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April, 2016
Welcome to YOUR newly designed and re-formatted Results Report.
TAKE ACTION. For on the clock of life or watch of winners THE key word is NOW!
Strategies and ideas for life and business, to help you maximize results!
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"Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other one thing." 
- Abraham Lincoln, 16th U.S. President
"You don't learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing and falling over." 
- Sir Richard Branson, entreprenuer
"Chase the vision, not the money; the money will end up following you."
- Tony Hsieh, Zappos CEO

QUESTION: Jeff, what’s the best way to thank someone who has provided you with a referral, that leads to business?

ANSWER: While a gift, especially one that's meaningful to the one who referred you, is always a winning strategy, something as simplistic as a heartfelt note can also be very effective. Here’s an example.

For years, (before her retirement), I recommended Evelyn Zuehlke to my family, friends and clients. She was more than a chiropractor, she was my miracle worker! 

When I was bent over in pain, she was always available to work her magic. (Once, she even gave me an adjustment at her home on a Sunday afternoon, only hours before an out-of-town trip.)

Evelyn was an extremely talented healthcare provider. Yet she was also a really smart businesswoman. The following is a letter she sent me in 1996.

Dear Jeff...

Some days, there just doesn’t seem to be enough hours for us to get everything done. Some weeks can be like that. Some of us even go through much of our lives feeling pressed for time.

Even though we may have the best intentions, sometimes we overlook or forget to acknowledge those to whom we owe our appreciation. I’m sure we’ve all been guilty of that at one time or another.

But I made a promise to myself that I won’t allow the pressures of time and work, to keep me from expressing my gratitude and appreciation to those, like yourself, who have shown confidence in me by referring others into the practice.

It may not seem to you that referring a family member, friend or co-worker to me is worthy of any special recognition, but I take my responsibilities to my patients very seriously and your trust in me is a much appreciated validation of my work.

I’d like to express my sincere thanks for your recent referral of Betsy to my practice.

And I just want you to know, I consider you to be a valued friend of the practice and I hope this small token of my esteem will serve as a constant reminder of my appreciation.


Evelyn always sent me stuff, like a pen or a mug. Yet what was most meaningful to me, was her simple expression of gratitude.


Typically, as you know, this part of The Results Report features an interview with an author, thought-leader or provocateur.

Yet when Alan Rigg, a fellow speaker and author interviewed me for a tele-seminar series on how to increase sales and grow one's business, he was nice enough to also send me the interview transcript.

And as I read it, I quickly realized, "Hey, there's good stuff here!" While I could have simply provided you with the transcript, thought it would be even more impactful and valuable, if I instead selected some key keepers. So here goes:

Life and business are about choice. So when you hear, see or read about ideas or strategies to help you grow and prosper, you can either ignore or implement them, erase or embrace them, or anything in between. The choice is yours!

 If you'd like to make more, you need to do more. Therefore, start doing things differently. If you want to sell more, you need to think more. Therefore, start thinking differently.

 The real responsibility or accountability for your success, starts with you. It's way too easy to blame "the economy," which is what predictors of doom and gloom, naysayers and critics do.

 Eliminate moans and groans, eradicate complaints and whimpers, remove bellyaches and gripes. Stop whining, start selling. (Now there’s a great title for a bestselling book!)

 What one thing could you do once a day, or one more time a day, that would have a significant impact on your life or your business?

 What role do referrals play in your pipeline? Remember to REMEMBER: Referrals Every Moment, Every Month, Bring Excellent Results!

 What are you going to increase your expertise, industry knowledge, product knowledge or sales knowledge?

 How can you provide greater value to your market or your territory? Your prospects or your customers?

 What impact would one more daily call to a customer, client, or prospect, have upon your business and your earnings?

 Attitude without action, is merely frustration.

 You're compensated for results, not intent. Grandiose plans are wonderful, yet let your results inform the world. Get to it and do it!

 Only control those factors over which you have control. Stop worrying about the rest.

 Discover whether or not your current customer, client, or prospect has got: A problem to solve. A need to fill. Or a dream or goal to realize. And if one of these three doesn't exist, you don't have a prospect. You've got a suspect. So know, the only way you can determine what their interest is, what their desire is, what their challenge is, is through asking intelligent questions or power probes.

 A feature or a fact is just that, it's what something is. What you need to focus on, is what your product or service does for your decision-maker. What are the results, benefits, advantages and outcomes it delivers?

 Adapt and apply, this four-step revenue-generating approach:

    Step 1: Ask a question that helps your decision-maker identify a challenge, an issue, a problem or even a goal, objective or dream.

    Step 2: Tell them a "tale of triumph" or "success story" about how you helped another ecstatic customer or client, solve or achieve the same or similar…problem or goal.

    Step 3: Share specific anecdotes, numbers, metrics, percentages or stats, about the impact of your solution.

    Step 4: Ask your decision-maker, "What impact would results like these have upon your business? Your life?”

 How will you deepen and strengthen relationships with current or prospective clients?

Never answer the question, "Why should we choose / pick / hire / go with you?" from your perspective. You're biased. And prejudicial. Even if you're right! Instead, say things like:

    √    "Our customers tell us..."

    √    "Clients say we're especially helpful with..."

    √    "(Title: Presidents, business owners, leaders, managers, etc.) repeatedly let us know, how much they value our..."

If a customer or client says it, it's gospel. If you say it, even if it's true, it's open to interpretation. It appears to be too self-serving. People will listen though, to success stories. They enhance your credibility, expertise and reputation.

 Know your past success doesn't guarantee future success, it's merely an influencer.

Be patient. Change and growth don't happen overnight. It takes time. So as much as you'd like to have a quick return or rapid reward, sometimes it ain't gonna happen in 24 or 48 hours. It  might take a month. A quarter. Or longer. Hang in. Be positive. Stay focused.

Deliver value vs. price. If a buyer is attracted to you by only “price,” someday, they’ll leave you for the same reason.

 Your integrity is a non-negotiable. You're a walking, talking billboard for your company. If one person in your company chooses to engage in something that's unethical, it could jeopardize your entire organization. Years ago, Sales & Marketing Management magazine, called me to do a story on ethics and selling. The journalist asked, "Jeff, what do you do if one of your top producers lies, or submits a doctored expense report, or is unethical with customers?"

I politely asked, "Is that really the question?" She said, "Yes." I replied, "Okay, here's what you do. (Pause) Fire them!"

And I was done. She said, "Ummm, I've got a 700 word limit. Can you give me something else?" I said, "Oh, okay, so you need more words?" She goes, "Yes, I need more words." I answered, "Fire them, NOW!"

 It's okay to be proactive. It's okay to be persistent. Yet never manipulate another human being into making a decision. That only gets you the short, quick, fleeting hit. You're in this game for the long-term. Let your reputation rise above riches.

When people know they can trust you, they'll buy from you. They'll recommend you. And refer you. And then they'll buy from you, recommend you and refer you...again and again and again!

Your cup of inspiration, reflection and laughter!
He grew up in Lincolnwood, Illinois, the first suburb north of Chicago. So did I. He graduated from Lincoln Hall Junior High and Niles West High School. So did I. I've known him since I was a little boy, because he's the same age as my "big" sister Linda. As a young teenager, he was already a "local legend" who many knew, was destined for greatness.
My childhood community and alma maters have produced lots of talented, successful people. Yet I've never had a stronger, deeper sense of civic and school pride as on March 16th, when President Obama announced his nominee for the Supreme Court, Merrick Garland. Obama's nomination introduction, even referenced the brilliance of Garland's high school commencement speech, as the class valedictorian. I was there. I remember it.
Will Garland ever receive a vote or even a hearing from the U.S. Senate? Too early to know. Yet whatever the outcome, it's a kick to hear politicians from either party, judicial pundits, veteran journalists and Merrick's longtime friends and about his intelligence, fairness and most important, his humanity.
For the rest of the world is now discovering, what me and my fellow "hometowners" have known about Merrick for decades.
The Chicago Cubs are a 4:1 favorite to win the World Series this year. Those odds have never happened in my lifetime. Typically, the Cubs have been 4:1 favorites to be eliminated from contention, by May 1st!
So how is Cubs Nation reacting? With enthusiastic fright! We approach this season with VERY guarded optimism, even though the Cubs are already playing terrific and winning. Lots! For baseball is a quirky and unforgiving game. It requires talent, luck and health over an exhausting 162 games, to reach the promised land of the playoffs.
Will the Cubs once again make it to the playoffs? Yes. Will they then win it all and finally end 108 years of disappointment and desperation? Oh, what the heck, YES!
And if that happens, the value of my 1991 Cubs Fantasy Camp baseball card, oughta skyrocket!



As many of you know, I have a "vice." I'm kinda crazy about ice cream, frozen yogurt, gelato and especially Dairy Queen! At our local DQ, they know my preferences and even my name. So recently, when getting a chocolate soda, I got a kick from the tip jar next to the cash register.

It says: Tips are hugs withouth the awkward body contact.



For a bonus dose of inspiration, please take a peek at our latest blog post:

And of course, you're welcome to become a blog subscriber too!

Coffee Break for the Mind is a trademark of Blackman & Associates, LLC

To make a submission when you see or hear something funny, quirky or offbeat, please send it to: [email protected]

MEET JEFF |Jeff helps you win BIG in today's competitive marketplace. His high-energy and high-content messages deliver immediate take-home value, growth and results for you and your team. Whether he works with you once in a dynamic keynote or once-a-month in an ongoing coaching and learning-system, he helps you drive relationships, revenue, profits, results and rewards. Jeff is singularly focused on helping you achieve and surpass your desired outcomes. And you're even protected by Jeff's incredible No-Risk Assurance.
RIGHT FOLKS, RIGHT RESULTS |What's driving current or prospective members of your team? Your salespeople? Service 
                                                    pros? And leaders? What causes them to produce, lead or loaf? What motivates them to attain, or not attain, new levels of success? What direction are they headed? Where do you want their journey to go? How valuable would it be, if you had the answers to these questions? Well now you can!
AUDIO EXCERPTS | Listen to powerful excerpts from Jeff's audio growth tools, CDs or interviews. | LISTEN NOW
"We engaged Jeff as our keynote speaker at our annual national sales event. We're embarking upon a challenging time in our history, and Jeff's assignment was designed to resonate and inspire. Jeff was by far, the most engaging, entertaining and thought-provoking speaker we've ever had. So much so, elements of his presentation are still reverberating, (weeks later), around our organizational communication chain, at all levels. Thanks Jeff for a job well done!"
Michael J. Kelley President & COO
Glantz Holdings, Inc. March, 2016

"From the moment we met Jeff, he was interested in knowing our business at a fundamental level. He spent multiple sessions with our team, learning our merger challenges, interviewing customers and suppliers, and tailoring his "change" message. He then set our conference tone with a fantastic kick-off. I highly recommend Jeff to anyone looking to launch a new initiative or jump-start their organization with new energy and direction. We value his hard work and preparation and were thrilled with his presentation."

Paul Dean Executive Vice President
LBM Advantage February, 2016
"My firm, a commercial insurance program management company, engaged Jeff as a sales training advisor in June, 2014. He helped us design a customized training and reinforcement system. In addition to his people skills, Jeff is consistently prepared for meetings and has excellent follow-up with our team and even 1:1 counsel. We're extremely pleased with our significant improvement and results. That's why we have an ongoing relationship with Jeff, and I enthusiastically recommend him."
Chris Randall CEO
Ultra Risk Advisors Bellevue, WA & Atlanta
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