Compliment Sandwich

Compliment Sandwich – Have you ever had the pleasure of trying one?

SPOILER: They don’t taste good!

Compliment Sandwich, “When someone tries to ease the blow of a criticism by delivering it between two insincere compliments.”

The not so funny thing about compliment sandwiches is they were taught to managers at one time!

If you do this or know someone who does, STOP RIGHT NOW!

INSTEAD – Try these techniques:

1.) Sincerely congratulation your employee. Then frame what you would like to improve on in a way that they understand and WHY they should do it.

For example, Joe just landed another huge sale, he is due for a promotion soon, however his desk is a mess! His manager, Mike, thinks it doesn’t represent how great of an employee Joe actually is. The CEO is going to be walking around the office later in the week. Mike goes to Joe, and congratulates him on the huge sale.

OLD WAY (compliment sandwich):

Mike: “Wow, Joe! That is great, you are on fire”

Mike: “our desk is a nuclear hazard, clean it up for the love of god.”

Mike: “Good job on the sale!”


Mike: “Wow, Joe! That is great, you are on fire!”

Joe: “Thanks Mike, it feels great”


Mike: “The CEO will be touring our offices next week, I know you’re a great jpb, although he doesn’t see what I see, every day. What do you think he might think when he sees your desk?”

Joe: ”You know what, your right, I could probably clean it up a bit”

Mike: “I think that’s a great idea.”

2.) Ask the employee what they thought they did well. Sincerely acknowledge their feedback. Add some of your own POSITIVE feedback. Now ask them what they thought they could do better. After they reply, you can add anything else that you observed.

Employees can read right through a compliment sandwich, instead be sincere and speak from the heart.

Drew Patterson, MBA


It’s In The Presentation!

Culinary Presentation

The above photo is spot on! Most people would choose the dish on the right. How much extra effort did it take to construct the one on the right?

ANSWER: Not much!

I draw three powerful lessons here:

1. Presentation is important

  • Makes your product/service seem more valuable
  • Makes your customer think highly of you
  • Makes you look credible

2. It is very easy to do – a small reorganization of the same ingredients (data) is all it takes (as you see in the photo).

  • It’s not revolutionary changes, it is small improvements that make the difference (e.g. are you starting strong?, are you passionate?, are you engaging?)!

3. First impressions do matter

  • When you hear, “That doesn’t look very good”, what are they chances they will try it?
  • Professional speakers and trainers have long asserted that people make up their minds about people they meet for the first time within two minutes (It is actually less than that according to the book, “Blink” by Malcolm Gladwell).

How can you step up your presentation game (client meetings, relationships, business meetings, etc.)? When was the last time you took a class or asked for feedback on the way you look, talk, and engage?

Stop being normal and start being gourmet!

(Hint: Anyone can do it!)
Drew Patterson, MBA

Have You Ever Thought of Doing Sales?

Sales Profession

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:

As of May, 2013, 14 million people are employed in sales or sales -related role in the United States. And, there are 132.5 million employed individuals.

This means that 9.5% of workers in the US are working in sales or a sales -related role! So, nearly 1 in every 10 working Americans are in sales!

The US economy continues to grow as a service-based economy. The great thing about sales jobs is that they often only require a high school diploma and/or a few years of past sales experience. The barrier to entry is low, and it can be extremely lucrative. The top sales people in the US make over six figure incomes!

Now, you might be thinking:  that sounds great, but I could never be a top performer those people are crazy and have natural talent. Those people are lucky.

That is simply not true.

No one is born a sales person. It is a choice you make. Go down to your local hospital and ask “I am looking for natural born salespeople”. You might get some stares!

Change your attitude to “YES I CAN!” And, from there, read, study, work, and learn to be a great salesperson.

Hard work makes luck!

Drew Patterson, MBA

Shock Absorber Management 101

shock management

Essentially, shock absorbers do two things:

  1. Control the movement of springs and suspension.
  2. Keep your tires in contact with the ground so they can safely get to a destination.

The following shock absorber management principles can be applied to managers, individuals, relationships, entrepreneurs, and more:

  1. Control – Does a shock flex or is it stiff? It flexes and so should you! The overall goal of the shock is help the vehicle get to a destination. As managers we support employees on the path to get to their destination (results). Do we drive and navigate the whole way or so do we act as support? Some of the best work happens when you have a bright team know they have your full support working towards a shared vision or goal! Control without controlling.
  1. Flexible – Being open to outcome and not attached to it. Racers and managers a like know that there is no perfect race. If one lap of the race doesn’t go the way you wanted does that end the whole race? NO! Take the laps with strides, learn from your mistakes and keep going! Be flexible one lap at a time.
  1. Loose – Don’t hold on too tight. A lot of people when they get on a bicycle or motorcycle for the first time they hold on SO TIGHT! When you hold on so tight and do not let the shocks and steering do their job, all that energy gets transferred into your body and it gives you aches and pains all over your body. RELAX, LOOSEN YOUR GRIP. Everything will work out if you will let it!
  1. Proactive – Change out your shock oil (rejuvenate yourself and your team), check in with your employees, think about upcoming events and goals. If you are prepared, you maximize your chances of winning!

Drew Patterson, MBA

The guaranteed successful cold call

Who has planned a wedding before? I have recently taken on the task of doing just that. Now, for the first time in a while, I am the customer and vendors are selling to me! BOY, does it feel great! I keep hearing the word “YES” all the time. 


The great thing about calling a vendor (wedding vendor or any other kind of business- salon, restaurant, store) is that they all want YOUR business and will (usually) respond to you positively, and with enthusiasm. So, here’s an ideas: why not call them first thing in the morning before you begin your work day and your cold calls? Although you are not closing a sale, the transaction will be nonetheless a success. 


And Success breeds success!

Yes on the phone



And, if you don’t have a business or vendor to call, simply starting your day by calling someone you know will give you a similar positive start. You can try calling someone in your company or doing a role-play with a co-worker. The first yes of the day will be one of many! 


Drew Patterson, MBA

The Haircut

Whenever my brother gets his haircut the stylist always does a different job. I always ask him if he wanted it the way it came out and he replies with, “why, you don’t like it?” Translation: he doesn’t like it.

 Every time he comes with another botched haircut, I tell him my secret for getting the haircut I want every time, in an effort to help him finally get a nice ‘do. However, being a stubborn guy, he continues to just hope for the best every time he sits in a stylist’s chair.



Both my brother and I get our haircuts at local independently-owned shops nearby (we don’t have a loyalty with one). The stylists are skilled — however, there is usually a slight communication gap between the stylist and ourselves (most of the stylists are non-native English Speakers.) I, too, used to have the same issue my brother did, until I realized the main culprit was deceptively simple: Communication.

 I have 4 simple tips for better communication:

1.)    Eliminate jargon – If someone says “bowl cut” or “crew cut” these cuts should be universal but they are not treated equal everywhere, make sure to clarify. Similarly, in the business world, terms like “collaborative environment” and “dynamic salesperson” may mean very different (and often ambiguous) things at different workplaces.

2.)    Use simple language – I ask for specifics, like the gauge of the shavers (#1,2,3,4, etc. ), or try using inches. Again, applied to the workforce, consider emails and other modes of communication:  it can be helpful to avoid pseudo-intellectual statements and wordiness. Keep It Simple.

3.)    Do not assume – Just because someone says “okay, got it” does not mean they do! You can always respond, “Right, so you’re going to ____?”

4.)    Use Body Language – I recently read a book called Emotions Revealed by Paul Ekman. In it, he states that “happy,” “sad,” etc. are easy to interpret for most people, no matter what language they speak. In addition, acting out in body language with hand signals can also improve communication.

What do I tell my stylist? “A #3 on the side, fade to the top, and 1 inch off of the top (I show the stylist by standing my hair up with my fingers, and only revealing what I want off)”

It works 90+ percent of the time!

Speaking of which — guess where I am going today?

Drew Patterson, MBA

Setting The Bar

Work, school, sports, or other activities all have some sort of comparable performance metric. There is natural competition in most activities in your life. Being sales it is a constant competition. Many people want to be the “best,” the “champion,” the “great bambino,” and think second place is as good as last. Today, I want to talk about the bar. The bar could be a lap record, a grade point average, or a sales quota. The bar grows as new highs are achieved and expectations rise.

There are two strategies I would like to share that I believe truly work. The first is very simple: Practice, practice, and practice some more. Work harder than all of your competition.

The second strategy is to try doing something no one else is doing. This is risky and does not always pay off. A great example is Dick Fosbury revolutionizing the high jump by inventing a unique “back-first” technique. His use of this technique shattered records. Although this is an extreme success example, what if you learned a better more effective way of studying or training yourself? There are definitely new ways of doing things that have yet to be discovered.

Think about it, what do you spend a lot of time doing or what do you want to become better at?


Drew Patterson, MBA