Volkmar Völzke's BLOG


Does your sales team rock 2020?

I find it amazing with what degree of complacency some CEOs and sales managers accept a mediocre performance in sales. Almost like a law of nature! There always seems to be enough reasons:

  1. “You simply can't get good salespeople these days!”
  2. “In our industry, customers always bought because of low price!”
  3. "Someone is just a salesperson, or he/she is not. You can hardly change someone!”

And so on. Frankly, I can't hear these excuses any more.

If people put just as much energy into the advancement of their sales as to look for reasons for trouble, we would be already a considerable step further.

My question is quite simple: What do you do to make your sales really rock in 2020?

More growth than in recent years, a higher margin, more enthusiastic customers and so on.

Of course, this is not possible with the old methods. Indeed, most salespeople have to considerably shake up their mindsets and attitude. Not to mention new sales strategies, tactics and...

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3 Important Reminders for 2020

leadership mindset Dec 26, 2019

In this time when most of us are less "busy" with daily routines and more thinking about essential questions, it is good to remember some important principles.

Here are 3 extremely important reminders for the coming year that many of us keep forgetting:

  1. There are no boundaries, either for yourself or for others.
  2. Change comes through action, not through consideration.
  3. Happiness comes from progress, not from security and stagnation.

In the video I explain more background and give tips on each of these three reminders.

I wish you a strong start into the new year!

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A life full of possibilities

leadership Dec 19, 2019

Just before the holidays is a good moment for me to finally listen to the book, The Art of Possibility by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander. Absolutely worth hearing and reading!

The former world-renowned conductor, and now musical director of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, and his wife share not only fascinating episodes from orchestral life, but also, above all, how to unfold the absolute best of people.

These are strong leadership lessons!

One topic I particularly liked and considered to be extremely relevant for almost all leaders is the removal of self-imposed barriers and the opening up of almost unlimited possibilities through outstanding leadership.

Concrete tip:

"If you first give your team members the highest positive rating and then let them write how they will achieve this outstanding rating (in the future), you will eliminate all fears of failure in one fell swoop and open up completely new horizons for outstanding results.

Because the focus is now...

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How to create momentum for 2020 – right now!

leadership sales Dec 12, 2019

Slowly, the year is coming to an end – again. Every year, the same old story!

Let's talk about business (Christmas cookies have to wait): What can you still do this year for 2020, even if you only have a few days left? Quite a lot!

Because now is not only the ideal time to contact customers, business partners and colleagues that you have neglected for too long, but above all to get the coming year going.

Yes, exactly: It is now that your performance in the first quarter of 2020 that will be decided.

Here are three very concrete ideas about what you should absolutely do in the next two weeks to start 2020 in pole position:
  1. Great ambition. Define your ambition for 2020 right now: What great result do you want to achieve in the coming year that you have not achieved so far; that has absolutely nothing to do with your current position. When it comes to sales, you can set a goal of doubling your numbers. In leadership, your ambition can be to develop your team in such a way that...
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Your mediocre thinking

leadership mindset Dec 05, 2019

In my "Winning Team Workshops," I challenge the participants, again and again, from all directions. Of course, this is intentional, even if it is exhausting for most of them.

I'm talking about a mental challenge here. One of them is how, in our mindset, we deal with extremely successful people.

The differences between the teams are enormous: While some are inspired by controversial people, such as Elon Musk or Steve Jobs, and see them as role models in most ways of thinking, others are cynical and try to find negative characteristics.

I don't need to tell you which teams and companies are generally more successful when it comes to strong growth and innovation.

Whether you like it or not, your beliefs about extreme success directly determine your actual success in life and business. And if you lead teams (or even an entire company), you have a strong multiplier effect: I have never seen a team hungry for success with a hesitant team leader.

Important: This is not about maintaining...

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Are you like Mozart?

leadership mindset Nov 28, 2019

Did you know what Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart did shortly after the death of his first son? He composed a symphony – within only 3 days!

I had the pleasure of listening to this symphony last weekend and found it incredible how one could create such a masterpiece in such a short time.

Before you think, "Yes, Mozart was just a genius," take a closer look at what I just described: What exactly is so ingenious about it that you couldn't do it in your field?

You may not compose symphonies, but you have other things that only you can do so well (and if not, it is time you acquire the necessary expertise).

Most of the successes of such outstanding people as Mozart do not come from "genius" (whatever that may be) but from ways of thinking and behaving, as well as habits that anyone can acquire. Here are three of them:
  1. Momentum. People like Mozart don't fool around long with analyses of how it can and can't be. Instead, they go ahead and produce. Take a look around at outstanding...
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No fantasy!

culture leadership Nov 21, 2019

When I interview a client's executives at the beginning of a collaboration, I almost always ask an intriguing question: "If you had a magic wand and could immediately change something here, what would it be?"

The interesting thing is that almost everyone finds it extremely difficult to answer this question. Not because they don't have enough things to complain about. I've always heard enough of that before.

The problem is different - and that can be very relevant for you and your team: Most of us have forgotten how to think in limitless possibilities. Instead, we are constantly focused on solving problems - also in leadership.

The result: lack of imagination in the design of a strong vision, in the development of strategic possibilities, in positioning in the market and so on.

The imagination of your people (and your own) means an enormous competitive advantage.

What does it take to awaken this imagination? Three things above all:

  1. Decision. You must consciously decide to change the...
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How productive is your leadership?

leadership productivity Nov 14, 2019

My latest (German-language) magazine article deals with the (often) insufficient productivity in management and the considerable damage it causes.

I took up the topic for a good reason: The waste of resources is enormous, in 3 dimensions:

  1. Direct costs without corresponding results. For managers, these costs are usually considerable, but still low compared to the following two points.
  2. Opportunity costs. These are significantly higher, because leaders in particular should have an enormous leverage for results when they spend their time on the most value-creating activities. Every minute in an unproductive meeting becomes a significant waste.
  3. Role model function. If you are not highly productive as a leader, how can you expect it from your team? Don't delude yourself: People are very good at feeling whether or not the management team is productive. And they will behave accordingly.

How can you significantly increase productivity in leadership - with fun and...

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How good are you as your own boss?

leadership Nov 07, 2019

Here is an important reminder: You have a boss who's someone else than you probably think right now. First and foremost, you are not working for someone else – you are working for yourself.

The truth is this: You are both the president and team of your own life enterprise at the same time - and thus, also, your own boss.

And in the role of president, you - like every good top leader - must above all ensure that you use your strengths in the best possible and targeted way - and that you can (and want to) fully perform and thrive tomorrow.

The question, after all is: how good are you as your own boss? Do you take care of your own team (i.e. yourself) as you would expect from an outstanding business leader?

Here comes the crucial truth: You can't lead other people better than yourself - at least not sustainably.

So, how should you ideally lead yourself? Here are three important cornerstones for self-leadership:
  1. Goal-orientation. If you "go to work" every day to only do what is...
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