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Ron Karr's Business Development Blog

Impacting Customer Buying Habits


As a Motivational SpeakerSales and Leadership Expert, I am often asked to consult with clients on a huge issue:  How do you change customers buying habits?

Customers tend to have defined buying habits and pre-defined perceptions of the role a vendor can play for them.  Often, vendors can do a lot more than the customers think but are never given the chance. In some cases, vendor offerings are often commoditized when they shouldn’t be.  Question is how can you create enough IMPACT to take control, avoid being commoditized and change the buyer’s habits to fit your value proposition.

In this short podcast, we will take you through a real life case study in which I helped IMPACT a client’s relationship with their biggest customer from being perceived as a commodity offering to a vendor thought of as critical to their success.  This transformation motivated the customer to move from the traditional bid process to a negotiated agreement.  Now that’s IMPACT! The resulting agreement was a ground breaking change on how that customer purchases that category of product.  BUT it all started with my client changing the way they approached their customer.

How did they dramatically IMPACT and change their customer’s buying habits?  They followed these three rules:

  1. Don’t settle for established buying habits – write down the deal you desire
  2. Create vs. Compete – avoid being a me – too offering. Look for gaps to create different results
  3. Take ownership as the vendor that your destiny is in your control

Listen Now To The Full Story And See How You Can Create Significant IMPACT to Change Your Customer Buying Habits…..

The Key to IMPACT Others

image1-22As a Motivational Speaker and expert on Sales and Leadership, I find that everyone is looking to improve their ability to IMPACT others in their lives—to influence them in order to get what they want. Yet their ability to IMPACT is hindered by the inability to listen.


Most people only hear others, and that limits their IMPACT skills. Hearing is defined by this simple formula:

Incoming Message + Reaction = Hearing

The problem this formula reveals is that we tend to immediately attach our assumptions to the message based on our experiences and bias—and then react accordingly. Many times our reactions are off base and emotional. This causes the other party to react in kind, which greatly diminishes our ability to IMPACT them.

The key to achieving maximum IMPACT is to add a third step, which transforms the act of hearing into effective listening. The formula for effective listening is:

Incoming Message + Assessment + Reaction = Effective Listening (Maximum IMPACT)

Adding the step of assessment gives you a moment to put aside your biases and experiences and listen for the intent of the message based on how the communicator sees the world. This will often lead you to ask follow-up questions to help clarify their perspective and intention. Once you have this information, your reaction will be on point, in keeping with the communicator’s point of view (and often with less emotion on your part). The result is your reaction will often elicit a more favorable response to your requests, which will in turn enhance your ability to IMPACT others.

IMPACTING others is a key skill necessary to succeed in Sales, Leadership and Life. It is essential for gaining significance in other people’s mindsets, which leads to greater influence and success.

In your next conversation, be a leader by engaging in effective listening. Add the step of assessment and you will achieve maximum IMPACT in your conversations.

Using A ROCK to Grow Sales

CPKLogo_yellowdiamondAs a motivational speaker and sales leadership expert, I love to witness inspiring events that spark motivation and action. One such event occurred last week at the California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) headquarters.  CPK’s CEO GJ Hart was hosting the Winter Meeting of the Chief Revenue Officer Mastermind Group (CRO), a group I facilitate, which consists of VPs and CEOs of high-growth companies looking to build high-performance sales cultures.

During the meeting, GJ motioned for me to come join him. We went into the hall where the entire HQ staff was standing to salute this quarter’s ROCK Award Winner. ROCK is CPK’s core philosophy that its employees live by—Respect, Opportunity, Communication, and Kindness.

CPK says its success begins with its people and makes a point to appreciate and recognize those who bring them wins everyday. Studies have shown that the number-one motivating factor for all employees, including sales people, is recognition. CPK has discovered that when that recognition is celebrated by the entire staff, it generates an energy that radiates out to the restaurants and positively impacts customer experiences. Growing sales is all about customer experiences.

The ROCK Award is peer-to-peer recognition. The award is passed on by the previous quarter’s ROCK winner, who in turn picks the next winner.










This quarter’s recipient is Tony Marciano, a Junior Network Admin. According to Andy Mai, CPK CIO, while Tony’s value is his tech experience, even more valuable is his personality and work ethic. Skills mean little if you cannot work well with people. It’s how you apply your knowledge that counts. Tony is known for doing whatever it takes to make things happen, and I can personally attest to that. It’s exactly what I observed as he assisted the CRO Group.

The ROCK award ceremony is powerful. First, in front of the entire HQ staff, they played a video of Tony’s fiancée (who could not attend) giving a heartfelt congratulatory message. Joining the employees watching the video was CEO GJ Hart (pictured in the top left corner below).








Following the fiancée’s message was an appearance by Tony’s parents, who were asked to say a few words.










The ceremony wrapped up with Tony’s boss (CIO Andy Mai) and others explaining why Tony deserved this award. To top it off, the recipient is always given presents representing their passions in life, which for Tony was whiskey and garlic. Of course all were invited to participate in a celebratory toast.


This ceremony takes place right in front of a giant ROCK that goes from floor to ceiling. On the ROCK are nameplates of the award’s recipients. Tony’s plate will be added to the ROCK shortly.

Congratulations to Tony Marciano on a job well done. Congratulations to CEO GJ Hart and his senior management team for creating an environment that brings out the best in people and celebrates their victories. It is this type of energy, invigoration, and motivation that is necessary to create customer experiences that help grow sales.

Super Bowl Lessons for Sales Leaders

SBEver lose that big deal, the one you were working on for a long time and thought you had in the bag, only to learn someone else came in from under you and stole the show? If you were rooting for the Panthers in the Super Bowl, you know exactly what I mean. I deal with this issue often as a MOTIVATIONAL KEYNOTE SPEAKER.

Cam Newton had a tremendous year. The Panthers were heavy favorites to win over the sympathetic favorite, the Broncos. Yet all that came crashing down as the Bronco’s DEFENSE manhandled Cam and shut down the Panthers juggernaut offense. A stunning upset!

So how does one recover from such a defeat and carry on? ALL top producers and the most successful people in this world will tell you that their greatest successes came from their greatest failures. While the hurt is stinging and the pain is raw at first, the dust always settles. Then the question is whether one will be bold enough to open themselves up to the learning opportunities that come from the tough defeat. It is those lessons that will lead to future victories.

As a Sales and Leadership Expert, I always advise CEOs and sales execs to not only ask prospective candidates about their past successes, but to ask about their past failures and what they learned from them. If the candidate can’t think of any or did not learn anything from them, I advise my clients to look elsewhere. The reason is simple. We all fail more often than we succeed. A baseball player batting .300 is considered a star and makes millions of dollars a year. That means that for every ten at bats, he only gets three hits. Three hits out of ten tries? If you didn’t know any better, you would call that person a huge failure in life.

The reality is, the numbers are not much different for us, though we may compete in a different arena. The star baseball player is constantly learning from his strikeouts in order to be in a position to make the three key hits that matter the most.

Do you learn from your strikeouts? Are you letting your defeats stop you from going forward? Or are you accepting them as part of your success journey and looking for the learning points that will lead to future and greater successes?

As for Cam Newton, he taught all of us a valuable lesson on how NOT to handle defeat. This great athlete with a huge personality all but collapsed in the public eye during his post-game interview. Wearing a hoodie, he did not say much, except, “I don’t know what you want me to say.” He should learn from his coach, Ron Rivera, who praised the Broncos, congratulated them, and said the loss will sting for a while, but the Panthers will be back.

In defeat, the way we handle the aftermath is as important as the lesson we gain from the loss. The way we respond to defeat defines the character and makeup of a person, especially in the public eye. This is what makes a champion that wins the support of others.

Bottom Line: Of course you should be upset that you lost a sale. Use the frustration and bitter disappointment as the motivational foundation to do better next time. But also learn to forgive yourself, know it is part of the journey, learn from it, and remember that people are watching how you respond to defeat.

Congratulations to the Broncos! To Cam Newton and the Panthers, there is a championship in your future if you believe in it.

New Technology for Building Your Business…..

Welcome to Periscope!  Periscope is a new app offered by Twitter that allows people to live stream video to their clients, followers and the world. I am now broadcasting on Periscope a few times a week to communicate with you, our clients, tips on how to grow your business.

Periscope-LogoTo get this FREE service, simply go to the app store on your smartphone and download the free Periscope app . After you sign up, look for Ron Karr  and follow me. Whenever I am broadcasting, an alert will come through on your phone so you can tune in.  If you are busy, you will have 24 hours to replay it before it is deleted.

This is a great tool for you to use with your clients. Imagine broadcasting via live stream the latest deal you closed, the latest problem you have addressed, the latest solution you are bringing to the market place. This is a technology that will revolutionize your business.

The key to building sales is creating relationships and enjoying share of mind. By broadcasting via video to your tribe on an ongoing and consistent basis, you will accomplish more than you have done up to now with less effort and no expense. And you will be consistently in front of your customers. Plus, if your information is good, it will lead to more business.

So first things first!  Download the Periscope app today on your smartphone. Follow me and see how I do my broadcasts. You will gain valuable information on how to grow your business and you will learn how to use this tool for your business.

See you on Periscope!

Worst Mistake One Can Make In Motivating Sales People

This is a guest post by my friend, award-winning speaker and leadership author, Eric Chester


“We’re adding a little something to this month’s sales contest. As you all know, first prize is a Cadillac El Dorado. Anybody wanna see second prize? Second prize is a set of steak knives. Third prize is…you’re fired.”

In the 1992 film Glengarry Glen Ross, Blake—famously portrayed by Alec Baldwin—issues this decree, exposing an artful display of insult and injury in the guise of a motivational speech to the troops.

Many who’ve seen this film probably think this scenario is as far fetched as Jurrasic World. Those, like myself, who’ve experienced a high pressure sales environment know it’s as real as the air we breathe, and it’s a lot more terrifying than any fiction writer could possibly imagine.

Sadly, the old school Glengarry Glen Ross cultural mindset is not extinct; in fact, it’s still very much alive.

Though they may not have a commander like Blake, there are still many companies that try to incentivize performance by staging periodic contests that essentially pit one employee against the other. This approach always leaves a few employees feeling like winners, while the majority are left feeling like losers.


Beth, a longtime friend of mine, is a sales rep for a large pharmaceutical company. She lives in Boulder and covers a five state territory. Like most competitors in this industry, Beth’s company promotes an annual Winner’s Circle incentive trip to an exotic destination for only the top 5 producers among a staff of 48 sales reps in her division. The rules and metrics of the competition change slightly from year to year, but it’s based primarily on exceeding a sales quota determined somewhat arbitrarily by the VP of Sales in the corporate office in Chicago. As you might imagine, Beth spends a great portion of her time traveling to and from accounts; from Omaha to Salt Lake, and from Albuquerque to Casper. The sales rep that beat her out for the fifth and final spot this past year covers only the Dallas/Fort Worth metropolitan area. To add insult to injury, Beth exceeded her pre-established quota by more than $220,000, but still lost out on the all-expense paid trip to the Grand Caymans because her counterpart in Dallas beat his much lower quota by a mere $317 more than Beth exceeded her’s.


A neighbor of mine, Tony, sells windows and siding for a large big box retailer. His company’s incentive trip is set up with a completely different new school mindset. Every sales rep in his company whose annual sales exceed one million dollars gets to go on an all expense paid luxury cruise tabbed “The Million Dollar Boat.”  There’s no fluctuating quota established by some wizard hiding behind the company curtain. Rather, this is a very transparent and defined sales goal.  Granted, it’s not easy to get on that boat, but any third-grader could understand the rules. And there are no managerial politics involved in deciding who goes.  Tony has been on this trip five years in a row and he says it’s one reason he loves his job and has no desire to work anywhere else.


When Tony has an idea or learns a technique that helps him increase his sales, he eagerly shares it with all his associates. After all, Tony wants all of his coworkers to ‘win’ and get on the boat with him; e.g. “the more, the merrier!”  His company fosters a culture of collaboration and celebration that inspires everyone to work harder, perform better, and stay longer.

When Beth has an idea or learns a technique that helps her increase her sales, she’s motivated to keep it a secret. After all, why would she want to help a coworker increase their sales if it puts them in the Winner’s Circle and leaves her out?  For the second year in a row, Beth had a record-breaking year and was her company’s 6th top producing sales rep, and she didn’t even get a set of steak knives.

Did this result motivate Beth to work harder next year?  Hardly. It did, however, motivate her to begin circulating her resume’ and start returning the multitude of calls she’s been getting from headhunters.
Discover how to go beyond mere employee engagement in Eric Chester’s new book, On Fire at Work: How Great Companies Ignite Passion in Their People Without Burning Them Out available this fall.

3 Strategies to Exceed Your 2015 Sales Goals

If you are like our clients, you are probably wondering how your sales people are going to meet and exceed the aggressive budgets you have given them for 2015.

We want to share with you the 3 mindsets we have used with our clients to help them double, triple and quadruple their sales.

 To learn more about these strategies, please watch this short video:

YouTube Preview Image

Click Here to Watch the Video 

In this video we discuss the following paramount topics:

  • Creation vs. Competition
  • Openings vs. Closings
  • Velocity vs. Dribble

As the author of the CEO Best Selling Book Lead, Sell or Get Out of the Way, we have helped organizations in six continents significantly increase their revenues.  Be sure to watch this video to get three solid tips on how to grow your business significantly this year.

Click Here to Learn How to Exceed your 2015 Sales Goals

How to Get the Most Out of the Holidays

Our ability to influence others and make impacts in people’s lives depends on how we show up.  Watch this video tip on how you can enhance your holiday experience while having positive impacts on others.

3 Mindsets of Top Producers

Authored by John Lusher

Are you looking for ways to significantly increase your business without working harder? Are you looking for ways to become more competitive? Are you looking for ways to double, triple and quadruple your sales in less time? Then you need to start with the way you think! It is all about your mindset!

As a profesional that helps companies grow their business through marketing, I have had the honor of hearing many people speak. Recently I sat in on this presentation by Ron Karr, “3 Mindsets of Top Producers” and was shocked by the impact it had on the lives of the audience members.

This dynamic speaker is opening the eyes of entrepreneurs, sales executives and CEO’s as to what it takes to be a top producer. The impacts this keynote is making on Ron’s audiences is staggering ranging from audience members closing their biggest deals within days of the presentation to key account managers closing industry leading ground breaking deals. It’s also changing the way CEO’s think about their business.

Mindsets Continue Reading 3 Mindsets of Top Producers

Why Joan Rivers Was a Sales Superstar

Today we are mourning the loss of Comedian Joan Rivers.

imageFor the the past 50 years she entertained and at times offended audiences. The reason she was a sales superstar is because she achieved success by implementing the same strategies top producers and entrepreneurs use to succeed. They are:

1. Never Take NO For an Answer: Joan was hired and fired many times. People said she could not succeed and had no reason being on stage. She never let that stop her. She relied on her inner strength and confidence to keep going out there day in and day out to make a difference. Sometimes she succeeded and sometimes she failed. But, As we stand here today we can all agree her life was a tremendous success!

POINT: Never let rejection stop you or deter you from achieving your life’s goals. Continue Reading Why Joan Rivers Was a Sales Superstar

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