Life Coach

When times are tough, don’t skimp on training and personal development

During tough economic times, it’s an unavoidable reality that many organizations have to cut costs. People lose their jobs, perks and benefits get cut, travel gets deferred, events get cancelled – and sometimes business leaders might be tempted to cut the budget for training and personal development.

Don’t do it. In tough times, training and development is the last thing you should cut.

Personal development is an important investment in your people and in yourself – not only for your bottom-line results, but also for your employee retention.

Here are some of the benefits that training and personal development can offer your company, even in a downturn:

  • New ideas and skills. One of the most important things that any company (or individual) can do in today’s economy is to keep learning. We all need to become as adaptable as possible, so that we can anticipate the needs of our clients, respond to changes in the market, and generally evolve along with the rest of the world around us. Even if times are tough and you’ve had to lay people off, it’s valuable for your company to continue developing the people you have left.
  • Send a message that you are an employer of choice. After all, the economy won’t be in the tank forever; eventually companies will start hiring again, and that means that your best people will be getting offers to go work for other companies. By continuing to invest in training and development, even during a down economy, you’re showing your people that you care, that you want them to continue to learn and become their best, and that your company is a great place to work.
  • Get a step up on the competition. When times are tough, that’s when your competitors are probably slashing their training budgets – what a great opportunity for your company to go the other direction. If you can boost your training efforts while your competitors fall behind, your company will be better positioned when the economy recovers.
  • Non-monetary rewards. During tough times it’s not always possible to raise people’s pay or give bonuses. But what if you could provide some training seminars, or some personal development coaching to some of your top people? People are motivated by more than money; your top performers will appreciate the gesture that you can make to offer them some additional training.

No matter what kind of economy we’re in, training and developing your people is one of the best investments you can make in your business. And as we move to the future “knowledge economy,” where the most valuable assets are our people’s individual talents, creative energy and ideas, making sure that the right people stay with your company will be one of the biggest challenges facing any business leader.

So don’t skimp on training and development. The short-term savings are not worth the long-term costs.

Life Coach

How to shift from “informative selling” to “intuitive selling

Back in the “old days” of sales, sales people mainly served as providers of information. The sales person’s side of the conversation basically went like this: “Here’s the product, here are the product benefits. What’s that – you have objections? Here’s some more information to help in overcoming your objections. Sold!”

How many of your sales conversations sound like that today? Probably not many, right?

The truth is, sales people today can no longer count on this old-style “informative selling” approach. Sales people are no longer needed to provide information. The reason is that today we have the Internet! You can do a Google search and find millions of pieces of information on any product or service that you might need to buy. Customers can compare brands, reviews and prices on every product from cars to clothes to electronics, books and shoes. The entire sales process for every transaction is increasingly transparent – giving more power to the customer and less power to the sales person. This is not a “good” or a “bad” thing; it’s just the reality.

So if sales people are no longer needed to provide information, what are we supposed to do?

We need to take our relationships with customers to the next level. We need to go deeper into our customer’s businesses. Instead of “just” being an information provider, every sales person needs to become an “intuitive seller” who serves as a trusted advisor and business partner with their clients. Customers don’t need sales people who can only provide information, but they increasingly trust sales people who can help in their companies’ success.

What does this “intuitive selling” process look like? Intuitive sellers…

  • Provide insights. It’s not enough to just show up to a sales meeting and talk about your product. You need to know enough about your company’s business to show them how your product can fit into the larger picture.
  • Give advice. Even if it’s unrelated to your product or to “closing the sale,” be prepared to offer helpful advice to show that you care and to demonstrate that you’re always thinking about your client’s business.
  • Show appreciation and understanding of your customer’s business challenges. Do you know what your customer’s biggest business challenges are? Do you know how to “walk the walk” of your customer’s business, as well as “talk the talk?”
  • Become part of the customer’s team. If your customers see you as a colleague and peer – not “just” as a sales person – they will be more likely to trust you, welcome you, and buy from you.

If you can provide valuable insights, advice and show a real appreciation of your customer’s business, then you are on the way to being an “intuitive seller” – with much better sales results!

Life Coach

Why sales calls fail (and what to do about it)

We’ve all gotten calls from telemarketers over the years. And usually, the response is to just hang up the phone. Maybe you’ve encountered this in your work life as well – have you ever had to sit through a bad sales presentation from a sales person who obviously knew nothing about your company, didn’t know what challenges you really needed help with, and generally didn’t care?

Bad sales calls are easy to ignore. And the reason is, on a bad sales call, the person doing the selling doesn’t care about the person they’re talking to! When people don’t care about you, it’s obvious – and it’s easy to ignore them.

Here are the biggest reasons why sales calls fail:

  • No rapport with the customer. If someone is only calling you because your name was the next one up on the auto-dial list, chances are that this person doesn’t really have a good reason to call, and won’t have much to say to you.
  • No compelling value proposition. What makes your product or service valuable? Does your customer feel the same way? Is the customer’s perception of value different from your own? Too many companies try to sell products based on what the company thinks is important, not what the customer thinks is important.
  • No deep relationship with the customer. If you don’t have any real relationship with the customer you’re calling, then chances are that person is going to be reluctant to buy from you. Real relationships are based on trust and a proven track record of delivering results; if a customer doesn’t know you, doesn’t know your company, and doesn’t know anyone who’s ever bought from you before, then you’re going to have difficulty selling to that person.
  • No understanding of the customer’s challenges. So many sales people don’t do their homework. They don’t know what really motivates a customer – they don’t know what keeps that customer up at night, and they don’t know how to deliver a solution for that customer’s problem. You can’t assume that every customer is in the same situation; the same sales script won’t work on everyone. You need to be able to empathize with every customer you talk to, and look at the conversation from that customer’s perspective, based on an understanding of that customer’s real challenges.

So now that we know why sales calls fail, what can we do about it?

One of the most important tools that sales people can use is Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). I am a Certified Practitioner and Licensed Master Practitioner of NLP, and I train my clients on how to use these skills to improve their communication, relationship skills, and sales skills.

Here are some key NLP principles for how to make better sales calls:

  • Speak the language of the customer: Don’t sell the customer on a product using the reasons why the product is important to the sales person; instead, adapt the message so it’s in the language of the customer. The customer might not use the same terminology or jargon or have the same emotional connections to the product. Every sales person needs to be able to adapt their language to “speak the language of the customer.”
  • Match and mirror the customer to build rapport: There are ways that you can subtly adjust your speech pattern, your body language, even your blinking and breathing to “match and mirror” the person you’re talking to. This creates a powerful sense of rapport on a subconscious level – the person feels more comfortable with you and favorable toward you.
  • Pay attention to the customer: NLP training can give you some advanced insights and intuitions into human behavior and human communication – you can learn to see the hidden signals that people are sending, and you can learn to adapt your communication accordingly.

This is just a brief overview of how NLP techniques can improve your sales results. With NLP sales training, you’ll never be involved with a bad sales call again!

Life Coach

Five things that business leaders can learn from a life coach

Business leaders are busy people with 1,000 things to think about every day. But no matter what stage of career success you’ve reached, chances are that you could learn some important new perspectives and develop your skills by working with a life coach.

For example:

  1. Greater sense of empathy and personal connection: One challenge of rising to a top leadership position is that it becomes increasingly easy to become encased in a “bubble” and lose touch with the rest of your organization, and even lose perspective on what your people at the lower levels of the company are going through. A life coach can help you stay connected to the various other people who are affected by your decisions and actions, and can help you develop skills to reach out more effectively to other people for feedback, ideas and advice. Business leaders who can keep communications open with all levels of the organization are more likely to be successful – and their companies are more likely to succeed as well.
  2. Big picture thinking: Working with a life coach can help you take a step back from the daily hectic activity of business and give you a chance to breathe and look around – what do you see when you look at the “big picture” of your career and your life? Are you happy with what you see? What would you like to change? Many business executives find that their time with a life coach gives them valuable time just to think, ponder, dream and discuss about where their companies, careers and personal lives are really headed.
  3. Fresh perspective: If you’re grappling with a big decision or an ongoing challenge, sometimes it helps to hear an outside perspective. A good life coach can help you re-evaluate your challenges and consider the issue from all angles. A life coach can serve as an objective sounding board; since the life coach is not directly affected by your decision and is not involved in the problem, the life coach can offer advice and ask the right questions.
  4. Clarity of purpose: Do you ever just feel “stuck?” Not sure how to proceed on a certain issue? Do you see too many shades of gray? A life coach can help you cut through the mental clutter and truly identify the core issues of a problem, thus making it possible for you to move forward with confidence.
  5. Personal empowerment: Even the most “powerful” business leaders can sometimes feel buffeted by forces beyond their control – the economy, market trends, competitors driving down prices and profit margins, or even trouble within the family or within your personal life. A life coach can help you re-affirm your personal sense of power and re-establish a sense of control over your life and career.

Many business leaders tell me that working with a life coach is one of the most productive and refreshing things they’ve done in their careers. Even the most successful business leaders still can learn and benefit from the assistance of a life coach; we all need someone to serve as a confidant and sounding board from time to time.

Life Coach

Questions to ask before hiring a life coach

Life coaching is a growing field in the world of professional and personal development, and business leaders increasingly are hiring life coaches to help them reach personal and career goals. But how do you know if a life coach is the right person to hire? What are some things to look for in a life coach?

Everyone’s situation is different, but in general, people who are considering hiring a life coach should ask themselves the following questions:

  • Is my life coach certified? The field of life coaching is different from other professions (like law, medicine or counseling) in that there is not always a clear “barrier to entry” or regulatory framework – it’s easy for anyone to just put up a website and start selling their services as a life coach. But if you want to make sure to hire a real professional, who has been trained and certified in core principles and best practices, then you should make sure to hire a certified professional life coach who has credentials from a reputable training program or professional association. For example, for my credentials as a coach and consulting hypnotherapist, I have been certified by the Society of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, National Guild of Hypnotists, American Board of Hypnotherapy, and Total Coach, a training program for life coaches run by best-selling author and success coach Mike Litman.
  • What expertise and experience does my life coach offer? Depending on what you need your life coach to help you with, you should ask whether your coach has experience in the particular areas of expertise that you need. For example, if you need leadership training, then ideally your life coach should have some experience in management as part of their career (not only as a coach). If you need help with improving sales performance, hire a life coach who has professional experience in sales. Try to find a life coach who has “walked the walk” as well as “talking the talk.”
  • Can the life coach help me achieve clear and measurable outcomes? A good life coach will help you set clear objectives for what you want to accomplish, and will put together a coaching plan outlining the key steps and actions that you need to take to achieve your goals. The best life coaches are not about “open ended commitments;” the right life coach will help you stay focused on measurable results and accomplishing specific goals.
  • Do I have good “personal chemistry” with this life coach? Sometimes you have to trust your gut. If you feel uncomfortable with a life coach, or if you do not feel that they are trustworthy, then this person is not the right life coach for you. A good life coach should act as a confidant and sounding board – you should be able to open up to your life coach and trust them enough to share your ideas, hopes, dreams and fears. A good life coach should also have a professional demeanor – if a life coach just doesn’t seem quite “put together,” or seems unfocused or disinterested, that could be a warning sign.
  • Do I like the personal style of this life coach? Not all life coaches have the same style of coaching. Some life coaches are more “warm and fuzzy,” while others take more of a “tough love” approach. Some people love to work with a life coach who is more like a friend, while others want a life coach to be more of a “drill sergeant” who will help them shape up and get in gear with unvarnished opinions.

Working with a life coach can be a fun, enlightening and rewarding experience. But make sure to consider these questions before you decide who to hire – it’s important to find the right life coach for you.

Life Coach

Unleash Your True Potential with Powerful
NLP Strategies Phenomenal Measurable
Results – Fast!


Highly trained, experienced and specialized, Steven H. Lyles can tailor a coaching program that will fit your needs. Do you want to become more goal oriented? Are areas of your business floundering or dragging the rest of the business down financially? Use the experience that Steven brings as a Coach and a successful businessman to your advantage. Steven has already helped hundreds of clients and other Practitioners through the use of NLP strategies and personal experience. Coaching provides huge benefits to clients. Now envision how much more you will achieve when you utilize the services of an NLP coach specifically trained in Advanced Mind Skills including Hypnotherapy and TimeLines.

Steven Lyles, is certified hypnotherapists who uses Advanced Mind Skills training along with hypnotherapy to guide, support and facilitate rapid change in your life. You will receive continuous support, supervision and training as Steven’s ongoing commitment to your professional development helps you to create the results.


Everyone’s situation is unique. One client may need more personal strategies for advancement and success while others are focused on the development of their organizational culture. We customize each coaching program to fulfill the needs and achieve the goals of each individual client. All goals are achievable and we will coach you to achieve them.

The Steven Lyles and Associates Consultancy thrive on relationships. We use those bonds to focus our commitment on the three R’s that matter the most: Results, Results, Results!

Every aspect of a successful business must be squarely focused on the bottom line.

Ten Reasons to Hire an Executive NLP Coach.

  1. Address difficult and challenging situations in a non-threatening environment.
  2. Take control of a stalled career.
  3. Talent identification and self actualization.
  4. Leadership Development.
  5. State-of-the-art creativity and innovation.
  6. Declining performance and profitability.
  7. Transition and change management.
  8. Focus on excellence.
  9. Transformational leadership needs.
  10. Profit and Survival.

Organization Benefits to Utilizing a Coach

Coaching can help organizations make sustainable improvements in areas of productivity, internal and external communications, employee attitudes, and recruitment and retention of staff.

7 Benefits for the Organization:

  • Improve productivity, quality, customer service and shareholder value
  • Gain increased employee commitment and satisfaction, which can lead to improved retention
  • Demonstrate to employees that an organization is committed to developing its staff and helping them improve their skills
  • Support employees who’ve been promoted to cope with new responsibilities
  • Help employees to sort out personal issues that might otherwise affect performance at work
  • Gain a satisfactory process for self-development
  • Support other training and development initiatives

11 Benefits for the Individual:

  • Increase motivation, manage your own states and habits, etc
  • Learn to solve own problems
  • Improve managerial and interpersonal skills
  • Have better relationships with colleagues
  • Learn how to identify and act on development needs
  • Have greater confidence
  • Become more effective, assertive in dealing with people
  • Have a positive impact on performance
  • Have greater self-awareness and gain of new perspectives
  • Acquire new skills and abilities
  • Develop greater adaptability to change
  • Improve work-life balance
  • Reduce stress levels

Choose a Coach wisely; your coach sets the stage for success. Knowing the expertise and focus of a Coach will help you to determine if they are the perfect fit for your goals. The ultimate impact on your bottom line results cannot be overlooked.   The Steven Lyles and Associates Consultancy understand the implications to the organization and its stakeholders.

Steven’s unique expertise and focus is his real-life leadership success.  His track record of success is global and his core values of trust, openness, respect, confidentiality and customer responsiveness ensure that you will get the results you need.

NLP strategies

Posted on 05.12.10