7 tips to effectively work from home bear bull co consulting more sales less turnover

7 Tips on How To Effectively Work From Home

7 tips to effectively work from home bear bull co consulting more sales less turnover

The spread of COVID-19 has changed our lives. My heart goes out to anyone who has lost a loved one as a result of this unforgiving virus. Even if you are in good health, it wouldn’t be far reaching to say that it is affecting your everyday life. For some of us it is having an impact on our pocketbooks. Many of us are now working remotely from home. You can be just as productive from home, as you can from the office. It is simply a matter of discipline and mindset.

I’m going to share with you seven tips that you can use to make yourself an uber successful work at home warrior.

1. Create A Routine

Human beings are creatures of habit. When you have a formal schedule that you follow daily, it makes it easier to adhere to. Little things like going to bed at the same time every night can dramatically affect what time and how you start the next day. Do you exercise before going to the office? Follow that same routine! Your workout may be different these days, but your schedule and habits don’t have to be. Without a routine it is easy to feel lost and less productive.

Work in the same area every day – If you are fortunate enough to have a home office, do all your work from there.
Same cup of coffee – Have the same cup of coffee to kick start your day.
Same time – Start your day at the same time. Take your breaks at the same time. End your day at the same time.

2. Create A Work Station

You don’t have to buy any new furniture. You do have to designate a specific and permanent area that you are going to work from. The luxury of working from home is being able to bounce from desk, to sofa, to porch, to poolside, and to your bed. The danger is doing this is the lack of routine and permanence.

In addition it also sends confusing signals to everyone in the home. Are you working? Are you watching Netflix? No one knows, but when other people see you in your designated work area, it tells them that you shouldn’t be disrupted.

Lastly, some areas of the home are much more likely to invite distractions. Working on a pool chair beside the pool is very cool. I’ve seen many people brag about being able to do that on social media. Is it effective? Debatable. I argue that you are much more likely to get lost in a backyard pool environment than you are at a desk.

3. Post Your Schedule For All To See

When you combine this with having a permanent work area, it reinforces that you are in work mode. Tacky? A little. Effective? You better believe it. Take time to explain to everyone in the home what your schedule means. If you have young children they may or may not adhere to these rules, but they deserve a hall pass or two on this one.



4. Don’t be distracted by the distractions

When you are sitting or standing at your workstation you start to notice things around you. Things like cobwebs in the corner of your ceiling. Maybe it’s the dust on the plantation shutters. Here’s my point, there are a lot of errands and chores that are going to distract you.

What would your manager, boss, customer, or client think of your work habits if they were recording you? Make your work hours sacred. Avoid household chores, errands, and items on your honey do list during your work hours.

5. Isolate Yourself

If you can work in a private office or study that would be ideal. Not everyone has that luxury. If the bedroom is the only place that is quiet, then you may be forced to set up your workstation there.

If your bedroom isn’t ideal, then the next step is to wear headphones. Listen to something that is upbeat, or music that will inspire you and motivate you to keep working.

6. Avoid Alcohol

Polls show that over 50% of all people who are working from home during the quarantine are drinking during work hours. I’m certainly not judging. Nor am I confessing. You probably already know that alcohol is a sedative and a depressant. Drinking while trying to be productive does not work. Period. It. Slows. You. Down. My personal recommendation is to save any alcohol for after work hours.

7. Clock Out

Hours, days, and weeks are a blur for many of us right now. We find ourselves checking the calendar frequently. These blurred lines have spilled on over into the workday as well.

Because of the accessibility our clients, customers, and co-workers have to us, it can get harder to clock out. This can put a drain on our relationships at home. It is just as important that we follow our routines and end at a specific time as well for our health and mental sanity.

I hope that these tips help you not only survive, but thrive during this pandemic. It is my goal that when we come out of this crisis, we come out better than when we went in. Let me know if there are any other tips that you can recommend or comments on the tips above.

Stay healthy and well!

– Paul


7 common SALESPERSON PERSONALITIES IN THE OFFICE bear bull co consulting more sales less turnover

6 Common Salesperson Personalities in the Office

7 common SALESPERSON PERSONALITIES IN THE OFFICE bear bull co consulting more sales less turnover

Are you familiar with the DISC personality assessment? It is a widely adopted principle that  everyone falls into 4 general personality categories: Dominant, Introvert, Supportive, and Cautious.

Are there are more personalities beyond the 4 quadrants of DISC? I’m not sure. In my 25 years of being a sales professional and coach, I can tell you that there is a broad spectrum of personalities amongst salespeople. It is important that you know the different types of personalities on your team and how to lead them. Comment below if anyone comes to mind as your scroll down the list, or if there was someone we missed.

1. The Narcissist

This member has a high sense of self-importance and can be manipulative. They feel that they are special or superior. They are too confident with their skills and may underestimate his or her teammates. Controlling and giving them advice can be tough because they think they know everything.

This can be hard to deal with, but you can manage this person by creating a strong bond and team cohesion. You may use team meetings where each member provides peer feedback. This is less threatening to them compared to a manager’s criticism.

2. The Insecure

This member lacks confidence. They tend to ask for help often, even after something has already been explained to them. They compare themselves to others. They feel hopeless when they don’t contribute to sales.

I have a saying, “Don’t apologize for asking for help if you are working hard.” The message this sends to my team members is that I appreciate their efforts. Like anyone, I don’t like having to repeat myself over and over again, so what I do is record videos as I train people and screen record what I am doing. This way when someone asks for help again I direct them to the video. It saves me the hassle of repeating myself one more time.

3. The Teacher’s Pet

There’s one in every organization. They’ve confused their title of “assistant to the regional manager” to “assistant regional manager.” This person regularly performs well and loves to be praised.

You wont have to worry about the production of a teacher’s pet.  You will have to worry about them sharing the spotlight.  Their competitive nature can discourage others. Great managers know how to recognize high achievers without alienating others, and specialize in fostering growth out of the less productive salespeople.



4. The Happy-Go-Lucky (HGL)

This salesperson is always late, takes long lunches, and loves to party.  Their mood is not dependent on their sales production or their success. Some people might see this as positive, but it can be a bad influence on other team members.

The HGL salesperson isn’t motivated by production. If they sell, great. If they don’t sell, no big deal.  This can get very sticky if this person is a top producer. You don’t want to lose a top producer, but you don’t want other salespeople mimicking bad behavior either.

I have found that the best solution for this is to give this person more responsibility. Give them opportunities to develop training programs or presentations so that others can benefit from her/his sales experience. If the happy-go-lucky team member is not a producing member, it is imperative that we discuss their performance and schedule with them subject to the terms of their employment.

5. The Negative

This is someone who often talks bad about his or her teammates, the management, and the company. Even when they make a sale, they are predicting a cancellation or a chargeback. They somehow seem to find something wrong with everything. This is dangerous when it graduates from being verbally negative to outright defiant without being addressed.

You can’t change people, believe me I’ve tried. I’ve worked with top producing sales people who were negative and it can be exhausting. Instead of trying to change someone, it is easier to request that they bring any suggestions or negative comments to you directly. This doesn’t mean that their feedback isn’t without merit. It just preserves morale amongst the troops.

6. The Blamer

This salesperson blames the economy, the training, the lack of buyers, and the company for poor sales. They blame everyone and everything else but themselves.

Most blamers are not top producers. When speaking to a blamer divert the conversation in a positive direction. Praise them for their progress including their ability to overcome hurdles. Reminding them that they are still winning in spite of all the challenges will help them take responsibility for their own successes and failures.

In my 25 year career I’ve learned a few things. I’ve learned that the people you think will-won’t and people you think won’t will.  I’ve seen that the people you think can-can’t and people you think can’t-can.  You can’t prejudge who will succeed and who wont.  You can make sure that your message is framed properly so that it is embraced by the right personality.

Go out and sell!

– Paul


6 Tips To Help You Retain Your Best Salespeople Paul Argueta cheapertokeepthem Motivational speaker

6 Tips on How to Retain Your Best Salespeople

6 Tips To Help You Retain Your Best Salespeople Paul Argueta cheapertokeepthem Motivational speaker

Working in the Sales Industry is one of the toughest jobs. Because of how challenging this profession is, finding and keeping talent is hard. It can feel like a vicious cycle to Human Resources or Management.  Salesperson turnover is a common and expensive problem that every industry faces.

The average turnover rate of salespeople in an organization is about 16%.  It definitely affects the company’s bottom line, but it also affects the morale of the salespeople on the front line.

Companies spend millions of dollars every year on strategies to attract and recruit some of the best salespeople in the world.  Allocating resources to retaining these salespeople would save money and result in more sales. Here are 6 tips on how to retain your best salespeople.

1. Hire the right People

Jim Collins coined the, “Getting the right people on the bus.” phrase. Have you ever heard it? It has since morphed into other corporate catch phrases, but the axiom still holds true. You have to hire the right person for the job.  I recently wrote an entry on hiring for attitude over skill and I stand behind it. Skill can be taught. Attitude cannot. If you hire a person with the right skill set, but the wrong attitude, it will wreak havoc within your organization the same way one bad apple can spoil the whole bunch.

There are professional floaters. Salespeople who float from company to company in search of their next salaried position. Some are polished and very difficult to catch. It will require calling on their references but it is worth it considering the cost of hiring, firing, and then on-boarding a new sales rep.  Making a few 5 to 10 minute calls with references can save you weeks or months of headaches down the road.

2. Instill A Purpose

If you tell a brick layer to start laying down bricks with no specific purpose or vision of what is being done, the brick layer will eventually quit from fatigue or boredom.  If you tell a brick layer that every brick they lay is for a wall that is going to insulate and protect their country, or to shelter their own family, the brick layer now has a sense of purpose.

Sales companies that only teach their agents to sell and churn out numbers will eventually be out of business.  If your salespeople have to sell widgets then make sure they understand the significance of each sale. Getting a paycheck is great, but the paycheck wont motivate a salesperson on a bad day or worse yet bad month.

Your organization has to sell, sell, and resell your vision. Contrary to what you might think, your troops can’t hear it enough. There’s a reason you are leave a Disney theme park Disney’d out. Everything there is branded with Disney so that you are sold, sold, and re-sold. Cups. Napkins. Shopping bags. Everything. You are immersed in it. You leave whistling or humming Disney songs. Your salespeople need that type of culture.

3. Offer Career Growth

You will lose 21% of your salespeople leave because of the lack of career growth.  This is not only limited to promotion opportunities. People get bored. Salespeople are no different.  It can be scary to hear that your top salesperson doesn’t feel motivated anymore especially when they are hitting their numbers.  This is usually a cry for help and a desire to develop new skills.

When we only emphasize hitting sales goals we forget that what really drives people. People want a sense of purpose and growth. If we don’t listen to our top performers they will find another organization that will. It pays to invest in the skill development of salespeople, as well as, promoting the opportunity to acquire additional skills by creating adequate promotion opportunities along the way.



4. People Are Starving For Recognition

Recognition is necessary in all industries, not only in sales. Every employee wants to feel like their work is appreciated and valued. It’s easy for superiors to have a “That’s what they’re getting paid to do right?” attitude, but that doesn’t foster a culture where people genuinely want to do more than they are asked for the betterment of the organization as a whole. Take care of the overachievers in your organization.

Recognition isn’t only bonuses, commissions, and salary increases. People crave things that have meaning. Monetary rewards are short lived-especially with sales professionals. Celebrating someone’s big and small victories with words and commendation is a meaningful way to make someone within the organization feel special. Do this publicly in front of others, especially their peers, and you earn brownie points. Wins should also be celebrated in the forms of company benefits and opportunities for personal growth.

5. Get Rid of the Boiler Room Mentality

Public perception of the professional salesperson is usually not good. Our profession has been referred to as sleazy, manipulative, and dishonest to name a few. Warranted or not, these stigmas exist and many start from within our own organizations. 

Sales horror stories detail struggles of overworked and over pressured sales agents to achieve regular hard pressed quotas, where they breakdown and struggle with poor mental & physical health. Rumors or not, it is our duty to eliminate these perceptions if we want to retain talent. To do this, we need to be just as concerned about the well being of our sales force as we are about the sales figures.

6. Start From Within

Any organization is only as good as it’s leadership. As such, it is important that you don’t only assign or require that your salespeople attend conferences to sharpen their skills, but that we lead the charge and do the same. You may not be in sales, but there are plenty of HR conferences or management seminars that you can attend virtually or in person. Just as children do as their parents do and not as they say, your sales force will do as you do. If there is a culture of consistent improvement everyone will follow. Nobody wants to stay in a group where their leaders slack off or where the leaders do not know how to empathize with their members. In the Sales industry, effective and empathetic leadership is important because of how saturated and competitive the nature of the business is. Therefore, it is necessary to produce sales managers that are equipped with the skills and knowledge to lead. Investing in good leadership that includes self improvement is also investing in your employees’ welfare.

Another common mistake that companies make when it comes to leadership is hiring new managers instead of nurturing one from the existing team itself. Newly-hired sales managers usually end up detached from the team because they lack the sense of empathy and the experience to cope up with how the team is running. If companies develop leaders from within the team, all the skills and experiences that newly-hired sales managers lack can easily be offered by these home-grown leaders.

I know firsthand what it’s like to invest time, money, and emotional resources into someone only to see them leave. It’s a part of the cycle, but the more you can minimize defection and increase retention, the better off your organization will be. These 6 tips I shared are probably not new to you, but they bare repeating and re-implementing regularly.


7 STEPS TO HANDLE DIFFICULT CONVERSATIONS WITH YOUR SALESPEOPLE bear bull co consulting more sales less turnover

7 Steps to Handle Difficult Conversations with Your Salespeople

7 STEPS TO HANDLE DIFFICULT CONVERSATIONS WITH YOUR SALESPEOPLE bear bull co consulting more sales less turnover

It’s easy to assume that all a sales manager cares about is posting good numbers. Sales production is just the tip of the iceberg. What isn’t visible is all the hard work being done behind the scenes. Managing a team of salespeople requires a lot of training, adjustments, understanding, and patience.

Part of leading a team is being able to handle difficult conversations. Each member of the team has their own unique personality. If you use the same approach with everyone, it can create animosity and poor sales performance.

Let’s review 7 different ways to handle difficult conversations with your salespeople.

1. Addressing Them By Name

People love hearing their name. Using their name while you are talking to them is a way of showing respect. Sprinkle in their name throughout the conversation. This is also an excellent way to reign in your team member if they begin to become distracted.  Do not overdo it or it may come off as condescending or manipulative.

2. Show Them you Care

It has been said that people don’t care about how much you know, until they know how much you care. Poor performance can be the result of a lot of things happening inside and outside the office. Find out if there has been any dramatic changes in their personal lives that might have impacted their sales.

3. Actively Listen

Sales managers are not therapists by any stretch of the imagination, but genuinely listening can go a long way. Watch for cues about what they say to better understand why they’re behaving or feel a certain way.



4. Do Not Interrupt

Most heated debates can be avoided by letting one party speak uninterrupted. You don’t have to agree with the other person, but have the courtesy to let them finish. In many cases after someone has vented, they come to their own realization that what they may be upset over isn’t worth discussing.

5. Avoid Conflict Words

Did you know that saying words such as “Never”, “No”, “Wrong” and “No way” may increase conflict? Try to acknowledge their point of view before disagreeing immediately.

You might say “That sounds interesting. What makes you think that way?” or “Seems like a plan.  I want to know more about your idea.”

Lastly, make it a habit to replace the word “but” with “and” when rebutting. Notice how different the following sentence sounds when you do this: “I know you like offering discounts to your clients, but you need my authorization first.”

6. Establish Facts

Before the words “You are wrong.” or “You made a mistake.” leave your lips, it is important that you establish the facts. Numbers are very easy to reference. Lean on them for documentation to support your position. Salespeople are persuasive and can appeal to your emotions. There is a time to trust your gut, and there are moments where the facts speak for themselves.

7. Create a Plan of Action Together

What good is a fierce conversation if there isn’t any closure? It is imperative that you and your team member identify the challenges that are stifling their productivity, and end the discussion with a checklist of items to take action on.

This homework must also include a due date and a mandatory check in. Everyone must be held accountable including management, hence the check in. We inspect what we expect.

Conflicts and misunderstandings will happen from time to time. Handling difficult conversations isn’t easy, but it is necessary. Brooding over how to handle a situation is just like watching a wound fester. Great leaders address these conversations quickly and professionally using the techniques described above.