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Grammar 101 Reminders & Thoughts For The Week

Posted on May 26, 2015 under Thoughts for the Week.

Image result for words with pictures about grammarImage result for words with pictures about grammar

Before you try to ‘dazzle’ your friends with your mastery of the English language, spend a little time with the article below; have a great week.

Craig J. McConnell
Retired Guru of Personal & Corporate Change
PrintGrowPro/SalesGrowPro, Inc.

“Making Sales People Memorable”

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This Is Not National Bar-B-Que Weekend!!

Posted on May 21, 2015 under Memorial Day Weekend.

Now that I am retired  (this is Day 51 if anyone is keeping track), I ’retreat’ to my blog to make sure that my brain does not prematurely and permanently  ’rust’.    Today I am writing for me,  so you may want to hit delete before it is too late.

After a long battle with Alzheimer’s, I lost my Dad on January 21, 2012. 

He is certainly in my thoughts often;  not surprisingly like all of you I am sure, I miss him most on his birthday, Father’s Day, and the Holidays.   But because my Dad was a WWII vet, two days that are also fairly poignant for me are  VE Day and Memorial Day.  I have a lot of ‘woulda, shoulda, couldas’ hit me on these days  because I know so little about his experience in Europe during the war. 

My Dad embarked out of NYC on October 22, 1944; he was 20 years old;  he landed in Swansea, Wales, on November 2; was transferred to Le Havre, France, on December 14 and marched into Belgium on December 22.

He went into combat near Rochefort, Belgium with the 2nd Armored Division on Christmas Day, 1944.  According to some hand written notes I found, he “moved to Manay & Gran Manile (December 29), crossed the Salm River at Gran Helleaux (January 15),  and arrived in Alsace-Lorraine on January 22, 1945″.  He was wounded on February 1, 1945, so his intimate affair with the Battle of the Bulge ended pretty quickly; but he was one of the lucky ones – he made it home – almost 20,000 American GIs did not.

My only exposure to war is being a college deferred protestor during Viet Nam, so I  could never speak of the ‘horrors of war’; but I have got to believe that my Dad’s exposure to combat impacted who he was when he returned and who he became as a husband, a father, a brother, a son, and a grandfather  – but I’ll never know.  My Dad was a very private person and efforts to learn more about what he experienced in Belgium that month always went no where (even when adult beverages were involved); so sadly, I will always be left on my own when it comes to that part of my Dad’s life.  The only thing I know for sure is that in all the roles I mentioned earlier, he always did the best he could with what he had.

 Since it’s creation after the Civil War,  the over riding theme (begrudgingly at first) of Memorial Day (formerly Decoration Day) has always been reconciliation; it’s about Americans of all colors and creeds coming together to honor  those who gave their all; so maybe, for just one day, we can try to do just that – come together. 

On the eve of Memorial Day Weekend 2015, I salute my Dad and the millions of other veterans who never needed a motivational poster from Successories.

Just saying ‘thank you’ seems grossly inadequate, but, to all our veterans and their families:  THANKS!






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My Retirement Ramblings (cont.); The Seven Day Mental Diet & Thoughts For The Week

Posted on May 18, 2015 under Retirement 101, Thoughts for the Week.


Never forget, we talk to ourselves all the time ( 60,000+thoughts per day). 

Only through relentless, repetitive positive self talk can we change our approach to the world (and our own self image); that is much easier said, than done.  Step one is ratcheting up your sense of awareness and constantly “listening” to yourself and becoming cognizant of how much negativity exists between your ears (and comes out of your mouth) daily.  The reminder for all of us is that we choose the conditions of our life when we chose the thoughts upon which you allow our mind to dwell. 

It’s okay to change your mind; it’s essential to change your mind.  If we can figure out how our minds work, the rest becomes ‘easy’ (I am working at it daily; some days with success, others not so much).

Bottom line (and I learned this from the late Lou Tice):  unless we consistently and constantly change the way we think (positive self talk has to become a habit), we will continue to live our lives the way we always have.  This may be okay for many, but if you want more, you’ve got to change the way you think.

It is day 48 of retirement (#2) and no one is waiting to hear from me, no one is sending me emails, no one is  looking to me for direction; it has become abundantly clear that replacing the constant feeling of solving problems (and adding value) may be tougher than I thought and as someone very smart once said –  ‘if it’s going to be, it’s up to me.’  So here’s my plan:  for the next 7 days, I am going on the Emmet Fox ‘SEVEN DAY MENTAL DIET’.   I learned about this concept years ago (from listening to a Tony Robbins tape), but never felt compelled to act upon it.   So in keeping with my goal of insuring that my retirement “career” does not become one of planned procrastination or missed opportunities, there is no time like the present.

I plan to journal daily and next week will share with you how many ‘negative mental pounds’ I lost on Mr. Fox’ program.

Be memorable!!!!

irismakesgraves:</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>(via imgTumble)<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
t-ranquillity:</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>click here for boho ❂<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
coryjohnny:</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>April 26, 2010 by Parker Fitzgerald on Flickr.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />

Craig McConnell, President


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My Retirement Ramblings (cont.); Sales Managment 101; Thought For The Week

Day 44

Sunday night (actually 12:05AM Monday) I got a solid reminder about what is really important – welcomed a healthy 7 pound 11 ounce ‘baby woman’  into the family – feeling very lucky, very blessed!

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Sales Management 101: Retaining & Motivating Your Sales ‘Stars’

Retaining & Motivating Your Top Sales People -  Is there a secret? Not really  -  my thoughts are below:

It’s far from ‘brain surgery’ or ‘rocket science’ and it really isn’t a ‘secret’:  If you get the right people in the right places doing the right things, your sales results can be amazing.

But how do you find and keep the ‘right’ sales superstars?

And more importantly, how do you guide the ‘right’ superstars toward success at your company?

For starters you have to hire smarter.  The era of ‘hire and hope’ is gone and (as I jump back on my ‘importance of testing soap box’ again) every sales organization needs to know exactly what the success profile for their top producers looks like.  As a part of the interview process, you need to evaluate what drives and motivates a candidate and then compare their behavioral assessment to those of the top performers (success profiles) on your team.  An analysis of the behavioral assessment should not be the only determinate, but if a candidate’s levels of assertiveness, imagination, social need, competitiveness, and sensitivity (as determined by the assessment) don’t compare favorably with your top producers, you should probably move on to your next candidate.

In most cases, top sales people are pretty well compensated (or they should be).  But are they looking for more than a paycheck? Absolutely!

They are looking to be managed!

They want a clearly defined career path meaning that, like their non-sales brethren, they are entitled to quarterly performance reviews that are based upon more than whether or not they made their numbers.

Like professional athletes, they want ongoing coaching and will continually want to be exposed to new ways to learn and to grow.  If you don’t have a sales manager who is willing and able to coach, mentor and motivate,  the sales superstars will always be looking elsewhere.

Sales : 3D Sales Revenue Crossword on white background Stock PhotoSales : Three man team of sales people stand in front of a business profit growth success chartSales : simple business chart

What are some other things you have to do to keep your superstars?

1)     Give them autonomy

Top sales people want and expect a degree of freedom. Your most successful sales people are going to be self starters; let ‘em run.

2)     Give them recognition

Although they will seldom admit it, most top sales people thrive on recognition; give it privately and publicly.

3)     Reward them

In sales, “What gets measured gets done.” And ‘You get your reward.”  Be creative when considering special perks for your top producers.

Sales : sales trend Stock PhotoSales : Disabled businessman smiling in office Stock PhotoSales : teamworks to make success in business Stock Photo


4)   Give them negotiating authority

And customers prefer working with sales people who have the authority to make decisions on the spot.

5)     Give them cutting edge sales technology

Top sales people recognize that selling is an art and a science; give them the sales aids they need: PDAs, contact management software, etc.

6)   They need to have pride in the company

Top sales people want to work for and be part of a winning team; success in sales is tied to believing in the company, manage accordingly.

7)   Hold them accountable

Top performing salespeople expect to be held accountable. Make sure you set clear standards and expectations.

8)    Listen to them

Many top salespeople leave their jobs because they feel they are not listened to. Become an active listener; solicit their opinions.

9)    Treat them with respect

Top salespeople work smarter and harder than average producers. Treat them well and when dealing with your sales team remember: Everyone needs to be treated fairly, not necessarily the same.

10)               Make sure they know you appreciate their efforts

Periodically, send your top producers a handwritten thank you note (to their home where the spouse or significant other will also see it) letting them know how much you appreciate their efforts (an email will work also, but will not be as impactful).  Don’t be afraid to consistently verbalize how much you appreciate their hard work.

Sales : Confident businesswoman giving a presentationSales : Men shaking hands as a sign of friendship and agreementSales : High resolution graphic of hands holding the word success.Sales : handshake isolated on white background

Here’s a perfect example of what I’m talking about.

One of my clients, recently changed jobs.  She received an unsolicited call from a head hunter (don’t fool yourself, your top people receive the same kind of calls weekly) and without compromising her existing commitment to her current employer, went through an extensive interview process, and ultimately received a solid offer.

When she notified her currently employer of her intention to leave, guess what they did?    They fell all over themselves (for the first time), telling her how important she was to their long term objectives; she was personally contacted by every top executive in the firm (for the first time);   she was publicly and privately praised for her contributions and efforts on their behalf (for the first time);  they committed to giving her additional support staff to help manage her existing business;  and they matched the competitive offer (actually ‘sweetened’ it a little with a ‘stay’  bonus).

But you know what?  It was too little, too late; she was already on her way ‘out the door’.

The bottom line:  Your top producers know they’re top producers and will do whatever it takes to stay that way.  They expect opportunities to develop their sales skills and will demand smart coaching, strong guidance, and solid mentoring.  They are lifelong learners and will always prioritize perpetual improvement.  Career development will always be a top priority for them and they will demand a defined training curriculum.  The question is:

Are you prepared to provide it?


Thought for the Week

Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed………………………….Every morning a lion wakes up. It knows that it must run faster than the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death.

It doesn’t matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle…………………………..When the sun comes up, you better be running.

 Make it a great week!


Craig J. McConnell
PrintGrowPro/SalesGrowPro, Inc.

“Making Sales People Memorable”

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My Retirement Ramblings (cont.); Sales 101; TFTW: Photos Of The Week

Posted on May 5, 2015 under Retirement 101, Sales 101, Thoughts for the Week.

Day 34 and Counting

Probably not an epiphany for a lot of you, but now that I’m ‘there’, I realize that this thing that I am calling ‘my retirement’ is not going to come  with a ticket that automatically guarantees me 20, 30, or 40 years of joy and happiness and the ability to do whatever I want, whenever I want.  I can see already that the future is going to be fluid and will probably change moment to moment; for that reason, my goal and my priority is to eliminate excuses and maximize the opportunities I have today (or am presented with tomorrow).   The longer any of us put off striving toward goals, the more distant they seem and the more difficult they are to accomplish.  Therefore, if you haven’t already done so, put pen to paper today.  So, whether it’s the second (or third) language, the Grand Canyon hike, the book (mine is called  It’s All About TRUST) ,  never stop learning and start creating your no-regrets retirement plan now.

Speaking of learning, BJ and I took a day trip to the Ringling Museum in Sarasota last week – fascinating!  What a business model those guys created; more to follow next week.


Sales 101: Don’t Worry, Be Happy! And Sell More!

Have you ever stopped to consider what really makes you happy? Happiness must be pretty important because everyone from Socrates to our Founding Fathers to Bobby McFerrin felt we had the right to pursue it.

I’d be willing to venture a guess that  very few of us have ever really given the happiness question very much thought.

We all want it, but we don’t take the time to ask ourselves what it really looks like.


If you relax and close your eyes and think about your favorite things, I would be very surprised if you were able to keep a big smile from materializing out of thin air.

For your consideration:

Happy (Sales) People = Smiling (Sales) People = Friendly (Sales) People = People Who Sell More

And here is the point I really want to drive home: It is the sales person’s responsibility (along with senior management) to set the tone for the entire company. No one, other than sales, can lighten the mood, make things fun and bring positive stress free energy into the building. No one, other than sales, can provide the aura of emotional consistency that is so important to a company’s overall level of friendliness and commitment to customer satisfaction.


So beginning immediately, do something everyday that will raise those endorphin levels; be more aware of what makes you happy; and share that feeling with others.

Want to sell more? Be happy! Be friendly! Smile more! Lighten up! Don’t take yourself so seriously.

So, commit the rest of the week to positive self talk , be thankful, stop worrying, count your blessings, celebrate the successes of others, give more than you get,  compliment others, believe in yourself,  and pay it forward.



Thoughts For The Week

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Photos For The Week

Nagasaki , 20 minutes after the atomic bombing in 1945

The 1912 World Series

The first photo following the discovery of Machu Pichu in 1912.

Albert Einstein’s office photographed on the day of his death

Brighton Swimming Club in 1863

Ferdinand Porsche (yeah, that Porsche) showing a model of the Volkswagen Beetle to Adolph Hitler in 1935

Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Warren G. Harding (29th president of USA ), and Harvey Samuel Firestone talking together.


Craig J. McConnell
PrintGrowPro/SalesGrowPro, Inc.

“Making Sales People Memorable”

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