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August, 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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"Business opportunities are like buses, there's always another one coming." 
- Richard Branson
"You must either modify your dreams or magnify your skills." 
- Jim Rohn
"I never dreamed about success. I worked for it."
- Estée Lauder

QUESTION: Jeff, when I meet with prospects, and it's time to discuss fees or the budget, I seem to freeze and go into brain panic. Help! What do I do?

ANSWER: Stay calm. Focused. In control. And realize, before prospects become customers, they must have a need to fill, a problem to solve or a dream or goal to realize. And they have to have the ability to pay for it!

You should never place yourself in a position, where you have to guess at somebody's budget or investment potential.

Budget builders help you avoid this dilemma, because they're questions that remove the guesswork and uncertainty—about the budget.

However, your decision-maker may be unwilling to share with you a budget, a number, or say something like, "I have no idea what this should cost, that's why I called you!" or "Money is no object. If it's worth it, I'll pay for it!"

If you get responses like these, you can still determine the budget. Here's one way:

You let your buyers know you want them to make the best possible decision. And that decision will obviously be a reflection of their goals, needs, desired outcomes and budget. Therefore, if they have no idea what the investment might be, you can share several ranges.

For example, you let them know ecstatic clients who have had a similar need, problem or goal have made investments within three ranges, let's say:

  Range 1 is $5,000 to $10,000

  Range 2 is $11,000 to $20,000

  Range 3 is $21,000 or greater

It's important to stress, you should never put an ending parameter or restriction on your final range.

You now ask them, "Which range would you be most comfortable with: 1, 2 or 3?"

If they say, "Range 2, $11,000 to $20,000," you can say something like, "Great, would you prefer to stay closer to $11,000 or $20,000?" Their responses help guide you in your creation of their best possible solution.


Yet how do you handle a decision-maker who gives you a "firm" budget? Let's take a look at a simple example, easy to relate to. Imagine...

I'm a real estate agent and you're a motivated buyer.  We've already determined you want a four-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath house in a quiet community, close to schools, shopping and transportation and the lot has to be at least a quarter of an acre. You've told me you'll only look at homes listed at $350,000 or less.

Armed with this information, the first house I take you to is listed at $375,000. Not only do you detest the floor plan and neighborhood, but you're really disappointed and disturbed with me, because the house is listed at more than $350,000!

You feel I took you here just so I'd make more on my commission! Uh oh. I'm in trouble! You feel I didn't listen and you may begin to question my integrity and real purpose.

However, what if this scenario took place?

Imagine instead, I said to you, "Let's make sure i understand what's important to you. You'd like to find a four-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath house in a quiet community, close to schools, shopping and transportation, and the lot has to be at least a quarter of an acre. You also told me, you're only willing to look at homes listed at $350,000 or less. Correct?" You nod affirmatively.

Now, I ask a question that goes something like this:

"Would it be fair to say, if I come across a listing that offers you and your family everything you want—the space, the community, the lot size and then some—but it's listed at more than $350,000—would it be fair to say—you'd prefer I not even show it to you?"

How do you think you'd react to this question? 

It's likely you'd say, "Well, I guess I'd be willing to look at it." I say, "Great! How much in excess of $350,000 are you comfortable with?" You say, "Well, up to $380 is probably okay, maybe even $400, but then it really has to be something special!"

Who just increased the budget, me or you? You did! And it was accomplished with the use of a question or a power probe NOT a statement.

Here are six key profit points:

  1. Control through questions that reveal problems, needs and dreams or goals.

  2. Keep quiet. Stare with your ears, listen with your eyes.

  3. Take notes. Place value in your prospect's, customer's, decision-maker's words.

  4. Restate your decision-maker's wants, needs and desires. And then confirm their importance.

  5. Let your decision-maker know your "probing" is crucial to helping you—help him or her.

  6. Focus on enabling others attain a more favorable future, improving their condition and driving their results. (Because when you help them achieve this first, you too benefit.)

Want to see how Jeff helped one client drive results?
Please take a peek at this video, where Chris Randall, CEO of Ultra Risk Advisors, talks about Jeff's positive and powerful impact on his team:

Allan Fried's laid-back demeanor, belies his fervent commitment to help others prosper.

Earlier this year, I worked with Allan and a group of food manufacturing executives he coaches in Brooklyn, New York. As my kids might say, Allan is "chill." Yet he’s "hot" or passionate about propelling others to new levels of success.

Perhaps it's because he too learned valuable lessons as a young entrepreneur or as an entertainment industry exec working with A-listers. Yet one thing is very clear—even if you don't have a "food-focus"—Allan still feeds your mind with new possibilities!

JEFF BLACKMAN: You like working with business people who pursue "bold opportunities or challenges." Meaning...?

ALLAN FRIED: I work best with people who want to shake things up in their career or business. They want to create something bigger than they are. That's impossible to achieve by doing more of what brought them to their current success. There needs to be a tension, or people get into a rut when doing things they know they can achieve.

JB: What restricts businesspeople?

AF: Their thinking, understanding who they are and what they want. Our greatest asset can be our greatest liability—what got you here, won't get you there. Hard work, smarts and talent get you to $Y. So instincts say, if we can double the work, we'll grow to 2 x $Y. Yet that's not how you scale. It's true to any role—tactics that get you to a V.P. or division head, aren't necessarily what move you beyond. We must expand our vision of ourselves.

JB: Your early ventures were in junior high/high school. What did you do and learn—you still apply today?

AF: Great question! Not one I have been asked before or even considered on my own. The biggest single lesson is, they weren't set out to be get-rich schemes or even businesses. They followed my energy.

A friend and I wanted to go to Great Adventure amusement park and thought it would be fun to go with a large group. We chartered buses and it evolved. We had the interest and need, so did others.

In high school, I liked music. So with friends, we bought a button-machine. It made round buttons you stick on clothes with political sayings or celebrity photos. We went through magazines, cut-out pictures of artists and stood outside Madison Square Garden selling them.

JB: How'd your entertainment career start?

AF: While at the University of Maryland, I landed a summer internship at Capitol Records in New York City. Immediately knew I belonged. Couldn't believe people got paid to do this! It was the start of Tina Turner's comeback, Duran Duran was exploding and I'm interning for the people launching their albums and tours.

After college, my first job was in the mailroom of International Creative Management. They represented INXS, Woody Allen and Meryl Streep. From there; working hard, building relationships and luck.

JB: What did you learn from celebrities?

AF: They're humans, with the same self-doubts and hang-ups. Yet their creative gifts connect, uplift and touch us. Artist, celebrity, or business-person, we all have a mixture of unique gifts. Our greatest potential is in building on who we are, not who we think we need to be.

JB: As a "coach," what do you help others create or strengthen?

AF: A quote from 70's philosopher Alan Watts, serves as a starting point for my work, "You can't be different, only more of yourself." People have head-trash that tells them they don't have what it takes. Or have one failure and are merciless with themselves. There's this mindset; "You're not good enough, you must change, be more type-A or more creative.!" It's a BIG lie.

There's a Buddhist proverb from Taoist text Tao Te Ching, "What we dwell on grows." That's cautionary. If you're not getting the results you want, notice what you spend time thinking about.

People have amazing talents/gifts they're not using anywhere near their potential. So when I help others lighten-up, connect with some of what they already have, and begin to leverage it, it can be transformative. But I'm only the coach, they do the heavy lifting.

For more bold transformations, take a peek at:

Your cup of inspiration,   reflection and laughter!
Sunday, August 29th, 1982. Overcast clouds and intermittent rain in Chicago, eventually gave way to early-evening sunshine. And that night, with a simple decision, my life was forever changed. It was when I said, "I do!"
Today, my wife Sheryl and I celebrate our 34th wedding anniversary. She remains my light, my love, my laughter. (At least on the days we're talking!)
Our festive anniversary weekend this year, included seeing The Boss - Bruce Springsteen, last night at the United Center. Yet it began Friday night, August 26th at Wrigley Field. Where apparently, the Chicago Cubs, in their final push to win a pennant and a World Series Championship, acquired the rights to an aging, yet proven performer: Billy Joel!
As my wife and I rocked with almost 50,000 fans to Joel's music, (that I have literally listened to and "spun" since I was a disc jockey at the University of Illinois), my mind and vision often wandered.
I'd gaze around a ballpark I've cherished since I was a little boy. It's a baseball shrine that has brought me joy and sorrow. Hope and horror.
Yet on this recent summer night, I could only imagine  what it would be like, to be sitting at Wrigley on a fall night, this October, when...
The "CUBS WIN IT ALL!" (They won their last championship in 1908. Yep, that's 108 years of pain, suffering and agonizing.)
To adapt for Cubs Nation, the title of Billy Joel's hit doo-wop single, it has been, The Longest Time. Up 'til now!


I love baseball. Played it competitively for years. And was fortunate to play with guys who were remarkably talented. Our Niles West high school's teams, in the span of four years won three regular-season or summer-league state championships.

One ballplayer, was unequivocally, the most talented guy I ever played with, Ray Borucki. Ray even played Class A pro ball in Spartanburg, South Carolina—where his Phillies roomate, was Ryne Sandberg. "Ryno" was traded to the Chicago Cubs in 1982, where he had an  MVP and Hall of Fame career.

When my "baseball career" ended at the age of 18, it was time for competitive softball; 12-inch and also here in Chicago, 16-inch. Loved it! Played for over 34 years.

Until my legs said, "Hey, after playing multiple sports for decades, undergoing four knee operations, two Achilles tendon surgeries and wearing braces on both knees when you compete—you might want to find another activity that doesn't require running—because your time from home to first base is three minutes!"

So for the past eight years, I've been walking. Often. In-town or on-the-road. In hot or frigied temps. High humidity or high winds. Have enjoyed the journeys. But they're not, ummm, very challenging or competitive.

Yet a few months ago, thanks to my "big brother" and dear friend Harry, I re-discovered biking. Logging lots of miles on his "loaner" bike and now on my new bike.  It's a sweet ride. A lightweight, high-performing, carbon beauty! Knocked-out 27 miles yesterday morning with bikin' buddies.

When my sister Linda said, "Send me a picture of you and your new bike." I politely declined. Yet she insisted. So here you go:

The seat may require adjusting, but the basket oughta come in handy. (And am pretty confident, the training wheels are off by October!)



If Abraham Lincoln, had wished my Mom a happy birthday, (on August 28th), he might have said:

"Sallie, happy four-score and seven years!"



For a bonus dose of inspiration and knowledge, please take a peek at our latest blog post. It  features valuable lessons learned 16 years ago from our daughter Brittany's fourth-grade class:

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
"At DUKAL we have an experienced team, exposed for many years to individuals and speakers who can help us. Yet when Jeff Blackman spoke, (a half-day results-session with reinforcement), I received comments like, 'Awesome!' 'Highly impactful!' 'Learned things I never knew, even after 25 years of selling.' 'I'll now take a different direction on how I present our value and work with customers.' and much more. Jeff's attention-to-detail and fact-gathering, made him better prepared in learning about our culture and team—than any previous speaker. And it showed! I highly recommend Jeff as an impact-player who can make any individual or company better!"
Gerry LoDuca President
DUKAL Corp. July, 2016
"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
"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. 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
Please click the following link,
to see Chris' video testimonial:
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© 2016 Blackman & Associates, LLC
2130 Warwick Lane • Glenview, Illinois 60026
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