AWB statement on proposed Senate budget

AWB LogoKris Johnson, president of the Association of Washington Business, issued the following statement Tuesday regarding the Senate Majority Coalition Caucus’ proposed 2015-17 state operating budget:

“No budget is perfect, but this proposal is an encouraging step for Washington families and employers. It prioritizes education spending, both for K-12 students and college and university students, and it manages to do so without raising taxes on families or employers.

“By avoiding tax increases, Senate leaders have demonstrated they understand that Washington’s economy is still fragile and that many parts of the state are still struggling to emerge from years of recession. In 37 of 39 counties, Washington’s unemployment rate remains higher than the national average. They also proved that it’s possible for the state to live within its means, something that voters have made clear they want.

“We recognize this budget is very different from the one that House leaders proposed, but we are hopeful that lawmakers in the Senate will quickly approve it so legislators in both chambers can begin the hard work of finding a bipartisan compromise that works for all Washingtonians.”

About the Association of Washington Business

Formed in 1904, the Association of Washington Business is Washington’s oldest and largest statewide business association, and includes more than 8,300 members representing 700,000 employees. AWB serves as both the state’s chamber of commerce and the manufacturing and technology association. While its membership includes major employers like Boeing, Microsoft and Weyerhaeuser, 90 percent of AWB members employ fewer than 100 people. More than half of AWB’s members employ fewer than 10. For more about AWB, visit www.awb.org.

Bellevue College VP Dr. Gayle Colston Barge named one of the nation’s top 25 Women in Higher Ed

Dr. Gayle Colston BargeDr. Gayle Colston Barge, Bellevue College Vice President for Institutional Advancement, has been named one of the nation’s Top 25 Women in Higher Education by Diverse Issues in Higher Education in their annual special issue for Women’s History Month.

Barge is recognized as an expert on African-American women and work-life balance.  This fall she will present at the Oxford Women’s Leadership Symposium in Oxford, England. She has more than 30 years’ experience in marketing, communications and public affairs positions.  At Bellevue College she provides leadership and supervision for all fundraising, marketing and communications outreach, including the college’s 50th anniversary celebration in 2016.

The Top 25 Women in Higher Education issue includes several college and university presidents and executives of educational organizations and associations. The women featured have made a difference in the world by tackling some of higher education’s toughest challenges and exhibiting extraordinary leadership skills. The issue’s cover features trailblazing leader Dr. Belle Wheelan, president of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, who was selected as the 2015 Dr. John Hope Franklin Award winner.  To learn more about this year’s Top 25 Women in Higher Education, please visit: http://diverseeducation.com/W-H-M/Top-25-Women-2015.pdf

About Bellevue College: With an annual average enrollment of over 33,000, Bellevue College is one of the largest educational institutions in Washington State. BC offers associate degree programs covering the first two years of a college education as well as four-year bachelor’s degrees, certificates and continuing education programs in more than 90 professional and technical fields, such as information technology, telecommunications, business, education, health and public safety. Visit and learn more at www.bellevuecollege.edu

MSTRKRFT and Swollen Members Added to the World Ski & Snowboard Festival Music Lineup

World Ski and Snowboard Festival 2015 Whistler BCPlus New Events: The Monster Energy In The Beginning Party At The Bearfoot Bistro, The Whistler Comedy Showdown and Girls Gettin’ It Done Movie Night 

WHISTLER, BC – March 27, 2015 – Even more music has been added to the Outdoor Concert Series and Kokanee Freeride Club Series lineup at the World Ski & Snowboard Festival (WSSF) in Whistler, BC.

MSTRKRFT will play a free show in Skier’s Plaza at the base of Whistler Mountain on Sunday, April 19 to close out the WSSF Outdoor Concert Series. MSTRKRFT will turn the energy up and have the crowd dancing one last time before the 20th annual WSSF begins to wind down for another year.

Swollen Members will play a free show in Skier’s Plaza on Saturday, April 11, following the Gibbon’s Big Air which will be held in the Nintendo Terrain Park on Blackcomb Mountain. Swollen Members has close ties with the Festival and have been a part of the WSSF Outdoor Concert Series lineup more times than any other band in WSSF’s 20 year history.

Longstride has joined the Outdoor Concert Series lineup on April 15 and will also play a Kokanee Freeride Club Series show at the Longhorn later that night.

Smalltown DJs, DJ Pump and Illo have all been confirmed to play Monster Energy’s In The Beginning party at the Bearfoot Bistro on Saturday, April 11. In The Beginning is a new event for 2015 and has been added to the WSSF schedule of events to kick things off in true Whistler style. Tickets are available for purchase at wssf.com/In-the-Beginning.

Also new for 2015, the Whistler Comedy Showdown is happening on Tuesday, April 14. The Whistler Comedy Showdown is a stand-up comedy competition featuring a lineup of both newbies and well-known comedians from the Sea to Sky Corridor. The competition will be held at Buffalo Bills with two preliminary rounds, the first on March 31 and the second on April 7. The top three comedians from each show (plus wildcards) will move on to the finale round on April 14 during WSSF. Details and ticket information available at wssf.com/Whistler-Comedy-Showdown.

Girls Gettin’ It Done: Monday Movie Night is another new event on the WSSF schedule for 2015. The event will celebrate women in sport and film and will leave viewers feeling empowered and inspired. The night will feature two films: The Little Things and Pretty Faces. The Little Things, by Darcy Turenne and Marie-France Roy is a snowboard movie project with a serious environmental message, while Pretty Faces from Unicorn Picnic Productions is an all-girl ski film that celebrates the women who are pushing the sport of skiing and living life to the fullest. More information about the event and the films is available at wssf.com/Girls-Gettin-It-Done.

For those who want to get involved with the World Ski & Snowboard Festival:

Registration is now open for the Monster Energy Shred Show Boarderstyle. Entry is free but interested athletes must register online in advance at wssf.com/The-Shred-Show. This year’s event will see a new women’s category and over $6,000 in total prize money. Online registration closes April 14 at 5pm PST.

Filmmakers can now register to compete in the OLYMPUS 72 Hour Filmmaker Showdown. Participants have 72 hours to film, edit and deliver a three to five minute short film all shot within 100km of Whistler beginning April 10. Up to ten films will be selected by an esteemed review panel and screened at the Whistler Conference Centre in front of a live audience on Wednesday, April 15. There is over $10,000 in prizing on the line for the team that wins Best In Show and Olympus is offering a bonus prize of an additional $5,000 if the winning film is shot entirely using Olympus cameras and lenses. More information available at http://www.wssf.com/filmmaker-registration.

WSSF is always looking for volunteers to help out behind the scenes to help put on Whistler’s biggest party of the season. People interested in volunteering can register at wssf.com/Volunteer.

For those who want to make a difference:

The Sea to Sky Walk a Mile in Her Shoes fundraiser returns to WSSF on Sunday, April 12, where men from up and down the Sea to Sky Corridor will rally together to raise awareness in our community about the serious causes, effects and remediation of violence against women. Participants will don bright red high heels and march through Whistler Village at 4pm. Advanced registration is available at wssf.com/Walk-A-Mile-in-Her-Shoes or men can sign up on the day in front of Moguls Coffee House at 3pm. All proceeds from the event go to support the Whistler Women’s Centre.

Whistler Dog Fest returns to WSSF on Saturday, April 18. Dog Fest has been a part of the WSSF schedule since 1998 because Whistler knows canine companions like to party too. A fundraiser for the BC Humane Society, this year’s event will include a dog parade, exhibitions, agility demonstrations and competitions. More information will be posted to wssf.com/Whistler-DogFest as it becomes available.

WSSF’s annual Best of the Fest event will take place at the Garibaldi Lift Co. (GLC) on Sunday, April 19. Tickets are available at wssf.com/Best-of-the-Fest with all proceeds from the event going to Playground Builders, a charitable organization that builds safe play areas for children in underprivileged or war-torn regions. The winning shows from the Olympus 72 Hour Filmmaker Showdown, Olympus Pro Photographer Showdown and Intersection will be shown at the event.

For the kids and the young at heart:

Big Air Bear, the World Ski & Snowboard Festival’s official mascot, will celebrate his 13th birthday with his cuddly companions at Mascot Mayhem on Sunday, April 19. Families are welcome to join Big Air Bear and his best friends for cake, games and good times in Whistler’s Village Square at 12:30pm. More information available at wssf.com/Mascot-Mayhem.

Tickets to the evening gala events are now available for purchase at www.wssf.com.

To connect with the World Ski & Snowboard Festival online, Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram
.

The World Ski & Snowboard Festival has a brand new mobile app called WSSF Live. It is available for FREE in the App Store for Apple and Android phones.

The World Ski & Snowboard Festival (WSSF) is produced by Watermark Communications, a Whistler‐based event production & communications company, and presented in partnership with Tourism Whistler and Whistler Blackcomb. April 2015 will mark the 20th annual World Ski & Snowboard Festival and will celebrate how the event has grown over the years into the largest annual winter sports and music festival in North America. WSSF is a 10 day and night showcase of the best of snow sports, music, arts and mountain culture. Featuring major professional ski and snowboarding competitions, the largest annual free outdoor concert series in Canada, photography and film showcases, and spring skiing at Whistler Blackcomb, the World Ski & Snowboard Festival is the poster child for the ultimate ski and snowboard festival experience. In blazing the way for the youth of tomorrow, the World Ski & Snowboard Festival embodies the mantra: ‘Party in April. Sleep in May.’

AWB statement on proposed Senate budget

AWB LogoKris Johnson, president of the Association of Washington Business, issued the following statement Tuesday regarding the Senate Majority Coalition Caucus’ proposed 2015-17 state operating budget:

“No budget is perfect, but this proposal is an encouraging step for Washington families and employers. It prioritizes education spending, both for K-12 students and college and university students, and it manages to do so without raising taxes on families or employers.

“By avoiding tax increases, Senate leaders have demonstrated they understand that Washington’s economy is still fragile and that many parts of the state are still struggling to emerge from years of recession. In 37 of 39 counties, Washington’s unemployment rate remains higher than the national average. They also proved that it’s possible for the state to live within its means, something that voters have made clear they want.

“We recognize this budget is very different from the one that House leaders proposed, but we are hopeful that lawmakers in the Senate will quickly approve it so legislators in both chambers can begin the hard work of finding a bipartisan compromise that works for all Washingtonians.”

About the Association of Washington Business

Formed in 1904, the Association of Washington Business is Washington’s oldest and largest statewide business association, and includes more than 8,300 members representing 700,000 employees. AWB serves as both the state’s chamber of commerce and the manufacturing and technology association. While its membership includes major employers like Boeing, Microsoft and Weyerhaeuser, 90 percent of AWB members employ fewer than 100 people. More than half of AWB’s members employ fewer than 10. For more about AWB, visit www.awb.org.

Bellevue College VP Dr. Gayle Colston Barge named one of the nation’s top 25 Women in Higher Ed

Dr. Gayle Colston BargeDr. Gayle Colston Barge, Bellevue College Vice President for Institutional Advancement, has been named one of the nation’s Top 25 Women in Higher Education by Diverse Issues in Higher Education in their annual special issue for Women’s History Month.

Barge is recognized as an expert on African-American women and work-life balance.  This fall she will present at the Oxford Women’s Leadership Symposium in Oxford, England. She has more than 30 years’ experience in marketing, communications and public affairs positions.  At Bellevue College she provides leadership and supervision for all fundraising, marketing and communications outreach, including the college’s 50th anniversary celebration in 2016.

The Top 25 Women in Higher Education issue includes several college and university presidents and executives of educational organizations and associations. The women featured have made a difference in the world by tackling some of higher education’s toughest challenges and exhibiting extraordinary leadership skills. The issue’s cover features trailblazing leader Dr. Belle Wheelan, president of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, who was selected as the 2015 Dr. John Hope Franklin Award winner.  To learn more about this year’s Top 25 Women in Higher Education, please visit: http://diverseeducation.com/W-H-M/Top-25-Women-2015.pdf

About Bellevue College: With an annual average enrollment of over 33,000, Bellevue College is one of the largest educational institutions in Washington State. BC offers associate degree programs covering the first two years of a college education as well as four-year bachelor’s degrees, certificates and continuing education programs in more than 90 professional and technical fields, such as information technology, telecommunications, business, education, health and public safety. Visit and learn more at www.bellevuecollege.edu

MSTRKRFT and Swollen Members Added to the World Ski & Snowboard Festival Music Lineup

World Ski and Snowboard Festival 2015 Whistler BCPlus New Events: The Monster Energy In The Beginning Party At The Bearfoot Bistro, The Whistler Comedy Showdown and Girls Gettin’ It Done Movie Night 

WHISTLER, BC – March 27, 2015 – Even more music has been added to the Outdoor Concert Series and Kokanee Freeride Club Series lineup at the World Ski & Snowboard Festival (WSSF) in Whistler, BC.

MSTRKRFT will play a free show in Skier’s Plaza at the base of Whistler Mountain on Sunday, April 19 to close out the WSSF Outdoor Concert Series. MSTRKRFT will turn the energy up and have the crowd dancing one last time before the 20th annual WSSF begins to wind down for another year.

Swollen Members will play a free show in Skier’s Plaza on Saturday, April 11, following the Gibbon’s Big Air which will be held in the Nintendo Terrain Park on Blackcomb Mountain. Swollen Members has close ties with the Festival and have been a part of the WSSF Outdoor Concert Series lineup more times than any other band in WSSF’s 20 year history.

Longstride has joined the Outdoor Concert Series lineup on April 15 and will also play a Kokanee Freeride Club Series show at the Longhorn later that night.

Smalltown DJs, DJ Pump and Illo have all been confirmed to play Monster Energy’s In The Beginning party at the Bearfoot Bistro on Saturday, April 11. In The Beginning is a new event for 2015 and has been added to the WSSF schedule of events to kick things off in true Whistler style. Tickets are available for purchase at wssf.com/In-the-Beginning.

Also new for 2015, the Whistler Comedy Showdown is happening on Tuesday, April 14. The Whistler Comedy Showdown is a stand-up comedy competition featuring a lineup of both newbies and well-known comedians from the Sea to Sky Corridor. The competition will be held at Buffalo Bills with two preliminary rounds, the first on March 31 and the second on April 7. The top three comedians from each show (plus wildcards) will move on to the finale round on April 14 during WSSF. Details and ticket information available at wssf.com/Whistler-Comedy-Showdown.

Girls Gettin’ It Done: Monday Movie Night is another new event on the WSSF schedule for 2015. The event will celebrate women in sport and film and will leave viewers feeling empowered and inspired. The night will feature two films: The Little Things and Pretty Faces. The Little Things, by Darcy Turenne and Marie-France Roy is a snowboard movie project with a serious environmental message, while Pretty Faces from Unicorn Picnic Productions is an all-girl ski film that celebrates the women who are pushing the sport of skiing and living life to the fullest. More information about the event and the films is available at wssf.com/Girls-Gettin-It-Done.

For those who want to get involved with the World Ski & Snowboard Festival:

Registration is now open for the Monster Energy Shred Show Boarderstyle. Entry is free but interested athletes must register online in advance at wssf.com/The-Shred-Show. This year’s event will see a new women’s category and over $6,000 in total prize money. Online registration closes April 14 at 5pm PST.

Filmmakers can now register to compete in the OLYMPUS 72 Hour Filmmaker Showdown. Participants have 72 hours to film, edit and deliver a three to five minute short film all shot within 100km of Whistler beginning April 10. Up to ten films will be selected by an esteemed review panel and screened at the Whistler Conference Centre in front of a live audience on Wednesday, April 15. There is over $10,000 in prizing on the line for the team that wins Best In Show and Olympus is offering a bonus prize of an additional $5,000 if the winning film is shot entirely using Olympus cameras and lenses. More information available at http://www.wssf.com/filmmaker-registration.

WSSF is always looking for volunteers to help out behind the scenes to help put on Whistler’s biggest party of the season. People interested in volunteering can register at wssf.com/Volunteer.

For those who want to make a difference:

The Sea to Sky Walk a Mile in Her Shoes fundraiser returns to WSSF on Sunday, April 12, where men from up and down the Sea to Sky Corridor will rally together to raise awareness in our community about the serious causes, effects and remediation of violence against women. Participants will don bright red high heels and march through Whistler Village at 4pm. Advanced registration is available at wssf.com/Walk-A-Mile-in-Her-Shoes or men can sign up on the day in front of Moguls Coffee House at 3pm. All proceeds from the event go to support the Whistler Women’s Centre.

Whistler Dog Fest returns to WSSF on Saturday, April 18. Dog Fest has been a part of the WSSF schedule since 1998 because Whistler knows canine companions like to party too. A fundraiser for the BC Humane Society, this year’s event will include a dog parade, exhibitions, agility demonstrations and competitions. More information will be posted to wssf.com/Whistler-DogFest as it becomes available.

WSSF’s annual Best of the Fest event will take place at the Garibaldi Lift Co. (GLC) on Sunday, April 19. Tickets are available at wssf.com/Best-of-the-Fest with all proceeds from the event going to Playground Builders, a charitable organization that builds safe play areas for children in underprivileged or war-torn regions. The winning shows from the Olympus 72 Hour Filmmaker Showdown, Olympus Pro Photographer Showdown and Intersection will be shown at the event.

For the kids and the young at heart:

Big Air Bear, the World Ski & Snowboard Festival’s official mascot, will celebrate his 13th birthday with his cuddly companions at Mascot Mayhem on Sunday, April 19. Families are welcome to join Big Air Bear and his best friends for cake, games and good times in Whistler’s Village Square at 12:30pm. More information available at wssf.com/Mascot-Mayhem.

Tickets to the evening gala events are now available for purchase at www.wssf.com.

To connect with the World Ski & Snowboard Festival online, Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

The World Ski & Snowboard Festival has a brand new mobile app called WSSF Live. It is available for FREE in the App Store for Apple and Android phones.

The World Ski & Snowboard Festival (WSSF) is produced by Watermark Communications, a Whistler‐based event production & communications company, and presented in partnership with Tourism Whistler and Whistler Blackcomb. April 2015 will mark the 20th annual World Ski & Snowboard Festival and will celebrate how the event has grown over the years into the largest annual winter sports and music festival in North America. WSSF is a 10 day and night showcase of the best of snow sports, music, arts and mountain culture. Featuring major professional ski and snowboarding competitions, the largest annual free outdoor concert series in Canada, photography and film showcases, and spring skiing at Whistler Blackcomb, the World Ski & Snowboard Festival is the poster child for the ultimate ski and snowboard festival experience. In blazing the way for the youth of tomorrow, the World Ski & Snowboard Festival embodies the mantra: ‘Party in April. Sleep in May.’

Really, “Close” the Sale? Eh, no Sparky. It’s “Earn” the Sale.

Jeffrey Gitomer King of SalesBy Jeffrey Gitomer

It never ceases to amaze me how many people still ask me, “What’s the best way to close a sale?”

Other than cold calling and finding the pain, this is one of the biggest misconceptions in sales. It’s not a technique. It’s not a manipulation. It’s not something that you wait until the end of your presentation to do. It’s not something that requires intimate timing. You don’t have to be afraid of being rejected.

What you have to do is have an intelligent and engaging conversation with someone who is looking to buy you and your product or service – a conversation that involves value, a win for them, a visualized outcome, and an understanding that the sale is made emotionally and then justified logically.

That’s a far cry from “closing.”

MAJOR AHA! If the sale doesn’t start right, it will never end right.

“Close the sale” is the wrong thought process. The prospective customer is making his or her decision AS the sales call progresses.

If you’re really wanting to complete the sale – also known as getting the order and also known as creating an atmosphere in which the customer will buy, ­ there are questions you must answer for yourself in order to increase the chances the sale can be yours.

CAUTION: When you ask yourself these questions, and your own answers come up short of mastery, it’s an indication of why you lose sales. The better and stronger you answer each one, the more likely you are to make the sale.

Think about your last ten sales calls, and ask yourself…
• How prepared were you in terms of the customer?
• How ready were you to make a sale?
• How friendly were you?
• How enthusiastic were you?
• How emotionally engaging were you?
• How intellectually engaging were you?
• How self-confident were you?
• How relatable were you?
• How compelling was your presentation?
• How different were you perceived to be?
• How valuable were you perceived to be?
• How believable were you?
• How trustworthy were you perceived to be?

Close the sale? No! It’s not an action. It’s a culmination and sum total of the elements that makes a favorable decision possible.

The close of a sale is a delicate balance between your words and deeds, and their thoughts and perceptions. And a sale is ALWAYS made – either you sell them on yes, or they sell you on no.

SECRET: You give me a prepared, friendly, enthusiastic, emotionally-engaging, intellectually-engaging, unique, valuable, compelling, believable, self-confident, relatable, trustworthy salesperson… And I’LL GIVE YOU A SALE! No close needed.

It is NOT the responsibility of the salesperson to CLOSE the sale. It is the responsibility of the salesperson to engage the prospect.

It is not the responsibility of the salesperson to CLOSE the sale. It is the responsibility of the salesperson to prove value to the prospect.

It is not the responsibility of the salesperson to CLOSE the sale. It is the responsibility of the salesperson to prove differentiation to the prospect.

It is not the responsibility of the salesperson to CLOSE the sale. It is the responsibility of the salesperson to EARN the sale.

There have been more words written about closing the sale than any other aspect of the selling process or the sales cycle. Most of it is manipulative rubbish. Most of it centers on your ability to push the prospect into a corner and make them feel pressured to make a decision. That pressure will often result in a no, or some kind of stall that will ultimately result in a no.

I’ve just given you an accurate dose of just who is responsible for making a sale, and how it should be completed.

NOTE WELL: By using this approach to selling you have just eliminated all of the silly objections and stalls. Price too high, need to think it over, we all meet next week and will decide then, call me next Tuesday, send me a proposal, yada, yada, yada.

Yes, I too have written a ton of information on “closing the sale.” You can find it in The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, The 21.5 Unbreakable Laws of Selling, and various blog posts and webinars. All of that information is in harmony with my philosophy: zero manipulation and build a trusting relationship.

THE KEY: Be comfortable with yourself. If you’re in a selling situation and you aren’t feeling the love, or feeling the comfort, or feeling the relationship, or feeling the mutual communication then the best thing to do is back off, and be truthful. Truth will win you more sales than manipulation. All you have to do to change and improve your outcome is change your mindset from “close” to “earn.”

Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of twelve best-selling books including The Sales Bible and The Little Red Book of Selling and 21.5 Unbreakable Laws of Selling. His books are now available as online courses at www.GitomerVT.com. For information about training and seminars visit www.Gitomer.com or www.GitomerCertifiedAdvisors.com, or email Jeffrey personally at salesman@gitomer.com.

© 2015 All Rights Reserved – Don’t even think about reproducing this document without
written permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer, Inc • 704/333-1112

Really, “Close” the Sale? Eh, no Sparky. It’s “Earn” the Sale.

Jeffrey Gitomer King of SalesBy Jeffrey Gitomer

It never ceases to amaze me how many people still ask me, “What’s the best way to close a sale?”

Other than cold calling and finding the pain, this is one of the biggest misconceptions in sales. It’s not a technique. It’s not a manipulation. It’s not something that you wait until the end of your presentation to do. It’s not something that requires intimate timing. You don’t have to be afraid of being rejected.

What you have to do is have an intelligent and engaging conversation with someone who is looking to buy you and your product or service – a conversation that involves value, a win for them, a visualized outcome, and an understanding that the sale is made emotionally and then justified logically.

That’s a far cry from “closing.”

MAJOR AHA! If the sale doesn’t start right, it will never end right.

“Close the sale” is the wrong thought process. The prospective customer is making his or her decision AS the sales call progresses.

If you’re really wanting to complete the sale – also known as getting the order and also known as creating an atmosphere in which the customer will buy, ­ there are questions you must answer for yourself in order to increase the chances the sale can be yours.

CAUTION: When you ask yourself these questions, and your own answers come up short of mastery, it’s an indication of why you lose sales. The better and stronger you answer each one, the more likely you are to make the sale.

Think about your last ten sales calls, and ask yourself…
• How prepared were you in terms of the customer?
• How ready were you to make a sale?
• How friendly were you?
• How enthusiastic were you?
• How emotionally engaging were you?
• How intellectually engaging were you?
• How self-confident were you?
• How relatable were you?
• How compelling was your presentation?
• How different were you perceived to be?
• How valuable were you perceived to be?
• How believable were you?
• How trustworthy were you perceived to be?

Close the sale? No! It’s not an action. It’s a culmination and sum total of the elements that makes a favorable decision possible.

The close of a sale is a delicate balance between your words and deeds, and their thoughts and perceptions. And a sale is ALWAYS made – either you sell them on yes, or they sell you on no.

SECRET: You give me a prepared, friendly, enthusiastic, emotionally-engaging, intellectually-engaging, unique, valuable, compelling, believable, self-confident, relatable, trustworthy salesperson… And I’LL GIVE YOU A SALE! No close needed.

It is NOT the responsibility of the salesperson to CLOSE the sale. It is the responsibility of the salesperson to engage the prospect.

It is not the responsibility of the salesperson to CLOSE the sale. It is the responsibility of the salesperson to prove value to the prospect.

It is not the responsibility of the salesperson to CLOSE the sale. It is the responsibility of the salesperson to prove differentiation to the prospect.

It is not the responsibility of the salesperson to CLOSE the sale. It is the responsibility of the salesperson to EARN the sale.

There have been more words written about closing the sale than any other aspect of the selling process or the sales cycle. Most of it is manipulative rubbish. Most of it centers on your ability to push the prospect into a corner and make them feel pressured to make a decision. That pressure will often result in a no, or some kind of stall that will ultimately result in a no.

I’ve just given you an accurate dose of just who is responsible for making a sale, and how it should be completed.

NOTE WELL: By using this approach to selling you have just eliminated all of the silly objections and stalls. Price too high, need to think it over, we all meet next week and will decide then, call me next Tuesday, send me a proposal, yada, yada, yada.

Yes, I too have written a ton of information on “closing the sale.” You can find it in The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, The 21.5 Unbreakable Laws of Selling, and various blog posts and webinars. All of that information is in harmony with my philosophy: zero manipulation and build a trusting relationship.

THE KEY: Be comfortable with yourself. If you’re in a selling situation and you aren’t feeling the love, or feeling the comfort, or feeling the relationship, or feeling the mutual communication then the best thing to do is back off, and be truthful. Truth will win you more sales than manipulation. All you have to do to change and improve your outcome is change your mindset from “close” to “earn.”

Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of twelve best-selling books including The Sales Bible and The Little Red Book of Selling and 21.5 Unbreakable Laws of Selling. His books are now available as online courses at www.GitomerVT.com. For information about training and seminars visit www.Gitomer.com or www.GitomerCertifiedAdvisors.com, or email Jeffrey personally at salesman@gitomer.com.

© 2015 All Rights Reserved – Don’t even think about reproducing this document without
written permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer, Inc • 704/333-1112

AWB statement on proposed House budget

AWB LogoKris Johnson, president of the Association of Washington Business, issued the following statement Monday in response to the proposed 2015-17 state operating budget heard by members of the House Appropriations Committee.

“Although this budget makes some important investments in education and social services, it is disappointing for Washington employers, particularly small-business owners, because it proposes to pay for them by raising taxes on small businesses, a group that already pays more than its share of the state’s tax burden. Washington businesses pay more than 54 percent of state and local taxes.

“Raising the state’s gross receipts tax, known as the business and occupation (B&O) tax by 20 percent on services, as this budget proposes, would hit more than 100,000 small businesses hard at a time when most of the state is still waiting for the economic recovery to arrive. In 37 of 39 counties, Washington’s unemployment rate remains higher than the national average and in many counties, including Pacific, Grays Harbor and Okanogan, the unemployment rate is above 10 percent.

“We also have concerns about the proposed capital gains tax. Although it’s described as a tax on high-income individuals, it could impact a wider group than intended, including some small businesses.

“Raising taxes in this climate, and repealing tax incentives that voters have previously endorsed, will make Washington less competitive for many employers, particularly small, family-owned businesses, and will not stimulate much-needed job growth.

“Washington is expected to bring in $3 billion more during the next budget cycle. That’s about a 9 percent increase over the current budget, a rate of growth that most businesses would be delighted to see. Voters have made it clear they want lawmakers to fund necessary services while still living within their means.

“We look forward to seeing the Senate Majority Coalition Caucus’ budget proposal soon.”

About the Association of Washington Business

Formed in 1904, the Association of Washington Business is Washington’s oldest and largest statewide business association, and includes more than 8,300 members representing 700,000 employees. AWB serves as both the state’s chamber of commerce and the manufacturing and technology association. While its membership includes major employers like Boeing, Microsoft and Weyerhaeuser, 90 percent of AWB members employ fewer than 100 people. More than half of AWB’s members employ fewer than 10. For more about AWB, visit www.awb.org.

16,000 Jobs Lost Under House Bill 1355

NFIB logoWashington state could lose more than $7 billion in economic output and 16,000 jobs should House Bill 1355 become law, according to testimony given today by Patrick Connor, Washington state director for the National Federation of Independent Business, America’s largest and leading small-business association.

Connor presented the findings from a report conducted exclusively on HB 1355 by NFIB’s Research Foundation to the Senate Commerce & Labor Committee at this afternoon’s hearing on the measure. “Common sense alone should warn what would happen if you shocked employers with a nearly 30-percent spike in the state’s minimum-wage rate,” said Connor, “but our study, which uses the most sophisticated economic modeling available, puts in graphic detail the economic peril contained in HB 1355.”

Michael Chow, senior data analyst for NFIB’s Research Foundation, used the Business Size Insight Module to produce the report on HB 1355. BSIM is a dynamic, multi-region model based on the Regional Economic Models, Inc. structural economic forecasting and policy analysis model, which integrates input-output, computable general equilibrium, econometric, and economic geography methodologies. The BSIM has the unique ability to forecast the economic impact of public policy and proposed legislation on different categories of U.S. businesses differentiated by employee-size-of-firm.

HB 1355 would raise the state’s hourly minimum-wage rate to $12 from its current $9.47, already the highest of any state in the nation (the District of Columbia’s rate is $9.50). The federal minimum-wage rate is $7.25. HB 1355 squeaked out of the House on a 51-to-46 vote on March 3. Today’s hearing in the Senate was its first in that chamber.

“It will forever bear repeating that the minimum-wage rate is an entry-level wage earn almost entirely by teens and young adults starting out on their working lives,” said Connor. “Raising it has mainly one effect, and that is to remove the first rung up the economic ladder for tens of thousands of young people. This state also has a disingenuous history with this issue, after voters were promised that a 1998 ballot initiative linking future increases in the minimum-wage rate to rises in the Consumer Price Index would forever solve the issue and remove it from politics.”

The entire 19-page BSIM analysis can be read here.

For more than 70 years, the National Federation of Independent Business has been the Voice of Small Business, taking the message from Main Street to the halls of Congress and all 50 state legislatures. NFIB annually surveys its members on state and federal issues vital to their survival as America’s economic engine and biggest creator of jobs. NFIB’s educational mission is to remind policymakers that small businesses are not smaller versions of bigger businesses; they have very different challenges and priorities.