to enliven your teammates, your kids, your friends, here’s a surefire way to do it: make unreasonable requests of them. 

When a person comes face-to-face with and meets an unreasonable request, sometimes they react with fire in their belly.  Sometimes their life is altered forever. Sometimes they take the power and know that life can be all about facing a series of impossibilities that they will work to make possible. They develop a “bring it on” attitude to most everything.

And once you leap over tall buildings with a single bound, you know you can do it again. And again.
The normal and mundane is altered forever.

Ernest Shackleton, an explorer best known for his Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, also remembered as the Endurance Expedition of 1914-1916, was a most unreasonable man.

When his prolonged recruiting process attempted without success to find people to sign on, he put this unreasonable request in an ad:

Men Wanted: For hazardous journey. Small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful. Honor and recognition in case of success.

—Sir Ernest Shackleton

Okay then. Who else wants to sign up for minimal pay with little chance of return accompanied with the probability of freezing to death? But the ad worked. More than 5,000 applicants applied for 50 available openings!

Why? Maybe because deep inside, we all want to be a part of something grand.

Reasonable goals are based on what’s been done before. But if it has been done before, how significant can doing it again be?

Most organizations set their goals based on what is reasonable: “If we grew eight percent last year, then we probably couldn’t do more than 10 percent. And if there is a recession, then… ”

That dog won’t hunt. If you choose to double profits in a few years, then you must do what is necessary to make that happen.

It inspires people to play a big game.

Over the years, I’ve seen over 70% of our clients double their profits—unheard of in the banking industry.

But this outcome is predictable when people sign up for a big game AND do what is necessary following a system that works.

So, what game do you choose to play?

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Don’t buy into the “ain’t it awful” story…


Everything you hear could be true. Your competition is desperate and poaching your clients, there’s no end in sight to inflation, and turnover could be high.

These, and other measurements, are feedback that an organization isn’t doing what it should be doing to overcome the “events” from the economy or competitors.

For many, this information is the confirmation that the sky is falling and they’re hoarding hard hats. The problem is that it’s hard to restart the engines and fly when you’re dragging extra hardhats.

Understand that even during the darkest times, many organizations do well, and you intend to be one of those.

You’ll need to shift out of a doomsday story and into one of possibilities. When people say, “We can’t because,” the broken record response needs to be, “Well, how CAN we?” With enough repetition, people will soon come to understand that results can be achieved no matter what the circumstances.

Fortunes are made during challenging times.

Preeminent companies that out service, outsell, out differentiate, and out execute adding extreme values to customers pull ahead and thrive during down markets and challenging time.

Decide that recessions and limitations are for the other guys. It is your response to challenging times that will determine your destiny. This IS your time.

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