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The Decision Institute – Coach Manny Nowak

Sales and Leadership Development

Great sales people do not necessarily make great sales directors and leaders.

Prior experience or background in an industry does not necessarily make you a great sales leader.

Great sales leaders are leaders first, then sales people.


WOW!  Does that fly in the face of so many hiring managers today?



Ever read the ads for sales leaders.  Most of the skills required have little if anything at all to do with sales leadership.  If you want a sales person then hire a sales person.  But if you want a person to lead your sales process, then hire a leader who knows how to get the best and most out of sales people.  They are not the same skills.


This is also why so many mistakes are made when trying to hire the best person to run your sales process.  To many sales leaders are great sales people, but poor leaders. 


One of my greatest success stories comes from going into an industry I knew almost nothing about.  Hired as the VP of Sales I built a team that took sales up 80% in less than 2 years.  Why?  Because as a leader I built the best team and got them to produce.  It was my job to increase sales though others, not to sell.


Yes, sales leaders should have a sales attitude.  But you all know from following me that I believe everyone in an organization should have a sales attitude. 


So what are the skills a great sales leader should have?  Well here is what I look for when helping others find the best in sales leadership. 


1/        Ability to build relationships with members of your team.  

The problem with most sales people is they are great at building relationships with customers, but terrible at building relationships inside the organization.  Sales leaders have to build great relationships inside, both up and down.


2/        Ability to get Commitment of your team.

Ability to set, communicate and get commitment of the sales people to the expectations the company has.  This is what is expected.  No hidden agenda.  This is what you have to do.  Commit to it now or perhaps this is not for you.


3/        Not accepting excuses as to why things are not getting done.

Instead, what can you do to make it happen?  Don’t come in and tell me it is not happening.  Instead come in and ask for help, come in with some solutions.  Let’s make it happen.


4/        Teaching ability

Number one, you need to teach and develop your team to be super stars.  It is no longer about you but about your team.  As a sales person, it was about you being the star.  Now it is about you making your team the star.


5/        Give the credit and take the blame. 

If it works, they did it.  If it fails, I did it.  The days of getting all the credit are gone.  This is hard for many.


6/        Get out there and work with them. 

Not doing their job, but doing yours.  Leading them and helping them to be great.  Support and kick butt.  Both are needed.  You need to be out there.  When I manage a team, I live on an airplane, in a car and in hotel rooms. That is just the way it is.


7/        Give them a process and plan to follow, and hold them totally accountable. 

Give them a process that if they follow it, they will be successful.  If they don’t follow it (This is the way we use to do it.  You don’t understand! ), then they need to move on.  The process works if you follow it.


Don’t get me wrong.  Some great sales people, just like some great athletes make great leaders.  But leadership is a different skill.  So if you want great sales leaderships, then hire people who are great leaders that can get the maximum out of sales people.


Selling is the most important thing you do- Key 1

Posted by Manny on August 22, 2014
Posted in 12 KeysSelling 

This is the first of the “12 Keys to Building A Successful Small Business That Grows.”


Today we start going through these in more detail.


Are you looking for the keys to the castle?

The way to take your Business to the next level?

The way to create a more successful and growing business?


Then you have to start with selling.


Without customers, where do you think you are going to be able to take your business? 

You have to close some business.


Bottom line, “until you get sales, nothing else is really that import to be working on.”  I want you to forget all the rest until you get this piece rocking.


To many times I hear people talking about getting that nice new office, or furniture, or better business cards, folders, computers, software and on and on.  To many times it is because they think all that is more important than selling. 

Or worse, they fear sales!


Please internalize this today and let it drive your business.  You need to sell.  You need to close business.  You need revenue.  Until you get this piece working, all the rest is irrelevant because without sales, soon you will be gone.  No debate about it.


I know I am very hard on this.  But I have learned from my own businesses and from the clients I help, this is fact.  If you don’t close business you don’t survive – it is that simple.


To start, get a business card, a phone, an idea and lots of drive. 


How do you sell?

Remember that selling is no different than any other task.  You need a process and you need to follow it.  A road map, a simple process that you follow.


This is what most people lack.  They are simple out there trying to do it without a road map. It doesn’t work. 


Start by answering these questions and building a process that you execute every day.


Don’t spend all day with this initially.  Just put simple answers together to these questions and start doing it.  Define it the best you can, get out there and do it, then refine it, change it, fix it and keep on rolling.  You can write a book some day, now, start with a simple page and get out there.


1/        Who is your target market?

2/        What is your main/major product/service and the pricing?

3/        How are you selling it, what method(s) are you using? 

4/        How do you get leads?

5/        What is the “sales process” to move people from suspect to prospect to customer to repeat customer?

6/        What are you goals and how are you going to measure?

7/        How will you get paid and stay motivated?


Simple right?

Start doing it today and stop thinking about it, hesitating and procrastinating.  You can do this.  Get out there and sell.


This is where I start with most of my customers. 

Because sales opens the door to success.









Are you looking for the keys to the castle?

The way to take your Business to the next level?

The way to create a more successful and growing business?


These 12 keys are what I have learned will help you drive success in your business.


This is the process that I have used to help my clients build super companies.  It is a set of rules, technics and tools that I learned from some of the best and most successful business owners out there.  Those who do it so well and so successful.


Most successful businesses I have worked with live by them.


So today I just want to share an overview of them with you.  Then as the months go on, we will share additional insight into each one.


If you have any input or comments on these or others, please share them with me.  I will be putting this all together in a new book to be released either later this year or early 2015.  Maybe when I am done there will be 15 or 20, but for now, these are 12 keys that are critical.  They are in no particular order.


Love them or leave them, but they do work.



1/        Selling is the most important thing you do.

Close some business.

Forget all the rest until you get this piece working.

You don’t need that nice office, those beautiful business cards, or even great systems, you need sales.

If you don’t close business you don’t survive – it is that simple.

All you need to start is a business card, a phone, an idea and lots of drive.


2/        To build great amounts of business, you need marketing.

If you want to build a company that makes money.

Then you have to support your selling with marketing.

You have to generate the leads.

You have to start getting the phone to ring.

You have to get people to take action on the web.


3/        Delegate or die doing everything.

Determine what you are good at and what you are not good at.

Delegate what you don’t to well to someone else.

Get an assistant, a right hand person.

Surround yourself with people who are better, sharper and have greater potential than you do and lead them to success.


4/        Set goals, have a plan and Aim high

If you don’t know where you are going, you will definitely not get there.

If you aim high and you only get ½ way there you will still succeed.

And measure where you have gone.


5/        Get a CRM system and use it

You cannot track, manage or build a successful business without a CRM system.  And you are crazy if you try.

Excel and Outlook are great products, but they are not a CRM system.

Yes, you need it.


6/        Network and build relationships

Most of your business in most small organizations comes from relationships.

If you can’t network – learn.

If you are shy, get over it.

If you don’t have time, make it.


7/        Forget about going back

Stop thinking you can just go back if this fails.

Burn the ships.

There is no going back.

You have to make it work.

Either commit or forget it.


8/        Cash is.

Everything, anything and the only thing.

If you don’t have it, you are done.

Double the estimate you think you need

Double the expenses you think you will have

Cut the revenue projection in half

You have to have cash, which means you have to be making money.

No profit, no cash, no business – remember it and live it.


9/        Time if the only thing more critical to manage than cash.

Be proactive and not reactive

No one else controls you time.

You can create great things if you get this one under control.

Otherwise you will be working 16 hours a day and going crazy.


10/     Get some advisors and listen to them.

Get a coach.

Get a number of mentors.

Get a board of advisors.

And listen to them.

Spend time, money and energy on self-development.

No one can do it himself or herself.


11/     Lead The Way

Walk the walk.

Be tough when you have to be.

Be firm when you need to be.

Be fair, always.

Make decisions, now.


12/     Share the wealth

The greatest success comes to those who share

A little of a lot is more than a lot of a little, I don’t know who said it.

But wow is it ever true.

Share because you didn’t do it yourself.



There you have it, now go do it.

Plan, Do and Review

Posted by Manny on August 8, 2014
Posted in Time Management  | Tagged With: , , , , , , , ,

Are you struggling with time?

Does time seem to get the best of you?

At the end of the day, do you feel you have accomplished a great deal?  Made the best use of your time?


Today I want to talk about an old philosophy that simply applied to your daily life, will help you achieve tremendous results.


Plan what you are going to do today.

Then do it.

Then at the end of the day – review it and plan tomorrow.

Plan Do Review 

Sounds way to simple to work you might say.

But think about it.


If you did every day, what you planned to do, what would happen?

If you did every week what you planned to do – how would it change your life?

If you did every month, year and decade what you planned to do, how amazing would it be?


I hear you – “well Manny, life doesn’t work that way.”

Not completely, I agree, but even at 50% success, it can totally change your life.


This week, every day, just simple put this into practice and then see if it makes a difference.  It might take a few weeks (to be honest) to make it part of your regular process, but I can guarantee you, if you do apply it, you will have great success.  Don’t get discouraged, just keep doing it daily.



1/       Plan your tomorrow.

At the end of the day, determine what you are going to do tomorrow.

A good technic is to ask yourself this question,  “what do I want to accomplish tomorrow?”


Then create a list of those things.

Prioritize them.

Put a time to each of them.

Schedule them.


What you have now is a schedule for tomorrow.

Many of you might already do this; it is the next two steps that kill most of us.



2/       Do it.

Now based on the above, when tomorrow gets here, you know what you are going to do and when.

Now you just simply have to execute it and track it.

This is critical.

Track what you actually do.

Yes, interruptions occur, but if that is the norm, then they should be part of your plan.


At the end of the day, what you have is a list of what you planned to do and what you actually did.



3/       Review it.

Let me emphasize this step, as being the most critical, and the one most of us don’t do.

It is kind of like most of us don’t want to review where we spent our money.


But without this step, it will not work – so do it.


Go through the plan and actual and compare them.

Understand what happened, what didn’t happen and why.

Get a feel for what you can do and cannot do to correct the problems and issues.

Learn from today, apply to tomorrow.


What you have now is a lessons learned.


Now, go back to step one and plan tomorrow using the knowledge from today.


Simple isn’t it.

Now go and do it.


Want more on time management?

Check out the video and free webinar – click here:

Why do we have so many broken machines unable to make decisions in a timely and effective manner?

What do we have to do in order to get today’s leaders to pull the trigger?
To stop hesitating, procrastinating and spending to much time keep thinking about it?

We are not talking about making quick, irrational decisions.
We are simply taking about making decisions that move you forward.

I was trained by one of the best and he had a simple formula.
“Make a decision will you please.”

He understood one of the great keys:
If you make the wrong decision – you can just make another one to correct it.
You will still be light years ahead of the rest of the people who are still thinking about it.

Beside, you have to understand that it is easier to ask forgiveness than for permission. Make the decision.

So if you fall into any of the above – make a decision today to start working on getting better at making decisions.

How many of you are hesitating right now on a decision?

Make the decision.
Then read the rest of the article.

Sometimes we don’t have all the information we would like to have. We would love to wait, but we have to make the decision based on what we have right now. Yet too many times, leaders still wait and that causes other issues.

As a leader, you just have to pull the trigger sometimes based on what you know.

Let me share 3 quick tips related to the decision defining moment.

1/ Look beneath the superficial
Dig a little deeper, try to understand a bit more.
But always understand, you are never going to know it all.

Dig as deep as you can, but give yourself a time limit.
“I am going to spend the morning looking at some added facts and then I will make the decision on which way to go by noon.”

2/ Be willing to trade creature comforts for a higher purpose.
It is very uncomfortable making decisions at times.
It puts you in a tough spot.
People are looking to you to do it.
But that is why you are the leader.
If you don’t want to make the decision, then perhaps you are not the leader.
Leadership is uncomfortable.

Stop spending so much time making excuses for the decisions to everyone. Trying to justify them. You make the decision and then you move to your next process. You are the leader because people want you to make the decisions. Now make the decision and move on.

3/ Choose the right models.
As a stated, I learned from the best.
He gave me a model to follow.
Great leaders teach and train great leaders.
Decision-making is the number one skill you must demonstrate to be a great leader.
Find a leader to model and learn from them.
But remember, you still have to make the decision.

Find someone who you respect when it comes to making decisions. Learn from them. Don’t become them, be your own leader, but learn to make decisions from people who are doing it well.


You have to become an effective decision-making machine if you want to become a great leader.

We have enough broken machines.
Get out there and do it.

Why do you think we call our website: The Decision Institute?
We are here to help you be the best at making decisions.
In becoming a decision making machine.