Dave Mitchell

the Leadership Difference 



Laugh and Learn!

December 2013

Happy Holidays and Big News from the Leadership Difference!


It's been an amazing year.  In addition to speaking all over the world in 2013, Dave signed a book deal with Wiley Publishing and the book The Power of Understanding People was selected an Editor's Choice for Best Business Book by Amazon plus Meeting Professionals International named Dave the Meeting Madness winner at the World Education Congress in Las Vegas.

Tis the Season for (Conflict) Resolutions

Few people are comfortable resolving conflicts with others and even fewer still are actually good at it.  Consider this; the behavior of other people is the most stressful element of our lives.  When you consider that stress is the source of many diseases, illnesses and aging - well, a case can be made that learning to effectively resolve conflict can have a very positive impact on the quality of our lives.  Plus, you can save on botox!


Here are tips for successfully resolving conflict in 2014:  

  1. If you understand the person, you can predict what creates conflict!  Using a broad model of human interaction there are four styles of people.  Romantics experience conflict when the harmony around them is disrupted.  Warriors hate to be "managed."  Experts become unsettled when their environment is inconsistent or unreliable.  Masterminds' arch enemy is boredom.  By knowing yourself and others, you can make a preemptive strike against conflict by not placing someone in a stressful situation.
  2. Conflict resolution is about arriving at a broader and deeper understanding of another person's thought process.  It is NOT about winning an argument.  Listen to the other person's perspective and you will likely discover that there is room for both of your points of view.  If you try to win, you will lose.
  3. An apology is to conflict resolution as water is to fire.  Don't be afraid to apologize even if you don't understand why the conflict exists.  By saying, "I am sorry that I upset you," you remove the biggest obstacle to conflict resolution:  who will take responsibility for the situation.
  4.  Learning and using a simple model for conflict resolution ensures that you can become better at it over time.  When you learn a new skill, repetition of the technique is essential to refining your ability.  The same is true about conflict resolution.  One simple approach is the LAST model.  Listen, Apologize, Solve and Thank.
  5.  If someone approaches you because they are upset about something you said or did, try not to become defensive.  In fact, try to express gratitude.  When someone attempts to resolve conflict with us they have done us a favor.  The much more common scenario is that the person tells everyone BUT you when they are upset.  That's why thanking people at the end of a successful conflict resolution process is so important.
For more on conflict resolution, selling skills and effective leadership, check out Dave Mitchell's new book, The Power of Understanding People.

Why Consultative Selling is like Framing a Painting

Fundamentally exceptional consultative selling requires that the sales professional disappear within the process.  When a customer is looking for a product or service, the sales professional must serve as the matchmaker between what the client needs and what is available to them.  The biggest conceit of a sales person is when they believe they are more important than either the client's needs or the product/services' capabilities.  The real value that a true, consultative sales professional brings to the dynamic is the ability to understand both, match them effectively and frame the latter correctly.

A work of art can be breathtakingly beautiful, but in the wrong frame it doesn't fit with the taste of the consumer.  Change the frame and the art resonates.  Consultative selling works the same way.  The right products or services can fail to excite a customer if the sales professional fails to provide the correct context.  Here are four different types of consumers and the types of "frames" they prefer:

  1. The Romantic consumer enjoys appreciation and harmony.  They are far more likely to buy products or services that enhance the lives of their loved ones and will create positive emotional experiences.
  2. The Warrior consumer wants results.  They like products and services that offer value and increase efficiency.  They also respond to status and luxury and are willing to spend a little more for high end brands.  Just be prepared to negotiate!
  3. The Expert responds most to reliability, safety and a reputation based on quality.  Providing credible information and accurately answering their detailed questions is key to a successful outcome.
  4. The Mastermind likes new and different.  They are trend setters, early adopters and alpha consumers.  Appealing to their desire for something cool and unusual and customizing the experience to their needs will make them giddy.

While it may sound easy, adjusting your sales "framing" requires to very important skills.  First, you need to be aware of your own style.  Your tendency will be to sell in this manner rather than in the way your client prefers.  Second, you must become familiar with the behavioral cues that each of the four consumer styles display that indicate their style.  You can learn both and more in the new book, The Power of Understanding People, by Dave Mitchell.




Thank You!


We had a remarkable 2013 at the Leadership Difference. 


 We presented at more than 100 events all over the United States and Europe involving nearly 10,000 people sharing thoughts on leadership, selling, customer service and personal performance enhancement.  


Thank you to all our wonderful clients who made our year so special and we look forward to seeing all of you (and some new friends) in 2014.





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