Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Global Elite Sales Collaboration

More than three thousand sales professionals around the globe are about to embark on an exciting journey. Through online collaboration they will redefine the sales profession.

Elite Sales Professionals will collaborate to:
"Redefine the sales profession as being the single most important type of competence of the 21st century."
To do this a carefully considered beginning path to establishing the "3E Code of Excellence" (a working title for this global project initiative) has been suggested:

2011 is About Passion
Passion comes as a result of gaining insight!

A small group of handpicked professionals will figure out how to map out and categorize a list of the best sales literature available today. They will take the lead in this and also suggest how to identify sales gurus around the globe, together with thousands of others. The result will be an ongoing process to build a knowledge base for people who want to spend their precious time to achieve real quality and excellence in their sales profession.

2012 is About Connection
Connection comes as a result of sharing insight!

Once the first group has established the foundation of a growing knowledge base, a second group will begin explore how to facilitate interaction beyond the online forum. A series of free online webinars will be organized on specific sales related topics. Well known gurus will be invited to host them in the language they themselves prefer. (We suppose English will mostly be the preferred language platform.

2013 is About Intuition
Intuition comes as a result of practicing insight!

The third group will be challenged to start asking "so what" at the end of each online session. Specifically, they will explore possibilities touching how to move from sharing to applied action.

To participate you first need to become part and qualify for this small community for Elite Sales Professionals at LinkedIn.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Use We Language

I spend much of my time (and focus) listening to other people. Listening has taken on rich meaning as I have studied empirical data relating to questioning techniques, conversations, dialog patterns in meetings as well as specific scenarios such as negotiations.

There are some very simple characteristics that tells a lot about a person - his or her attitude, self image, passion, empathy and many other traits so important to how we function together. Today let me share just a small piece of advice:
When you compliment someone say "you" and be specific. When you share success say "we" and highlight others.

Overcoming The Ego
Even though it's common sense and "respectful diplomatic behavior" which even a child understands, so many of us make this frequently repeated mistake. Rather childishly we tend to reduce praise of others and too easily take credit for more than we actually contributed.

When we sincerely and consistently praise others, our friends will grow in numbers and feel inclined to return the favor. If we withhold praise and constantly promote ourselves, we end up poor indeed!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

An Even Higher Bird's Eye View

A few days ago I shared a simple question that allows for self evaluation of results. Today I'd like to comment on an even richer aspect than merely "results", namely that of relationships.

What is it that matters most?

...and how do we know what matters most on a daily basis? Even though the question is generic, it will return a unique response from any individual who seeks to answer it. We all have different lives and backgrounds feeding us with values and insight. However, the one thing that remains the same for all is the importance of "our relationships" with other people.

Rather Who Than Where!
No one ever said on their deathbed "I wish I'd spent more time at the office", i.e. to the degree the office does not build the desired relationships, there are other places we also should spend our time. Still, WHERE is by far less relevant than WHO.

The "WHO question" I suggest provides better direction than any other question is, in my experience: "Who have I served today?" alternatively "What have I done for someone else?"

Being selfless and open to "doing good to anyone" is really the stuff that makes for an exciting life. Am I trying to be good? Sure. Am I missing opportunities? All the time. That's why I keep asking myself this question. I find that it reinforces purpose and always offers immediate impressions. Most of all, this question reminds me that all people have equal value and also that, in fact, some relationships are more important than others.

My wife, Lillian Marie Top, is a great example to me. She always serves the people around her. That's why I decided to dedicate "The 3 Energies" to her.

See Vidar Top's list of great people!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Alert Like a Cat

Our cat is always on the alert. The tiniest sound or movement triggers its attention. As a spectator to this show we sometimes laugh at him (BTW, his name is Leo). Leo's so sensitive to opportunities to catching game, he's simply hyperactive.

Asleep, but still on the alert..!
Did you ever witness a cat with a bird or rat in its mouth? I mean, wauw! Is it not amazing to see what effective hunters they are? Well then, what makes a great hunter? One argument might be "the one's who keep trying", and I might add "...are willing to fail frequently".

I like our cat. I like the initiative. We may call Leo naive or unrealistic, but there's something about his positive nature that makes him more successful, simply because he keeps believing there's something he can catch, even though his rate of failure is higher than any reasonable person would be willing to endure.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

LinkedIn Signal

LinkedIn Signal has been launched and has taken quite a few steps to making updates a whole lot more useful.

LinkedIn Signal is a stroke of genius, in my opinion. By staying focused on user value, LinkedIn now allows you to filter updates from LinkedIn and Twitter e.g. based on where people are located geographically and / or what organization they work for. I can widen my search to include 1st, 2nd or even 3rd degree contacts. It also allows me to filter based on role, time, industry, groups, topics... With LinkedIn Signal this platform has become a lot more "social" - and useful!

LinkedIn Signal increases the value of time invested in LinkedIn. Suddenly it matters so much more to have a big network of people and contacts.

A few examples to illustrate how this may be used to filter updates:
  • Norwegian CEO's in a particular industry
  • Tech guru's in Google and Microsoft
  • Topic specific search the past ten minutes among leaders in a select region
  • ... wauw!
In this respect LinkedIn has a unique offering, for now.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Telemark Online

Key players in Telemark are taking active steps to improve and increase online visibility.

"Telemark best på web" has its kick-off Friday the 26th of August at Skagerak Arena, 11:30 am - 15:30 pm.

A core group of 26 key representatives is the beginning of online expertise in Telemark. We are aiming to start welcoming altruistically minded experts on a running basis and collaborate for some of the following purposes:
  • lift each other to increase online visibility
  • share knowledge to create a learning environment
  • help each other to generate more business
  • improve in-house communication to reach goals and objectives
Smoking out some of the best web 2.0 resources in Telemark is an ongoing process, which began early this year. If you have an inherent interest for social media and innovative web tools, you may want to participate. Send email to for more information or fill in an online application.

A few words about each focused objective:

(1) Increasing Online Visibility
Why? Every organization needs to communicate its purpose and offering.
What? We lift each other via the appropriate online channels.
How? By following and positively reinforcing each other in everything we do online.

(2) Creating a Learning Environment
Why? Every organization needs to constantly learn and flexibly apply itself to the market place.
What? We share updated knowledge and insight about online tools and platforms.
How? By gathering once a month in an organized expert and user council.

(3) Generating More Business
Why? Every organization needs to support its users and close new contracts.
What? We help each other keep abreast of online innovation and find new ways to reach customers.
How? By organizing and getting the most important and pressing work done together.

(4) Reaching Goals and Objectives
Why? Every organization has business critical goals and objectives.
What? We improve internal and external communication and focus on what matters most to your organization, right now.
How? The agenda remains flexible to running needs and participants decide what is being addressed.

Our online document for best practices will be a work in progress. It is open for public viewing and editing as a Google Document. Feel free to chip in! (For more information see Telemark Growing Online Presence.)