New Ways to Minimize Financial Concerns that Erode Employee Performance

Research shows that money worries have a distinct negative impact on employees’ ability to perform their jobs. Financial education can help, but new voluntary benefits—such as student loan refinancing—offer employers a more proactive tool for combatting this productivity drain.

If you’ve ever had any doubt that financial challenges affect your employees’ productivity, findings from the 2014 SHRM Financial Wellness in the Workplace Survey may put that doubt to rest.

Conducted among more than 400 HR professionals, the SHRM survey revealed:


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About the Author

DanMacklinDan Macklin is a co-founder and vice president at SoFi. He is a thought leader whose perspectives on Gen X and Millennial personal finance topics have been featured in a variety of media outlets including CNBC, Fast Company and Mashable, as well as his personal favorite, Italian Vogue!

About SoFi

SoFi is a leader in marketplace lending and the largest provider of student loan refinancing, with over $2 billion in loans issued. SoFi helps ambitious early stage professionals accelerate their success with student loan refinancing, MBA loans, mortgages and personal loans. Its nontraditional underwriting approach takes into account merit and employment history among other factors to provide unique financial and investment products. Borrowers who refinance their student loans with SoFi can expect to save $11,783, on average, over the lifetime of their loans. For more information, visit SoFi.com.

Five MORE ideas for a GREAT year

I am focusing AWAY from ‘having your best year ever’ and zeroing in on ‘having a GREAT year’. For the past few weeks I have given you the list of 21.5 ideas that will drive the years results, and elaborated in detail on several of the elements. See the full list here.

Here are five more sales concepts from my original list to put more sales on your CRM and more money in your ATM.

8. Get your pipeline full. Most salespeople wait until the end of the month, in panic mode, to try to close THE ONE DEAL that they absolutely need in order to make their goal or quota. My question to you is: why are you only focusing on one deal – why don’t you have 20 deals you’re working so that three or four of them pop-in? I’ll give you two guarantees:
1. The one deal you’re praying for will never come about.
2. If you have 20 deals you’re working, three or four will always come about.
Why would you put yourself in a losing position? When, with just a little bit more hard work – you can have a great year. The secret lies in the word pipeline. Your sale has a cycle to it, and a timeline. If it takes 90 days for you to complete a sale, you need 10 sales a month, and it takes you four appointments to make one sale, then 40 appointments a month is the minimum. 60 appointments a month will guarantee your numbers. 80 appointments a month will blow your numbers away. And by the way, to define pipeline a little further, if it takes you four calls to make one appointment, you need to make 320 calls to make 80 appointments. Some of you reading this are thinking the numbers I have given you are unrealistic. There’s a reason for that – you’re a small thinker. Smart salespeople figure out a way to get their company to hire sales support people. Or in many cases – hire them themselves. If you’re going to make a lot of money, the first rule is: you can’t keep all of it. The government teaches you that. There are college fraternities who specialize in future salespeople, interns who would be willing to work like dogs – eager hungry dogs – to help you set appointments. But let me get back to your pipeline: it is the single indicator of what kind of month, and what kind of success you are going to enjoy, or lament. The simple truth is, if you’re not closing enough deals, it’s because you don’t have enough deals pending. Fill your pipeline, and you’ll fill your wallet.

15. Make sales at breakfast. Instead of trying to get to work ‘on time,’ make a five-dollar appointment, and buy a customer or prospective customer breakfast. 7AM, 7:30AM, 8AM – early baby. Make money while other people are driving in the traffic. I start my day so early that my mantra for the last 15 years has been ‘I make money while other people are sleeping.’ And, if you wanna have a great year, you better decide that your work day starts earlier than it currently does. I don’t mean what time you get up in the morning, I mean what time you get into productivity mode. Breakfast is the easiest and most productive time to make a sales call, and build a relationship. I try to have at least 100 breakfast appointments a year – at a total cost of under $500 dollars – and a total ROI of – well, let’s just say, priceless.

18. Double your referrals. Most people ask for referrals. Big mistake. The better way to get a referral is to earn a referral. The best way to get a referral is to give a referral. If you wanna have a great year, try to give every major customer one referral a month. When you ask for a referral and don’t get one, that’s a report card. Your best source for referrals are those people who were willing to give you a testimonial. Referrals are the easiest sale to make. One quick rule: NEVER call a referral on your own. Always ask the person who gave you the referral to call the referral. Have them call in advance so that your call won’t be a surprise.

19. Record your sales presentation. If you want to hear the funniest thing you’ve ever heard in your life, record yourself making a sales presentation. This will give you a combination of hindsight and insight. The hindsight will tell you how you just screwed up the last sale. The insight will tell you what skills you need to improve in order to make the next sale. If you wanna have a great year, you must record your sales presentation once a week – and listen to it the minute you get back in the car or hang up the phone. Not only will it be revealing, it will be painful. Once you get into the habit of doing it, you will also be in the habit of improving. This improvement will guarantee you to have a great year. Think of it this way: every recorded talk will put you on the path to a higher percentage of completed sales. At first it’s painful, but in the end it’s profitable. No pain – no gain.

21.5 You’re not alone. Create a mastermind. All salespeople are in the same boat. The Good Ship Lollypop. Unlimited income, rough (often uncharted) waters. The good news is: You’re not alone. Create a mastermind of non-competing salespeople and leaders to talk about problems-in-common. If you live or die by the numbers, why not have a support team to give you a transfusion once in a while?


About the Author

Jeffrey GitomerJeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible, Customer Satisfaction is Worthless Customer Loyalty is Priceless, The Little Red Book of Selling, The Little Red Book of Sales Answers, The Little Black Book of Connections, The Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude, The Little Green Book of Getting Your Way, The Little Platinum Book of Cha-Ching, The Little Teal Book of Trust, The Little Book of Leadership, and Social BOOM! His website, www.gitomer.com, will lead you to more information about training and seminars, or email him personally at [email protected].

Turn Ideas into ACTION to have a GREAT Year

Everyone wants to have a great year, and many start with a flurry.

Problem is that many can’t keep up the momentum or maintain the dedication to make ‘great’ a reality. The health clubs and gyms are already less crowded.

Last week I posted my list of 21.5 things to do so that you can have a great year every year. They are posted on my LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com/in/jeffreygitomer).

Here are a few items from the list that will help you maintain ‘great’ all year long:
3. Have a deep belief in the 3.5 critical areas of selling. In order to make your message transferable, in order to engage your prospective buyer in a way that they want to do business with you, and before you develop your sales skills, and your presentation skills, you must deepen your belief in your company, your product or service, and yourself. AND you must believe that the customer is better off having purchased from you.

If you’re going to have a great year, you have to believe that you work for the greatest company in the world. You have to believe that you offer the greatest product or service(s) in the world, and you have to believe you’re the greatest salesperson in the world.

I have often said in my live seminars that ‘mediocrity stems from lack of belief more than lack of skill.’ I say it because it’s true. Most people blame their own inability, and their lack of belief, on a variety of external circumstances: pricing, the marketplace, the Internet, the competition, bidding, the economy, and a bunch of other conjured up excuses that prevent a belief system from anchoring in success.

If you believe – all the excuses fade away. If you wanna have a great year, you have to BELIEVE that you’re going to have a great year.

12. Write down your thoughts. Begin capturing your thoughts and ideas in writing. I have been writing for 23 years. Every penny that I have earned since March 23, 1992, (the day my first column appeared in print) I can trace back to something that I wrote. Capturing your thoughts in writing not only helps clarify them to yourself – it helps clarify and transfer them to others. Writing does not just lead to success, writing leads to wealth. If you’re looking to have a great year, begin writing down how that’s going to happen, and what things you have to do to make that happen. Begin to write a game plan. And begin to list the people that can help you, and the ways that they can help you. In order to get in the groove of writing, I recommend that you begin by writing down things at the end of the day that are on your mind. It might be an idea. It might be a task. It might be points you want to cover in a sales presentation. But the more you write down, the less you will have on your mind, and the easier it will be for you to create new ideas. In order to have a great year, you have to have great ideas. And in order to come up with great ideas, you mind has to be both clear and positive.

16. Keep your present customers loyal to you and your company. In order to grow your business organically (the best, strongest, and most economical way), you must FIRST preserve the customers you have. You do this with on-time delivery, excellent service, giving value, and superior communication (not with lowest price). This will breed referrals and testimonials. Two key ingredients for having your best year ever.

17. Double your testimonials. Testimonials make sales when salespeople (you included) cannot. Your customers can sell for you way better than you can. If you’re not employing video testimonials in every aspect of your sales process, you will not have a great year. And worse, you’ll continue to fight the silly ‘price wars’ against your dirtball competitors. Testimonials make sales when salespeople cannot.

20. Start every morning with attitude. Wake up tomorrow morning and grab an attitude book off your bookshelf. Napoleon Hill, W. Clement Stone, Dale Carnegie. Any past master who can give you continued insight into the way you dedicate yourself to the way you think. The late great Earl Nightingale said, ‘You become what you think about all day long.’ The best way for you to have a great year is to begin to think and believe that you’re going to have a great year.

For the more complete list, go to my LinkedIn page (www.linkedin.com/jeffreygitomer).


About the Author

Jeffrey GitomerJeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible, Customer Satisfaction is Worthless Customer Loyalty is Priceless, The Little Red Book of Selling, The Little Red Book of Sales Answers, The Little Black Book of Connections, The Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude, The Little Green Book of Getting Your Way, The Little Platinum Book of Cha-Ching, The Little Teal Book of Trust, The Little Book of Leadership, and Social BOOM! His website, www.gitomer.com, will lead you to more information about training and seminars, or email him personally at [email protected].

It’s a GREAT year so far… or is it?

How’s it going? I mean this year so far? Accomplishing what you thought you would? On the path of amazing achievement? Or are you stuck in neutral, or worse, reverse?

I am AGAINST ‘having your best year ever,’ but I am in favor of ‘having a great year.’ How’s your year so far?

Having a great year is not a matter of doing one thing right – or even making one thing better – it’s a matter or making everything better, so that you can get to GREAT or BEST in whatever you do.

Here is my list of challenges for your GREAT year. Read them carefully and begin with one or two. But all must be initialized and put into action to really have a GREAT year.

1. Define yourself.
2. Develop a sales mission statement.
3. Have a deep belief in the five critical areas of selling.
4. Develop greater pride in accomplishment.
5. You are what you eat.
6. Get rid of one time-waster.
7. Read a book every two months.
8. Get your (sales) pipeline full.
9. Meet your monthly sales quota by the second week of the month.
10. Start branding yourself socially.
11. Get up earlier.
12. Begin capturing your thoughts and ideas in writing.
13. Give one speech.
14. Write one article your customers will read.
15. Make sales at breakfast.
16. Keep your present customers loyal to you and your company.
17. Double your testimonials.
18. Double your referrals.
19. Record your sales presentation.
20. Start every morning with Yes! attitude.
20.5 You’re not alone. Create a mastermind.

Here are two of the challenges that are the ‘kick off’ of this series. I will elaborate on several others over the next few weeks.

2. Develop a sales mission statement. Your company has a mission statement, and you can’t recite yours to me, or even come close. The reason? Because it’s a bunch of corporate marketing drivel that you don’t believe in, let alone memorize. Dude, IT’S THE MISSION! What you need is a sales mission – a reason to walk in the door with information the customer can use, be memorable about it, and walk out the door with a signed contract and a check. The mission that you can all embrace and live by is: ‘Get the customer to buy from me, and make the experience so memorable that they buy again, and tell other people how great my product is, and how great I am.’ That’s an easy mission for you to live by. Mission statements are not meant to be memorized. Mission statements are meant to be incorporated into your philosophy as something that you carry with you as a statement of action. It’s the MISSION.

6. Get rid of one time-waster. I’m asked one question more than any other: “Jeffrey, how can I better manage my time?” Let me give you the answer to that question: You already know what to do with your time – what the hell are you asking me for? I’m going to write a book on time management entitled, You Already Know What to Do, You’re Just Not Doing It. You don’t need a course in time management (which by the way I consider the biggest waste of time). What you need is a lesson in how not to procrastinate. It’s not a matter of managing your time, it’s a matter of doing what you know you have to do, but are just not doing it. The easiest way for me to describe this procrastination situation is to offer you a tip – a time management tip. Here it is: Get rid of one thing that is currently wasting your time. The example I most often give is watching TV news programs, or watching television dramas. If you spent as much time studying how to get your voicemail messages returned, as you did watching some stupid television show, in a year you could be a world-class expert giving seminars for high fees on how to get your voicemail returned. You don’t need to manage your time, you need to allocate your time. You need to invest your time in things that matter, in things that will build your success, and in things that will allow you to have a great year.

Well, there are two sales-shots in the butt. Two or three more next week. I am determined to give you the insight and the tools to have a great year.

I’d love to know what you are doing to have a great year. Send an email to [email protected] and some of your ideas will be posted on my Facebook page.


About the Author

Jeffrey GitomerJeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible, Customer Satisfaction is Worthless Customer Loyalty is Priceless, The Little Red Book of Selling, The Little Red Book of Sales Answers, The Little Black Book of Connections, The Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude, The Little Green Book of Getting Your Way, The Little Platinum Book of Cha-Ching, The Little Teal Book of Trust, The Little Book of Leadership, and Social BOOM! His website, www.gitomer.com, will lead you to more information about training and seminars, or email him personally at [email protected].

Have your BEST year ever? Or have a GREAT year?

I’m challenging you NOT to have your BEST year ever. Rather, have a GREAT year. A great family year. A great achievement year. A great money year. A great health year.

The secret of ‘great’ is NOT to start with ‘it.’ The secret of ‘great’ is to start with ‘you.’ ‘IT’ is I’m gonna buy a new house this year, and ‘YOU’ is I’m gonna study the science of asking questions. ‘IT’ is I’m gonna get something material, and ‘YOU’ is I’m gonna improve myself. To HAVE great, first you must BE great, and DO great.

Start here:
Define yourself. In order to be able to have a great year, the first person that you have to come to know, on as deep a level as humanly possible, is you. Personally, I define myself as a father, a grandfather, a friend, a writer, a speaker, an idea person, a happy person, a thinker, a traveler with endless wanderlust, and a lover of fun and fine things. Contrary to what you might think, I’m not a ‘people person.’ I’m a one-on-one person. I get loyalty by giving loyalty. And I seek new knowledge every day.

Have you ever defined yourself? Have you ever thought about who you are? Much less – have you ever written it down?

And so your first challenge is to book a DAILY hour with yourself. Find a comfortable chair, and open your laptop or tablet to Microsoft Word, and define who you think you are. Or better, who do you think you are at the moment, and make all decisions based on the person you want to become. Once you define yourself, you’ll ascertain both where you are and where you want to grow.

I’ll share one other personal insight with you. I also define myself as the ‘king of sales.’ It’s a personal feeling. And a sense of self-confidence that I carry with me wherever I go. When you define yourself, make certain that you include everything that you are great at. In order to have a great year, you have to think of yourself as great. Even if it’s the ‘greatest salesperson in the company,’ or ‘great dad.’ Whatever it is, to be great – or to have great – you have to think great.

In order to have a GREAT year, you have to do great things and take great actions.

Here’s your list:
1. Define yourself. Read and implement the paragraphs above.
2. Develop a sales mission statement. Something that drives you into the sales call, and have an order in hand when you leave.
3. Have a deep belief in the three critical areas of selling. Company, product, and self.
4. Develop greater pride in accomplishment. No bragging, just humble self-pride.
5. You are what you eat. Stop the fat BEFORE it enters.
6. Get rid of one time-waster. I recommend TV, but you make your own decisions.
7. Read a self-help or business book every two months. Six a year.
8. Get your (sales) pipeline full. Double your pipeline and you’ll double your sales.
9. Get your monthly sales quota met by the second week of the month. It’s easy to do, just turn off the TV.
10. Start branding yourself. Become known as a person of value. Build personal reputation.
11. Get up earlier. Start your day with you, not the news.
12. Begin capturing your thoughts and ideas in writing. Every day, immediately as they occur.
13. Give one speech. Join toastmasters and participate.
14. Write one article your customers will read. Something that helps them and brands you.
15. Make sales at breakfast. Have coffee with a customer or prospect at 7am every day.
16. Keep your present customers loyal to you and your company.
17. Double your testimonials. Testimonials can make sales when salespeople (you included) cannot.
18. Double your referrals. Most people ask for referrals. Big mistake. The best way to get a referral is to earn one. The best way to get a referral is to give a referral.
19. Record your sales presentation. If you want to hear the funniest thing you’ve ever heard in your life, record yourself making a sales presentation.
20. Start every morning with attitude. Wake up tomorrow morning and grab an attitude book off your bookshelf, or open your iPad, and read a few pages.
21. Get great at social. Build a great social following, social presence, social brand, and social reputation.

21.5 You’re not alone. Create a mastermind. All salespeople are in the same boat. The Good Ship Lollypop. Unlimited income potential, while sailing in rough (often uncharted) waters. The good news is, you’re not alone. Create a mastermind of non-competing salespeople and leaders to talk about problems, success, and opportunities in common. Don’t live or die by the numbers. Have a support team to give you a positive idea transfusion once a month.

Having a GREAT year is not a matter of doing one thing right – or even making one thing better – it’s a matter or making everything better, so that you can get to GREAT.

Now you have all of the 21.5 elements. Print them out and post them so that you continually remind yourself of all the elements that it takes to have a great year. Having a great year requires both full dedication and constant reminder.

I hope you have a GREAT year.


About the Author

Jeffrey GitomerJeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible, Customer Satisfaction is Worthless Customer Loyalty is Priceless, The Little Red Book of Selling, The Little Red Book of Sales Answers, The Little Black Book of Connections, The Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude, The Little Green Book of Getting Your Way, The Little Platinum Book of Cha-Ching, The Little Teal Book of Trust, The Little Book of Leadership, and Social BOOM! His website, www.gitomer.com, will lead you to more information about training and seminars, or email him personally at [email protected].