Adjuvant – You Are the Star of the Show

At Griffin Hill we believe….

You are the star of the show.

You belong front and center.

The spotlight is on you and all the world is watching—your customers, your team, your suspects and prospects

Griffin Hill’s role is that of bit player. Our job is to help you to shine, to make you look brilliant. We are the adjuvant—

Adjuvant….

Unless you are a farmer or a chemist you have probably never heard of it.

An adjuvant is an agent that enhances the native properties of a given substance.

It makes water wetter.

When we say it makes water wetter, we really mean that an adjuvant enhances the absorption properties of water.

You often hear people use the farming analogy of getting the water to the end of the row.

That isn’t the farmer’s objective at all—simply moving water from one place to another does the plant little good.

The real objective is to get the roots of the plant to absorb the water and take it up into the plant so that every cell is nourished.

Simply getting the water to the end of the row doesn’t mean the plant was properly nourished. In fact, on some terrain, it is important to slow the water down—keep it from getting to the end of the row too quickly so that it has time to soak into the soil, reach the roots and nourish the plant.

That is the lesson my grandfather taught me on an all-night water turn. I was finally old enough for the great adventure of overseeing the irrigation of the crops and fields on my grandfather’s farm. The section I was to care for was a sloping field above the house and farmyard. As he gave me instructions for my through-the-night vigil, my grandfather emphasized the importance of not letting the water move too fast. If it did the water would move across the surface of the ground, without absorbing into the soil. The result would be a flooded farmyard that would leave a muddy, mucky mess while leaving the alfalfa field un-nourished. The repeated instruction was, “don’t let the water get away from you.” I assured him with youthful, inexperienced confidence. I would protect the farmyard and water the field.

I was doing just fine until around midnight when I realized the water was moving too fast. I was at risk of losing control. The water was, in fact, getting away from me.

I began working my shovel as hard and fast as I could. I created earthen dams to stop the water from going where I did not want it to go. I worked furiously to plug holes and to slow the water flow.

It was a losing battle. While I was working as fast as I knew how, there came out of the dark the calm voice of my grandfather. “Scott, what are you doing?” My exasperated reply, “I’m trying to keep the water from getting away from me.”

“Let me see your shovel.” And with a few, seemingly effortless cuts in the soil, my grandfather channeled the water in the direction he wanted it to go.

Crisis averted. The field was watered. The plants were nurtured. The farmyard was spared.

It’s not just about getting the water to the end of the row. It’s about getting the roots to take-up the moisture so that the plant is nourished. That is what an adjuvant added to the water helps to accomplish. It helps the plant to absorb the water so that the real objective can be realized.

That is what Griffin Hill does. We enhance your native properties. We help you to do what you do best. We use performance enhancing methods, tools and technologies to elevate performance.

Griffin Hill is the adjuvant. You are the star. We are the bit players that help you to shine. With Griffin Hill on your team you will be even more brilliant!

Crowdsourcing

Everything we know about crowdsourcing has its roots in concepts originated by Sir Francis Galton (1822-1911). Galton was a noted scientist, mathematician and statistician. He fundamentally shaped how we view and use statistics today. He is credited with the statistical concepts of median (the middle number in a given sequence of numbers), and standard deviation (deviations from the arithmetic mean).

In 1906, Galton attended a farmer’s fair and cattle show. His interest was piqued by a weight guessing contest. Around 800 people made guesses about the butchered and dressed weight of an ox that was available to the view of all fair-goers. After the contest was over, Galton obtained the tickets upon which each entrant recorded his or her guess. After weeding out a few cards because they were defective or ineligible, Galton had 787 guesses for his research.

Consistent with his concept of the median, Galton organized the guesses in order from highest to lowest. The middlemost number (the median) was a guess of 1208* lbs. The actual dressed weight of the ox was 1197* lbs. Galton was astonished that the middlemost guess was only .8% high compared to the actual. Even more amazing is that the mean or average of all guesses was spot on at 1197* lbs.

With his simple research project in 1906, Sir Francis Galton discovered the principle that came to be known as “the wisdom of the crowd.” The wisdom of the crowd is what crowdsourcing is all about. Getting feedback, input and ideas from large numbers of people can help us discover remarkable insight and reach the best conclusions.

*In Galton’s original published article about this event he recorded the “middlemost number” as 1207 lbs and the actual dressed weight as 1198 lbs. This number was reported by James Surowiecki in his book The Wisdom of Crowds, 2004. Using these numbers the mean was only 1 lb. off the actual dressed weight of 1197 lbs. A recent review of the archived data revealed a transcription error. The actual median guess was 1208 lbs and the actual dressed weight was 1197 lbs., exactly the same as the mean of all guesses!

Exciting News for the Griffin Hill Sales System!

You’re familiar with Griffin Hill’s Sales System, but soon you will be able to experience it like never before. Griffin Hill has partnered with eLearning Brothers, an awesome company that produces eLearning Templates, custom eLearning courses, and more recently customizable eLearning courses that you can tailor to your business’ needs.

We have been working with eLearning Brothers to create a customizable online course for our Sales System–one that you will be able to implement and customize according to your needs! This course will include eLearning source files, classroom materials and PowerPoint presentations.

In the words of our founder, Dr. Scott Baird, “For us to be able to partner with eLearning Brothers is a delightful proposition, we’re very excited about what they’re doing and honored to be partnered with them.”

We are thrilled to be partnering with eLearning Brothers, and excited about what that means for you and the way you will be able to perform using the Griffin Hill Sales System!

Check out the development of our course here.

And get our free course here.

Understanding the Needs of Your Client

After two decades of research, we have discovered that five categories offer the most efficient description of genuine benefits.  These categories are represented by five words, each beginning with the letter P.  The five categories are:

Pain relief, Preservation, Pleasure, Profit and Prestige.

The 5 Ps can be matched with Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs.  Maslow argued for several levels of human needs, the most basic of which is the need to satisfy hunger and thirst (pain relief).  Succeeding levels of need include the need for safety (preservation), love and belonging (pleasure), esteem (prestige) and growth toward self-actualization through education, justice, beauty and order – needs which commonly require financial resources (profit).  These 5 Ps are the most efficient way of categorizing the real benefits you can offer a customer.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs provides some guidance to the meaning of each of the 5 Ps.  When a suspect is experiencing pain, frustration, difficulty or hassle that can be solved by your product or service, you offer a pain relief benefit.  If the suspect is under threat from a competitor who is encroaching on market share or an environmental condition that could destroy them, they are in need of the preservation benefit that would protect them from the danger or demise. Expanding or introducing positive conditions provides a pleasure benefit.  Increasing the esteem of your suspect in the eyes of his peers, subordinates or supervisors is a prestige benefit, and increasing revenues or cutting expenses is a profit benefit.

Finally, benefits are powerful enough to stand alone, while features must be accompanied by benefits.  When the occasion permits, the use of features can strengthen the benefit claim but features are not required when posting benefits.  On the other hand, if you choose to use a feature in your conversations with a suspect you must also use a benefit.  Remember, when you talk about features you talk about you and suspects are only interested in themselves.

Elevate Your Elevator Pitch

Imagine a chance meeting with your ideal suspect.  This is a person you really want a chance to sell to, but you simply have not been able to get their attention.  Your chance meeting will not allow much time and you must make the most of it.  Please take a minute, pull out some paper, and write down what you will say.

* * * * *

In selling circles, the scenario that I just described is often called the elevator speech.  The idea of the elevator speech is to make an impact with a suspect even if you are only in the elevator together for a short ride.  At Griffin Hill, we call this speech the Case Open. Now that you have written your Case Open, answer the following questions.

1.  What was your objective?  What did you want to accomplish?

2.  How many words did it take?

3.  If you were the suspect, how would you respond to the introduction you just wrote?

4.  How confident are you that you would accomplish your objective?

5.  How frequently have you used this same approach?

For many people, including experienced sales professionals, writing a Case Open is a challenging assignment.  Some argue that it is much easier to actually engage the conversation than to write it.  While it may be easier, it is far less effective.  When you write your Case Open, you have the opportunity to clarify your objectives and choose your language in advance.  Research shows this is far more productive than acting in the instant.  Additionally, preparation does not diminish your ability to be spontaneous – it enhances it.  When the time for action comes, the time for preparation has passed and if you are not prepared, you are not likely to be as brilliant as you would like to be.

With SMARTcon in just a few days, now is the perfect time to refine your Case Open in order to make your networking more effective! Download the free PDF below for more tips of how to elevate your elevator pitch!

Get your free PDF HERE! 

3 Strategies to Alleviate the Stress of Networking

With SMARTcon, Griffin Hill’s premiere business conference, coming up on September 28th, there’s a lot of talk about networking. SMARTcon will have not only 6 amazing keynote speakers and a floor full of great vendors, but will be an awesome opportunity to network. Networking events and organizations continue to gain popularity in the age of explosive growth in high technology. John Naisbitt had it right when he encouraged high touch to match the atomic trend of high tech. The new technologies that enhance marketing efficacy are made even more powerful when paired with a high touch strategy.

The human soul hungers for kindred connection and every analytic mind quickly grasps the power and influence that results from a large web of relationships. On the other hand, social anxiety is also very real. The research tells us that social anxiety is the second most common form of anxiety disorder and the third most common mental disorder—just behind depression and alcohol dependence. Nearly 20 million Americans are afflicted with social anxiety disorder.

There is a conflict between our need for human contact and the real fear, uncertainty and doubt that accompany social anxiety. This conflict is most acute in the business and social trend toward networking events. I experienced an example of this conflict at a recent business luncheon.

As part of the event, there was a social hour and networking opportunity. As the keynote speaker, I felt an obligation to participate. I scanned the crowded room and immediately picked out a forlorn-looking employee of one of the event sponsors. I approached him and asked how his networking activities were going. His response confirmed my suspicions. He felt all alone in that crowded room. Everyone else was engaged in lively conversation but when he tried to join in he felt intrusive, rude, and out of touch with the conversational flow. He eventually withdrew.

That experience, repeated in some form at every event I attend, inspired this article. There are 3 strategies that can help everyone make networking events more fun, more effective, and pain free.

  1. Bring a friend or a small group of friends
    Among the advantages of bringing a friend or a small group of friends is the fact that you become emboldened. In the company of peers you become more confident, relaxed and socially active. Friends can introduce one another to individuals or small groups. An introduction creates a reasonable intrusion to an extant conversation. Additionally there is synergy among friends. With just a bit of planning and coordination, each person’s contacts become everyone’s new connections.
  2. Make the room small
    A room full of people can be intimidating. Especially when they are already engaged in fun interactions with each other. You make the room small by focusing on one individual or one small group with whom you have a connection. Even if the conversation is underway, touching someone’s arm, excusing the interruption and making the connection is effective. For example, while touching one or more people on the arm or shoulder you direct your comment to the person you recognize, “excuse me, I’m Joan Smith over at Edgidyne aren’t you with Techlegal? Let’s make sure to connect before the night is over”. You can then move on to a next person or small group or you can settle into the group you have interrupted by directing your next comment to the person that was speaking. “Again, sorry for the interruption, please, back to what you were saying.” Don’t just attach yourself to one person or group. When it is socially convenient, move on. Meaningfully connect with as many people as time permits.
  3. Arm yourself with a short introduction and conversation topics
    Fundamental to networking is comfortable social conversation. A good rule here is, contribute but don’t dominate. Your preparation of a short introduction, an ability to respond to questions with meaningful conversation about interests, family, and work, and your ability to talk about current events and topics of interest to the group add to your ability to contribute to the conversation. Asking good questions and listening to answers facilitates useful understanding that takes you deeper than superficial interaction.

Bring a friend or a small group. Make the room small. Arm yourself with a short introduction. Be prepared to expound on questions about family, interests and work. Prepare to talk about 3-5 current events or topics of interest to participants in the networking event. Ask good questions and listen to the answers. These strategies will make your networking fun, effective and pain free. Now go!

When you are prepared you will have no need to fear.

Learn more about SMARTcon here!

Human Resource – Making or Breaking Business

At a previous job, I had the opportunity to work with an individual I both respected and feared. He was my manager. He was funny, witty, and showed great levels of kindness to me. He was dedicated to performing. He was also severe in his verbal communication. He acted the role of “the hammer” of the company. More than once I saw my team members in tears from what he had said to them. Other times I found myself feeling hurt, although he generally tended to be the kindest to me. Several times the team members approached him to try and rectify the situation but were usually met only with more fire. Finally, some of my team members went to the Human Resource department for help. I had the opportunity to watch as this manager became more team oriented, more caring, and more understanding of how he affected those around him. Human Resource had a reach that nobody else had. They could change what we could not because they had influence we didn’t.

        Imagine for a moment a world without the Human Resource Department. In my situation, it would have meant an escalated situation and the likely mass exodus of our team. On a larger scale, it would mean so much more. It would affect the business world from top to bottom. Think of how much the Human Resource Department does. An article published last year gives a pretty comprehensive and detailed list of how HR helps in just about everything from recruiting good talent, to implementing good systems, to taking care of and cultivating the company culture. A world without HR would be a miserable one. A business rests on multiple departments, but a cornerstone of that foundation upon which much of the weight of the business rests is the HR Department.  It is safe to say a world without HR would be a world of weak businesses. (For a fun list of what the world of Harry Potter’s HR world looks like, click here!)

        Helping the HR employees in your business succeed with ease is of deep import to any company who wants to achieve more both for themselves and their clients. Here are some simple ways that you can start:

1)    Validate your HR Employees

Everyone gets gains from being validated. When you validate you help HR individuals grow, but you also help them validate others as well by modeling the skill for them. Rather than saying: “That is a good idea!” you can say, “You always give great ideas!” This is a way of validating what them, not just what they say.

2)    Give them Tools to coach others

Systems lead to success. Giving HR both good systems and good tools to use is crucial to their success. There are a lot of places at Griffin Hill where you can start looking.

3)    Download our HR e-book

A blog is short – our E-book goes into detail about the power and importance of one-on-one interaction with employees and team leaders. We encourage you to download that book and learn how to perform your one-to-one face time in a way that maximizes growth.

HR is powerful and important to any business that wants to succeed. This can start with you and your strength to the business, wherever you are in it. Start investigating how to achieve more now by increasing HR quality by clicking here.

Business Success: 4 Ways to Achieve It that you Didn’t Know

Business success is a lot like succeeding in any other area of your life; success is made up of the same elements regardless of where it is applied. Society often segregates business success into its own category of achievement. These business success models are mostly about refining leadership skills, financial understanding, and sales processes. But at Griffin Hill, we expand our definition of success and find that other – sometimes even seemingly unrelated things including health and family relationships — are connected to our success in business. These other elements play a significant role in achievement in all areas of life.

        Here are a few things you can begin implementing right now to bring greater success to every area of your life, from boosting your revenue to improving the quality of your relationships.

1)    Develop Selflessness

One of the greatest killers of success is pride. An employee, manager, or business owner can potentially crush their business under the weight of an ego. Treating others as less than you will drive people away – and people are key to success. Nobody succeeds on their own. Instead, cultivate love, kindness, and encouragement with those around you. Express gratitude to those who make a difference in your life. You will succeed more often and find deeper joy in that success.

2)    Be Engaged

In a recent article, Benjamin Hardy, the author, discusses the important habits of turning boys into men – one of them being to avoid video games. He states, “Naturally [people] have a strong need for accomplishment and challenge. Yet studies suggest that some of the most popular video games are disengaging [them] from real world pursuits…Is escaping reality (especially for extended periods of time) ever healthy?” Perhaps you too have a video game issue. Or perhaps you struggle with something else. How do you disengage from reality? Do you spend countless hours on social media, your phone, or listening to music? These things have a time and a place, but once they take enough time that they impede your ambitious goals, then they become the cancer of success. By remaining engaged, you can spend the majority of your time winning and still have moments to relax and recuperate.

3)    Move Every Day

Physical exercise is an important key to success. Exercising does incredible things including building endurance, willpower, energy levels, and even the ability to learn. For some people, this may mean getting up early and doing intensive physical exercise. For others, it can be as simple as rather than driving to your mailbox, walk to it. Take an evening hike for fifteen minutes. This kind of activity will increase your drive for success.

4)    Be Spiritually Attuned

Spirituality is often overlooked or discredited, especially in the business world. Do so at your own risk. The truth is there’s great power in spending time practicing gratitude, meditation, and prayer. These practices have been proven to restructure the brain to help you connect with others better, concentrate more, and reduce stress. These things are critical to success because they keep you running and functioning while teaching valuable life skills.

Success isn’t as hard as it sometimes seems. Like most skills, it is something that we can practice and develop more in our life! You can start by implementing some of these habits! Now ask yourself, what does achievement look like for your life?

Business Organization Leads to Success

If you were asked to identify the most important part of your organization, what would it be? Upper management? Your clients? Would the most important asset of your business be your influence in the community? Your website design? The truth is, extensive research has been done that answer this question. At Griffin Hill, we know what kind of business organization structure it takes to win. We have found the answer through studying previous research and conducting our own.

        One of the most powerful assets to your business is the individuals who work at your company — your employees – not just as working cogs, but as real people with real hopes and dreams and fears. They are the most important part of your business. They make things happen. They are the hands that set things in motion. Without working employees, a business fails. An article from inc.com about how employees are more important than clients states, “Employee happiness and well-being come before everything else—including signing up new clients.” This article then continues to expound upon the importance of building a real relationship with one’s employees. We know this to be true because of the Griffin Hill model SAVI, a business organization system proven to make businesses greater than ever before and to give them winning strategy. People make up a huge portion of what decides if your company succeeds or falls short.

        It turns out the people that you employ are even more important than that though. A recent article written by Michael Schneider spoke about Google’s research study that lasted two years and monitored 180 companies. Their research identified several points found in all good companies and the results are interesting. Most of these companies are centered on employing hard working people and then helping them perform their jobs. Some of those included helping employees get a proper vision, helping employees feel that they have an important, positive impact, and helping employees find personal significance in what they do day to day.

SAVI, the Griffin Hill system includes elements meant to help your employees and also addresses other crucial elements to help businesses succeed. If you feel that your business needs a boost – start with your employees.

Take Time to Think

In business and sales, we as salespeople are always eager to take advantage of our time and use it to communicate every aspect of our sales pitch we possibly can. We launch into the benefits of our product or service, and list all of the reasons they should buy from us. Time is money, and sales individuals need to use their time to transform that it into money. When meeting with prospects and clients, we might bring this mindset, forgetting that we are talking to individuals who need time to process the information we are giving them. We must remember that filling time with our clients with information and chatter isn’t always the best strategy.

A recent article in the BBC news discusses the power of awkward silences and how to utilize that silence to increase your success in business. They quote Gavin Preston stating, “We often think that silence is people simply not speaking. But it allows both people to settle down and reflect a bit deeper.” Allowing silence to occur during our interactions with our prospects and clients allows them, and us, time to think and process the things we have said. This deep reflection can be very beneficial as it allows for the individuals involved in the conversation to fully come to understand the other person and get on the same page, which leads to more successful sales.

At Griffin Hill, we recognize the importance of asking questions and letting the client talk most of the time during certain stages of the sales process. The power of silence and allowing for time to think ties in with our principles on the power of listening. Spending time to think is important and if we can use our speaking time to prompt our clients to ponder the benefits and advantages of our services, they will come to their own conclusions and feel more secure working with us. As they think about these ideas we have presented to them, they will better be able to form their own thoughts, which will make our job of creating solutions for them in the sales process easier when we listen to them. Truly, the power of listening and allowing for silence is something that should be kept in mind and implemented during the sales process.