Category Archives for Sales Training – Strategic, Tactical, Personal Sales Ninja Program Townsville

We Make Our Habits – Then Our Habits Make Us…

Think about it.  We run almost 99% on automatic programming (our habitual behaviour).  Most of us have habits that we did not choose – we just adopted them from our parents, teachers, priests, coaches, and so on.  It is a safety/survival mechanism to be like those around us.

Life Coaching TownsvilleLife Coach Townsville

A habit is simply a decision, repeated until our brains “just do it” for us.  Each repetition increases the “size” of the brain channel that does it for us.   Let me repeat that:

A Habit Is a Decision You Repeat.  That is All…

A metaphor is that each of your habits is the river that flows along your path of least mental resistance.   To change the flow direction of flow of the river – or to remove it – there is nothing to do but divert the flow into other (chosen) river-paths.  Not “dam” but “divert”.

  • First step – recognize it is YOUR decision you are repeating.
  • Second step – recognize your brain just wants to follow the previous path/river way.  And that is good.  Decriminalize your past actions due to that repeated decision.  You are not “bad” because you used to smoke, or refuse to read, or do your taxes on time.
  • Third step – decide to review the decision you are replacing EVERY time it gets “triggered”.   It is a repeated decision – put in a counter trigger to remind you to review it.  Say you smoke – to do that you have to get your packet out – open it, get one out, light it, and proceed.  A simple tool might be to put a rubber band around the pack – it reminds you to DECIDE again.  Earlier in the process would be to have a trigger to “Leave your smokes at home”.  Perhaps blu-tac the pack to the bench – the counter trigger will remind you to DECIDE.  If you do not have the pack with you – it adds a barrier in your river.  Create counter triggers – have one to “not buy the cigs.”  Avoid the place where you buy them.  If you do not buy them – you have to “bum” them – and you can build a trigger to prevent that too.  A rule.

As you think about the river metaphor – you will realize that the earlier in the river you intervene – the less water there is to divert.  It easier with a little stream than with a Amazonian flow that happens downstream.  So go upstream.  In this example – when you get the slightest urge/trigger to desire a smoke – overlay that trigger with a preferred action – STEAL it.  When it fires – do some “air squats” or a “60 second meditation” or 5 pushups or some stretches or a make a list of 5 things you are grateful for or brush your teeth or give someone a real compliment.

With enough repetitions – the new decision will OWN the old have-a-smoke trigger.

The decision to repeat your past decisions is yours.  You can dominate the process if you can describe it clearly.  In business I suggest process maps – what happens, then what happens, and so on.  Each step has a “necessary condition” – without which the step cannot proceed.  You cannot smoke a cigarette you do not have any, or if you cannot light it.  You cannot smoke a cigarette without taking the rubber band of the pack.  And you cannot smoke a cigarette if you have truly decided not to, and you prevent yourself doing it “automatically”.

This final perspective can have super powers.  My father stopped smoking the instant he coughed up blood.  A very strong motivation – reasons why – can alter the flow of your rivers instantly.

But many people still smoke while undergoing chemo or suffering emphysema.   The “habit” decision is yours.  Again and again and again.

The pathway to establishing new habits is the same – but you are feeding your river once you have created it.  You can use triggers – like putting your work out clothes and shoes ready to go the night before.  You grease the process – so your new decision just slips into place.  Adapt your environment to support your new river flow.  Borrow water from a friend (or personal trainer) to feed your own river.

Here are some potential habits to make decisions on:

Business Strategic Planning

Instant Improvement Tip – from LinkedIn Profile March 2015

☁ Instant Improvement Tip ☁ March 2015

☛☛☛ Do The Opposite of The People That Fail…

Welcome to March. You are almost one quarter through your year – and if your starting activity has been a little lame – there is still time to recover and have the best year ever. But start now.

Yeah, sure James. Start doing what exactly?

Well, maybe just start with the obvious. You know that about 95% of businesses fail, right. Most in their early years. Then more in their later years. Some truly achieve, and others are only still open because of either the obstinacy or the cash resources of the owners.


Well, in any industry – statistically – most of the businesses are either going to fail, or at least fail to thrive. And therefore…

Therefore if you do what the herd is doing – you are in the group where 95% fail. So don’t do that.

Look at other industries – see what they do that your industry does not do to get more business. Get some “hybrid vigour” happening. Cross pollinate. But DON’T be the guys that are driven by “expected” margins or “industry averages” or “norms”. Because most of your industry competitors will not be around all that long…

Yes – it really is March. And if you are like the majority of your industry – whichever that is – chances are that you have wasted months paddling around in circles because your strategic plan is either “do the same as last year”, or that making your plan is “one of those things you meant to do”?

You do have a strategic plan? Right?

Perhaps a 1-page version like I use? That includes all the important elements, timeframes from 20 years to 90 days, includes the big rock actions and who is responsible for them? Used daily and updated each quarter? No? Better call me then, and be prepared for more progress than you have made in years.

Oh – I wonder what percentage “un-thriving” businesses have one of my strategic plans?  And if you have thrived without one?   Dude!   Think about the concept of “turbo”.

Business Strategic Planning

1000 Push Ups In One Day Sedentary Dude...

Challenge: Do 1000 Full, Strict Push Ups in One Day

Do 1000 Full, Strict Push Ups in One Day

Score: Yeah Baby!!!

This was a test relating to the initial conditions – or structure of a challenge. I said I could 1000 strict push ups, as I had been working on strategy structures.

A friend called “Booshet”.

On review of the conditions specified – it seemed clear that the 1000 reps could be done midnight to midnight.

 Theory – Doing less then 35% of max reps in any set allows massive increase in total work. This means if can do 30 push ups as my max in one set (ie 30 in a row), then for this test I should do a max of 11 pushups in any one set.

Once this number is set, then allow reasonable time between sets. AND if completion of any set becomes difficult, immediately reduce the number of reps in the set. AND increase the time between sets to allow more recovery.

Eg if it gets hard at only 8 push ups of an 11 rep set – then stop, In the next set do 5 reps only. The goal is not to allow fatigue, to do it “EASY”. There is insufficient time to recover from any set done HARD.

I began with sets of 15 based on a 43 maximum rep set done earlier in the week. I allowed a time between sets of 9 minutes.


After 300 push ups, I dropped back to 12 reps per set. And after 750 down to 6 reps. I could have done a higher number – but avoiding fatigue was the key element.

At the end, I could have done more push ups – but was starting to feel some joint pain in my left elbow and was favoring it. I also had developed blisters on the soles of my toes and top of upper parts of my feet. (think about it – half your weight in a pushup is on your upper feet! Wear shoes!)

This test shows that if actions are broken down to do-able steps – a ridiculous goal can be achieved. I also believe that there are some metabolic advantages to this kind of training.

Maybe total GH produced from tiny challenges many times with no recovery time needed, is greater than more intense training with longer recovery times, over the course of a week.

Anyway – 1000 push ups ☑  I wonder if I want to do 5000 push ups in a week?  Hmmm.


Ps – the lessons:

1.  If the theory is wrong – trying harder will still not allow success.  If I had just done as many pushups as possible, then rested, then did as many as I could, then rested – and so on – I would NOT have reached 1000 pushups in a day.  How does this relate to YOUR business model?  If your results do not improve when you “work harder” – look to your business model first.

2.  Things that may at first seem impossible may not be – eg a 50+ slightly podgey male who has been slack in training able to do 1000 pushups in a day?   Without the profound knowledge about the effects of muscle failure and recovery – I would not have been able to do this.  I would have bet against me completing the challenge.

3.  Recognize constraints.  Then create systems and processes that allow the best results.  Will power cannot get you off the floor when your muscles are completely shot.  Will power has a finite effect.

Shorter Video of PM Julia Gillard Using Anchoring Gestures in Election Debate

Here is a shortened video (at the bottom of the post) without my preamble about what to look for.   This is one of the best real world examples of the use of anchoring in politics I have come across.     Just watching the video will give you a better understanding of anchoring.

Remember it is not good or bad that the PM is learning to use these skills.   Doing it well is akin to singing and dancing well at the same time.  Or learning to play the harmonica while singing, playing the guitar, and doing a little dance.

Remember also that before I  pointed this out – most people thought she was just waving her arms around, and that her “body language” coach had gone over the top.   We naturally miss the creation of anchors when we are focused on what is being said – which is why they are powerful.

To keep things simple I have only covered a couple of the things the PM was doing.  How many more can you see?  Is there anything unusual in her head movements?  Or the way she says certain words?

Perhaps it is time to run a class for politicians on secret persuasion techniques?

Does this make you wonder what else you are not seeing?  Know anyone who waves their arms around when they talk?  Are they hypnotizing you?  Or are they just being expressive?



People Cant Resist What They Cant Detect… Julia Gillard!

Has Our First Woman Prime Minister Been Dabbling in “Secret Black” Arts of Persuasion?

Over the last several decades there have been many claims about conscious and non-conscious communications.

Claims about how much of our communication comes “visual, auditory or kinesthetic” modes led to the boom in the so-called “Body Language” popular knowledge.

When we focus in on a topic it is almost impossible to conceal from people who have learned how to interpret our whole range of communications what we really think.  This is the source of intriguing TV series like “Lie to Me”.

The same “science” can be applied to sales and persuasion processes.  When applied consciously it can be devastatingly effective – because the person being persuaded is usually unaware of the different levels they are being worked on.

A very simple example comes from the use of Matching and Mirroring – again from body language of the 1980’s.

The process here was and is very simple.  Mirror the body language of the person you are wishing to build rapport/trust with – with a slight lag.  Folded arms, crossed legs, lean forward/backward, scratch arm (after a lag) and even match speech rates or eating rates so you finish at the same time  – and so on – can be matched almost comically.

People simply do not see it once they are focused in on a subject.

It is  the same as when we do not see the obvious movements of a stage magician because  of the distraction he or she creates.

You know the coin stayed in the hand the pulls it magically from your ear – but you did not see it being kept there.

Body Language Training on Crack

There is another clear example of unconscious communication – and it’s appearance in the recent election debate here in Australia did cause me some consternation at first.

I rarely see our politicians being adept (or at least attempting conscious use of  the process).

More often they appear not coordinated enough to walk and chew gum at the same time, let alone be able to present an argument verbally while communicating on a different level with their body motions.

It is called “anchoring”.

It is used about 99% unconsciously by the general population, and even among the groups that use it – the power is not really understood.

If I make the sound “WHIIZZZZZZ”, then a small gap – then say a loud “BANG”.  Then I repeat it.  WHIIZZZZ…….BANG.  Again WHIZZZZZZ…..BANG.   One more WHIZZZZZZZZ….BANG.

Now when I say to the word “WHIIZZZZZZ”                                Does the BANG naturally follow for you – even though I did not say it?  Probably.

It works because our brains are lazy – and we create shortcuts to save us “rethinking” things.

The SECRET Level In The Election Debate

Now – what has this got to do with election debates – especially where the combatants appeared to be so well behaved on the surface that it was at that level – boring.

Let add just one more level to the intrigue.

As you begin to realize more and more that there is tons going on that we don’t notice – it will make more and more sense.

Our brains operate spatially.   I am going to ask you to just for now accept that when we store “facts” we organize them in space around us.

For example, if you close your eyes and think about how you organize time – you will probably feel that time travels from your left to your right – so that the Past is to the left, Future to the right.  Some people organize the other way – from right to left, and some others do different things again.

Do You Put Your Smelly Kitchen Garbage in The Same Place As Your Prized Photos of  Your Children as Babies?

The point here is that we are generally not conscious of this as we do it.

Most of us have a place that we put stuff we don’t like.  Or do like.

Again close your eyes and remember a wonderful experience – and with your eyes closed [it works with eyes open as well obviously] – point with your finger at the place in the air around you that that fact is stored.

Now think of a negative expericence, and point to where that fact is stored.

It is a different place, right?  In fact if it was not a different place before – it is now.

Now – imagine I am standing in front of you.

Whenever I say something that is nice/good/happy/strong/powerful/positive – I have a choice of where I can “put” it – using my hands/body.

I can simply curl my fingers so that it makes a pointing towards myself.  I can even use both hands to point to me as I “anchor” all that good stuff to me.

And you won’t notice because you are “listening”.  Like the conjurer’s audience – you just won’t see it.

Now – sometimes I will have to say things that are not so pleasant to remember or imagine.  Do I want to attach those sensations to me?  No way!

If I have an opponent or competitor – who is perhaps standing on my left – I use my LEFT hand to push that negative stuff over to where he is – and because he there – he will be anchored to it.

Pretty nifty, ay?

And that is just the very “basic” level of anchoring.  Another easy additional step is to instead of pointing to myself every time I say something positive – I wave my right hand around a bit.    Good things – right hand gestures.  Bad things – left hand gestures.  And always remember to only point to myself with my right hand, and do it regularly.

A different technique to “stack” good things in a pile (probably on my right side – if my opponent is on the left), and then when I want to generate some power – scoop all the good things up – and hold them up (with one or  two hands) so that my audience/camera is looking “through” all the positives straight at me while I talk.

So I need to keep my “rules” straight – so I know where I “leave” things.

But as long as I get it mostly right – the impact at the unconscious level will be a bonus.  Even if I talk mostly drivel – people will still be anchored to think well of me – because all that good stuff is attached to me…

Of course, if I am new at this and try to do a lot a once – I may look a bit like the Lost In Space Robot with my arms flying all over the place.

And while answering a tough question – I may get my hands confused now and then.

So the Prime Minister appears to have had some coaching.  Is that bad?

Well – it might be a bit cynical.  I have a general statement that says “people cannot resist what they cannot detect.”  It is the reason that non-verbal communication is so powerful.

Mostly politicians have believed that just “being themselves” and “thinking on their feet” is the best path to success.  Most are not even aware of the other tools and models of persuasion.

Our PM obviously has become aware of it – and decided that more tools are better.  If  I was to be a politician – and being aware of these skills – I would want them.   Many politicians use tools and models innately – thinking their skills were somehow ‘innate’ – and will be surprised to discover it is learnable.

Knowing that you can be trained to always be able to move around an ‘objection’ – or create a positive spin – by knowing how to apply different  structures of linguistics – is news to 99% of the population.  Just as knowing that the PM believes that changing hands during a debate will give her an advantage will be a surprise for them.

The power of anchoring comes after a lot a practice.  Without that practice it can look like a beginner playing golf once the process is pointed out on film.  Clumsy.

Below is a rough and simple video I created to discuss our current PM’s first public practice.  I have not yet looked at Mr Abbotts hidden persuasion method – that might be next.  I have added a short intro on the anchoring before the debate video begins.

Please join my Business Builder Newsletter List to be updated on the next installment.

Have a great day,

James Hooper

Ps a full copy of the Debate is available from

Military Intelligence = Oxymoron? Not any more?

This morning I came across a great example a skill evasion technique used by the “military politician”.  Whether Major General Orme is a secret student of nlp or whether he just has the existing skill to use a “secret – sleight of mouth” technique – we may never know.

The article by Jamie Walker in The Australian discussion followed that Australian Soldiers are paid reasonably for fighting overseas.  They get more that the US and way more than the poms.  I think they are all underpaid.   Anyway the interview proceeded to the question:

Would heavier Australian casualties in Afghanistan affect recruitment rates?

His answer   “It’s a reasonable question to ask, but I think…  it’s in the space of the political dimension which is probably beyond my gift to respond to.”

I rather think that Major General Orme has the gift of rather good control of his “political space”.  If he is either training in NLP or simply has otherwise obtained a model that allows him to escape a potentially  ‘messy’ question – then perhaps we need to look out for a new breed of soldier politicians.  How many US Generals became President?

It might be a great idea to give our journo’s some training as well – it would make for some delightful interviews.

Have a great weekend.


Townsville  Business Coach

Did You Get Paid For Your Story?

It seems that the wave of people wishing to be paid speakers is building again.  The idea of appearing on stage for either a huge fee or being able to drive people to run to the rear of the room to buy your products – is infectious.

Can “normal” people actually achieve this?

The answer is of course is that people can do whatever they are capable of.   And becoming capable of something – apart from physical shortcomings [eg not tall enough to play NBL, tone deafness can slow your career as a singer, etc.] – becoming capable is a decision.

So you want to become a highly paid speaker, travel the world, have audiences clamouring for more….

Well then – decide to become capable.

Um – ok – then what?

Then learn about modelling.  Not the skinny, strangely dressed runway type modelling – but rather finding someone who can already do what you want to be capable of – who is willing to let you “model” them.  Then be prepared for the potential mental pain of sucking at it at first.

It is the same as learning to walk.  You are going to fall down – but each time you fall you become closer to your goal – providing you both pay attention AND keep at it.

A few weeks ago I went to a very powerful seminar on paid speaking by Joanna Martin.  Jo is an ex-doctor, who worked with the speaking business of an NLP powerhouse.  And she clearly knows the power of modelling.  Were it not for a heavy duty prior commitment I would have paid the several thousand dollars for her workshop – and been there with bells on.  And I am already paid speaker.  There is always more – and someone worth modelling to give great jumps in capability.

The other training that has  me rivetted to my screen is Brendon Burchard.   He is a truly potent speaker, and collects testimonials from people like Tony Robbins, Paula Abdul [seriously], and Brian Tracy.

Naturally he has produced an online course that allows us to model him from the comfort of our homes –  which works for me.  I like to click the “replay” button when working on my skills.  I also like to run the training videos at about 1.7 times normal speed – which you can do in Windows Media Player.

I am impressed – and like all great modern marketers he gives away really wonderful content before letting the content bring people to purchase more of his material and training.

You can get the free awesome content from Brendon Burchard.  You have to give your email – but it is worth it.   You may also find yourself moving easily toward purchasing his entire package – if you are serious about modelling your way to becoming a powerhouse paid speaker.

Be well

James Hooper

Townsville Business Coach

Does Your Retail Sales Team Need Some Training?

Yesterday I had a gap in my schedule so I went for a wander through Castletown Shopping Centre in Townsville.  I  enjoy doing this – and often get insights as to what is “working”, where the people are shopping/not shopping, seeing what is ‘hot’ at local level.

Sometimes there are lessons based on what shops have ‘gorn’ from a high rent precinct.

While it is true that being located in a high traffic place like Castletown does mean higher rents – it is also true that if retailers don’t create systems in their team to “harvest” the traffic – they are doomed or are simply leaving money on the table.

So – as I wandered around looking at trends – I remembered that I needed a new belt.  (Because our new puppy ‘Albert’ had a wonderful time chewing my favourite one.  )  I wander into a menswear shop – past the ‘salesman’ who did not look up from whatever ‘admin?’ he was doing at the “sales” counter.

Oh well – I head over to a rack of belts and start looking through them.  After a minute or so I note they are ‘budget’ looking and move to the next rack.  They all appear to be too long for me.  I look hopefully over to the “salesman” who refuses to look up.  Oh well.  I don’t really need a new belt now, not really.  And I walk out past the “salesman” who still has not in any way communicated with  – apart from the feeling of disinterest.

Chances are that with even a little service I would have spent about $200, right then.  I may even have come back again if I were invited.  I would have freely given my name and details so that they could contact me with ‘special offers’, and I would have accepted a ‘frequent purchaser’ card.   But no – I missed out on some great service.

Even the awful “Kin I help you?” script would have produced some revenue for this business from me.  Now I will do my shopping elsewhere.

What are your retail sales team doing to your ‘potential’ customers?  I only hope that the “salesman” in this case was not the owner.



If you think scripting a sales process reduces creativity – think about movies, songs or just feel the emotion as these children perform..

One of the most common beliefs that come up during sales system developments is that “scripts” turn us into “robots”.

And it is true.   You will have been the victim of a rubbish script at some time.  Usual examples are telemarketers and door to door sales people.  You can feel the ‘fakeness’ in the greeting and loaded first open questions.

Trouble is – that using the lousy end of performances as the model or determinant of the power of scripts – is NUTS!

Would you take the output of very early ‘learner’ musicians who may also be tone deaf  to make the decision that “music is awful to listen to?”  Probably not – but that is what many have done with the idea of ‘scripts’.  We listened to a few badly constructed scripts, delivered by unpracticed, uncoached “sales” people – and it sucked – so we decided that “Scripts were not for us!”

What we meant to decide was that ‘Lousy scripts delivered pathetically were not for us?”

After all – have you ever been to a great movie?  One that made you laugh, or cry, or tremble with fear or excitement?  And GASP out loud in surprise?  Where you have been so drawn in to the ACTORS persona’s that you feel what they feel?  And then left the movie theatre with an elevated mood and a new perspective on the world?

Now think about this.  Every single word is COMPLETELY SCRIPTED in 99% of movies.  Every action is rehearsed.  Every camera angle, every lighting and sound effect – is considered microscopically.   If the director considers that a scene is not delivered effectively – the do it again, and again, and again.

A great movie script with poor delivery will usually suck.  A poor movie script with great delivery – will still be poor.

Is this just the same as a great sales script with poor delivery  and a poor sales script delivered well?  And if the performance is delivered to the wrong audience – more lousy beliefs about scripts will erupt.

So here is the first basic key to sales success.  Deliver your film [sales presentation] to an audience who has a little pre-existing desire to experience it.  ie don’t make a movie for people who never, ever go to the movies.

The second key has it’s clues in the charming performance in the video in the right corner of this page.  The talent show is structured.  The hosts rotate their questioning.  They ask the types of questions that make the performers more interesting, more engaging and more emotive.  Even in whatever language this is – the hosts  interaction with the children “draws us in”.  The responses even more so.

The the children do their ‘performance’.  Every part is carefully scripted.  It is a ‘dance’ like all good scripts are.  The children have done it a million times – and each part is constructed in detail – for a purpose.  They are about 5 or 6 years old.  Because they have a script, and because they had a structure that their script will work in, and an audience looking to be drawn in  – and because they have done the work to be able to complete each part of the dance – we the audience get to be enthralled.

Let’s find a ‘real’ example of a sales script that works in Townsville.  On Tuesday this week I went into a bakery to get a quick late lunch after a hectic morning.  It was the Brumby’s near the IGA in West End.  I was greeted with great smile from a teenage assistant “Good afternoon, what would you like today?”   [Script].   I chose the tomato and beef pie and a bottle of water.  “Great – anything else?”  [Script].  No thanks I said.  And then she left me in wonder with “This week we have lamingtons for $1 with any other purchase.  Would you like one?”

I don’t eat sweets much, but I have a rule that if anyone “bumps’ me [offers me more during a sale] I usually take it.  Just to reward them!  It happens very rarely here in Townsville – apart from the Institutionalized versions [but still good] at MacDonalds.    I buy the extra warranties, the belts, the shirts, the extra – if I am asked – and it is not sweets.

I thanked my Brumby’s assistant – and asked how often people took the offer.  “Heaps” she said – “We do several trays per day.”  This simple script could add $1000 per week to a store’s profit.  Of course the script could be even better, but it was still a great performance.

I asked a few clients about whether they would pay the extra dollar for a lamington – most said YES.  And we went on to review their point of sale scripts and structures.

Now – when you think about scripts in your business.  The question is not whether or not you like them, or if you are going to use them.  The money question is how good are your scripts, and how well are they being presented?  If you have not selected and worked on what scripts you want your team to use – THEY WILL BE WRITING THEIR OWN.

More later on the structure of scripts and how to help your team to love them soon.