Mark Zokle | Goal Setting for Sales Professionals

Mark Zokle

It is not enough to simply want to succeed, says Mark Zokle, a nationally recognized sales trainer and manager. In this brief exchange, Zokle touches on a few points that can lead to triumph, but only for those willing to do the work.

A Gathering of Experts: Good afternoon, we thank you for taking your time to be with us today.

Mark Zokle: Anytime!

A Gathering of Experts: We would like to discuss the importance of setting goals. What would you consider the most important step in achieving sales objectives?

Mark Zokle: Just setting the goal! It might sound like a given, but many salespersons don’t actually define a point of success. Instead, they mentally note a vague target.

A Gathering of Experts: Which doesn’t work?

Mark Zokle: No, a goal must be specific and structured the right way.

A Gathering of Experts: How is that?

Mark Zokle: It must be quantifiable and realistic. If it’s not something that can actually be achieved in the timespan set forth, it becomes a tool of discouragement.

A Gathering of Experts: Can you give us an example of a well-structured goal? 

Mark Zokle: “I will close $500,000 in sales in six months’ time. I will do this by contacting 1,500 different prospects.”

A Gathering of Experts: 1,500?

Mark Zokle: Yes.

A Gathering of Experts: That sounds very difficult.

Mark Zokle: Not really. Over the course of six months, that comes out to just about 15 attempts a day…roughly half an hour.

A Gathering of Experts: Ok, when you put it that way it isn’t quite as imposing! Is there a best time to start making these calls?

Mark Zokle: The day you implement your plan. Getting over that initial set of calls is really half the battle.

A Gathering of Experts: What if you’ve gone a week or two and failed to even get a face-to-face meeting?

Mark Zokle: At that point, it’s time to reevaluate your tactics. Ask yourself what isn’t working. Are you focusing on the wrong products/services? Do you come off as pushy? Lack knowledge?

A Gathering of Experts: How does self-discipline play a part in sales?

Mark Zokle: The top 10% of sales people are those who can work without being told what to do; they understand they must remain focused.

A Gathering of Experts: What about doing other tasks?

Mark Zokle: Until those calls are made, it’s best to let everything else wait. Chances are that whatever it is can be put on the backburner for half an hour. If you score a longer call, make that your priority at the moment. Never tell a newly-interested prospect you’ll have to call them back to sell them something.

A Gathering of Experts: That’s sound advice. 

Mark Zokle: A trick I use is to set mini-goals for myself. Once I complete them, I get a small reward.

A Gathering of Experts: How do you feel about sharing goals with team members?

Mark Zokle: I highly encourage goal-sharing! They say that making your intentions known increases your chance of success by over 70%!

A Gathering of Experts: Wow.

Mark Zokle: It makes it about accountability. When you tell someone else that you are going to do something, you no longer have just yourself to report back to. People will ask you about your goals…no one wants to be that person who admits defeat!

A Gathering of Experts: That is a great point and surely a way to lead by example.

Mark Zokle: Right!

A Gathering of Experts: We appreciate your time today.

Mark Zokle: My pleasure.

A Gathering of Experts: Do you have anything closing words for our readers?

Mark Zokle: Just that being the person with a real commitment makes you 100x more valuable than someone who just has an interest in success.

Interview: Gary McClure Talks About Wins and Losses

Gary McClureFormer APSU baseball head coach Gary McClure saw his share of highs and lows during his long and illustrious career. In the following interview, the now-retired Gary McClure discusses breaking records and embracing losses.

Gathering of Experts: Good evening and thank you for taking the time out to speak with us today.

Gary McClure: It’s my pleasure.

Gathering of Experts: Given your recent retirement, we would like to discuss some of your career highlights.

Gary McClure: My second year back in 1989 really sticks out because that was the year we were able to turn this program around from a talent standpoint and getting our guys to believe they could win at Austin Peay. That is one of the biggest hurdles to get over when there hasn’t been a lot of winning. We were able to get to the conference tournament and play our way to the championship game finishing 2nd in our league. 2011 was a fantastic year. It was then that I passed Johnny Reagan as the all time leader for wins in the OVC. I’ll never forget that moment! Truly though, nothing compares to the years we were successful on the field and able to accomplish our greatest feats as a team. That’s true gratification.

Gathering of Experts: Johnny Reagan is an OVC Hall of Famer, correct?

Gary McClure: That’s right, with a 776-504-11 record. Johnny’s also one of the most classy people you will ever meet and he had many more accomplishments at Murray State. At one time he was the AD, and i believe he was both a baseball and basketball star there at one time.

Gathering of Experts: How long were you with the Governors?

Gary McClure: For 27 seasons. I started as the interim head coach in 1988. I was actually still finishing my graduate degree at the time.

Gathering of Experts: But it didn’t take long for you to start raking in the victories…

Gary McClure: My first win as head coach was in February of ‘88, against Trevecca.

Gathering of Experts: How was your first full year as head coach?

Gary McClure: 1989 – We actually had the 2nd most wins in school history with 32. We also finished 2nd in the OVC tournament that year and were 1 win short of going to the NCAA Regional. It was a lot of work, but extremely fun for the players and coaches.

Gathering of Experts: You quickly became known as one of the best coaches in the OVC.

Gary McClure: Well, it took six years of hard work before anyone ever thought that! In 1994 we won the OVC regular season championship and unknowingly I became the Govs all time wins leader as well.

Gathering of Experts: You surpassed that record easily.

Gary McClure: I won’t say it was easy. In athletics at that level nobody is going to make anything easy for you. And I definitely would not say I did it by myself. I had very good players that bought into what some very young coaches laid out for them. They had good attitudes and were very coachable

Gathering of Experts: 1994 was special for another reason, wasn’t it?

Gary McClure: Yes very, as i mentioned before, we won the school’s first championship since 1971. It was obviously my first as a head coach.

Gathering of Experts: And 1996?

Gary McClure: Many people have called the 1996 team the best in the program’s history. I can’t really argue that. We had a lot of great players who won 44 games and they took me to my first NCAA Regional as a coach. Also, when i look back at least 3 of the players on that team are in the Austin Peay Athletic Hall of Fame and close to 10 of  those players went on and played professionally.

Gathering of Experts: Like who?

Gary McClure: Third baseman Nate Manning, who was named OVC Player of the Year, and Craig Smith was bestowed the honor of Pitcher of the Year. Shortstop Chuck Abbott was a tremendous player and was the first draft pick by the Angels in 1996. We had hall of fame catcher Ryan Bennett, centerfielder Kent Brown, and RHP Mike Eikenberry, who were all selected in the draft. That team really had very good players all throughout the lineup

Gathering of Experts: After the 1996 season, the Govs kind of disappeared for a while. What happened?

Gary McClure: Well, we didn’t really disappear although everyone has some ups and downs. It just we were just finishing in 2nd and 3rd some years and not winning championships. We were still right there banging on the door.

Gathering of Experts: Fast forward to 2003…

Gary McClure: We came back into the spotlight and actually had our first 3-Peayt with  back-to-back OVC regular season titles (2003 and 2004) and a OVC tournament championship in 2005 and got back to the NCAA Regional again that year.

Gathering of Experts: Out of all the games you coached, what would you say is the most memorable?

Gary McClure: Wow, i really can’t pick just one, but the NCAA  game in 2007 against Vanderbilt was truly one of the most intense and competitive games i’ve seen or been a part of. They were No. 1 seed. We lost, but it was a fierce battle over 11 innings. Shawn Kelley matched up with David Price and he pitched for 10 of those and allowed just one run. It was a late error on what was truly a fluke play that finally got us in the 11th inning. It was an extremely heartbreaking loss for everyone, players, coaches, and fans. I would also have to say that our victories against Georgia Tech in the 2011 regional, Cal State Fullerton in the 2012 regional, and Florida in 2013, were very special. Etery championship game in our league was also very high on the list.

Gathering of Experts: Those all sound like exciting contests. As we’re sure they all were. Thank you, Gary McClure for joining us today!

McLaren 12C Praised by Owner Bobby Price

Bobby PriceThe McLaren MP4 12C is an innovative sports car with raw beauty and unrivaled performance. It is the car’s design that makes it so unique, however. Today we catch up with Bobby Price, car collector and automotive industry entrepreneur, who tells us about the 12C’s design inspiration and features.

Gathering of Experts: We don’t often get to see cars like this. Thank you for bringing it over today.

Bobby Price: Not a problem at all.

Gathering of Experts: It’s an amazing machine. We’d like to ask you a few questions about it, if that’s okay.

Bobby Price: Yes, please do.

Gathering of Experts: We understand McLaren has taken design cues straight from the pages of National Geographic. Can you give us some insight into that?

Bobby Price: Pretty much everything about the vehicle’s appearance and performance was patterned after nature.

Gathering of Experts: Such as?

Bobby Price: Everything from the paint to the way the metal is attached to the frame. Take a look, for instance, at the C12’s rearview mirrors. You’ll notice they aren’t encased in the same boxy design as are many cars’ mirrors.

Gathering of Experts: Now that you mention it, they have an almost insect-like quality; like the antenna of a scarab.

Bobby Price: Yes, nature has an outstanding ability to ensure its creatures are built for performance.

Gathering of Experts: Tell us about the body…

Bobby PriceBobby Price: The C12’s visible metalwork is essentially shrink-wrapped over the car’s mechanical structure. This reduces volume and makes the car more aerodynamic.

Gathering of Experts: Like the way you can see a cheetah’s muscles underneath its fur?

Bobby Price: That’s exactly right. Animals built for speed are always lean and light.

Gathering of Experts: Aside from the animal kingdom, where does McLaren find inspiration?

Bobby Price: Design director Frank Stephenson says the world is his muse.

Gathering of Experts: It sounds like McLaren is passionate about perfection.

Bobby Price: That’s absolutely true. Every single vehicle is painted by hand and quality inspected multiple times before leaving the factory.

Gathering of Experts: Tell us about McLaren’s special Pirelli tires.

Bobby Price: When McLaren wanted to reduce vehicle weight, they started with the tires. They chose Pirelli tires for their reduced mass and superior strength.

Gathering of Experts: And the McLaren uses LED technology for its front and rear lights?

Bobby Price: Yes, LED lights are brighter and more efficient.

Gathering of Experts: How many color choices are there?

Bobby PriceBobby Price: Straight from the manufacturer, there are 16 color options ranging from Standard White to Special Mercury Red.

Gathering of Experts: Let’s talk about the interior for a bit.

Bobby Price: One thing that has really stood out to me with my C12 is that it offers a panoramic view of the road.

Gathering of Experts: Tell us about the Formula One inspired gearshift.

Bobby Price: That’s one of the most inventive features found in the interior. It has a rocker shift paddle which makes pushing or pulling through gears easy. It feels very natural.

Gathering of Experts: Okay, so it’s built for speed but what about practical design elements?

Bobby Price: The 12C features a built-in touchscreen offering full control over the communications and entertainment system.

Gathering of Experts: What would you consider the most unusual feature on the car?

Bobby Price: That has to be the ability to control how much engine noise is heard in the cabin.

Gathering of Experts: That is interesting. It sounds like the car really does have it all. And again we thank you for letting us pick your brain today.

Bobby Price: It’s been a pleasure.

Severe Morning Breath Avoidable, Says Edmond Dentist Dr. Damon R. Johnson, DDS

Edmond DentistSmokers at higher risk of bad breath in the morning, according to Edmond dentist Dr. Damon R. Johnson, DDS.

A Gathering of Experts: Good afternoon, Dr. Johnson, thank you for joining us today. We would like to talk about a rather embarrassing problem: morning breath.

Damon R. Johnson, DDS, Edmond Dentist: Uncomfortable as it may be, it’s very common. Everyone experiences morning breath to some level.

A Gathering of Experts: But what causes it?

Damon R. Johnson, DDS, Edmond Dentist: Bacteria, plain and simple. When you sleep, your salivary glands take a rest, too. Without the extra moisture in your mouth, bacteria thrive.

A Gathering of Experts: Is morning breath more of a problem for some people, more than others?

Damon R. Johnson, DDS, Edmond Dentist: Yes; smokers, those who snore, mouth breathers, and allergy sufferers are often the most affected.

A Gathering of Experts: How is snoring related to bad breath?

Damon R. Johnson, DDS, Edmond Dentist: When you snore, your mouth dries out faster than when you inhale normally. The same applies when you breathe through your mouth at night.

A Gathering of Experts: And smoking…?

Damon R. Johnson, DDS, Edmond Dentist: Smoking is a double whammy where bad breath is concerned. Aside from having a drying effect, it also increases the temperature of the mouth.

A Gathering of Experts: You mentioned allergies as a contributor to bad breath…?

Damon R. Johnson, DDS, Edmond Dentist: Yes. When the body responds to an allergen, it creates mucus. This phlegm gets caught in the throat at night and becomes an all-you-can-eat buffet for germs. If the allergies evolve into a sinus infection, the situation gets even worse.

A Gathering of Experts: Let’s talk about solutions. Is bad breath preventable?

Damon R. Johnson, DDS, Edmond Dentist: That’s the good news. Yes: It is treatable. All it takes is a little preemptive oral care.

A Gathering of Experts: Like…

Damon R. Johnson, DDS, Edmond Dentist: Brushing the teeth regularly is a good start. But, you have to brush for a full two minutes for it to be really effective.

A Gathering of Experts: Why is that?

Damon R. Johnson, DDS, Edmond Dentist: Studies have found that two minutes is the minimum time required to actually hit every surface of the teeth and tongue.

 A Gathering of Experts: The tongue…?

Damon R. Johnson, DDS, Edmond Dentist: The tongue holds 85% of the bacteria that causes bad breath.

A Gathering of Experts: Does flossing help?

Damon R. Johnson, DDS, Edmond Dentist: Of course! Flossing helps you remove food particles between the teeth that brushing simply can’t reach.

A Gathering of Experts: How about mouthwash?

Damon R. Johnson, DDS, Edmond Dentist: Yes, but only if used properly and in conjunction with brushing and flossing.

A Gathering of Experts: What’s the proper way?

Damon R. Johnson, DDS, Edmond Dentist: You have to start by buying an antibacterial mouthwash. Preferably one that’s ADA approved. Then, rinse the mouth for at least 30 seconds.

A Gathering of Experts: So, a quick swish won’t do the trick?

Damon R. Johnson, DDS, Edmond Dentist: I’m afraid not. A few seconds doesn’t give the mouthwash time to kill the bacteria.

A Gathering of Experts: Thank you for your time today. This has been quite informative!

Damon R. Johnson, DDS, Edmond Dentist: My pleasure.