Sales and Sales Management Blog

July 29, 2010

Book Review: The Psychology of Sales Call Reluctance: Earning What You’re Worth in Sales

Seldom do I review a book that has been on the market for years, much less decades.  But I ran across my old beat up copy of  The Psychology of Sales Call Reluctance: Earning What You’re Worth in Sales
and decided since the book was in such poor condition I’d order the newest edition.  After reading it again, I thought I’d do my small part to encourage as many sellers and sales leaders as possible to pick up a copy and set aside some time for some serious—and potentially highly productive—reading.

Authors George W. Dudley and Shannon L. Goodson are psychologists who have spent decades researching one of the key barriers to sales success—call reluctance.  The Psychology of Sales Call Reluctance: Earning What You’re Worth in Sales (Behavioral Sciences Research Press, Inc: 5th Edition 2007) is designed to help sellers and sales leaders recognize the issues that are keeping them from prospecting effectively and to overcome them. 

Dudley and Goodson argue that sales call reluctance isn’t as simple as the fear of rejection it is so often claimed to be, but instead can be any one or any combination of twelve different issues that prevent sellers from fully engaging in prospecting. 

After first dealing with the difference between true call reluctance and call reluctance impostors (things that may look like call reluctance but aren’t, such as low motivation or low goals), the authors get down to business by laying out in detail the twelve root causes of call reluctance. 

These prospecting killers are:

  1. Doomsayers those who over prepare for the worst case scenario
  2. Over-Preparer  spends time preparing to prospect, little time prospecting
  3. Hyper-Pro   in Texas we’d call them all hat, no cattle—spends all their time on the show of success, no time on becoming successful
  4. Stage Fright  avoid group presentations
  5. Role Rejection  buried guilt or shame about being a salesperson or self-promoter
  6. Yielder  hesitant to be seen as intrusive or forward
  7. Social Self-Consciousness  afraid to market to upscale prospects
  8. Separationist  resistant to selling and marketing to friends
  9. Emotionally Unemancipated  resistant to selling and marketing to family

10.  Referral Aversion  uncomfortable asking for referrals

11.  Telephobia fear of using the phone to connect with prospects

12.  Oppositional Reflex  a need for a great deal of approval but having very low self-esteem

Like a great many other sellers, I can spot myself in this list—my self-diagnosis is Over-Preparer and Role-Rejection (one of the role rejection issues the authors discuss is a seller’s discomfort with self-promotion as many sellers have been brought up to believe that self-promotion is unseemly and socially unacceptable).

Along with the description of the call reluctance issue, Dudley and Goodson include some self-diagnosis questions and typical work behaviors associated with the issue that will help you determine if you—or one of your sellers-is a victim of the particular prospecting killer.

The authors don’t leave you hanging.

Of course the book would be useless if it only diagnosed the illness without giving an appropriate and effective prescription to cure it. 

Dudley and Goodson lay out in detail six procedures (and a couple of minor ones) to counteract and correct the dozen call reluctance issues.   

Each discussion of a call reluctance issue is accompanied by a list of the countermeasures effective for treating it so you know what your illness is as well as the correct prescription to deal with it. 

A countermeasure is designed to change your thoughts, your feelings or your actions. Every call reluctance issue has multiple countermeasures–at least one countermeasure to deal with your thoughts and at least one to deal with your feelings, and almost all have a countermeasure to help change your actions.

Countermeasures are too complex to go into any detail here, but an idea of where the authors go with countermeasures can be gathered through some of the countermeasure’s names: Thought Realignment, Threat Desensitization, Thought Zapping, and Fear Inversion.

The Pros:

The Psychology of Sales Call Reluctance:

  • Presents a research based assessment of the causes of sales call reluctance
  • Provides detailed tested and proven prescriptions for dealing with the identified call reluctance issues
  • Helps distinguish between true call reluctance and those actions that appear to be call reluctance but aren’t

Unlike most sales trainers and consultants who claim to know the cause of call reluctance, Dudley and Goodson have moved well beyond the “fear of rejection” assumption and have provided sellers with a well researched discussion of its causes and cures.  That alone is worth every penny of the book’s cost.

More importantly, the proposed cures really seem to work, which is far more than can be said for the old “just do it” formula so often prescribed by motivational speakers.  A real, workable, effective solution makes the book priceless.

The Cons:

Unfortunately there are cons—both in style and execution.

Let’s take the less important style cons first:

1) The authors skewer sales trainers, psychologists, and motivational speakers for claiming they have ‘the answer.”  Dudley and Goodson are just as guilty if not more so since they make such an issue of beating their straw man sales trainers, psychologists and motivation speakers about the head and shoulders unmercifully. 

2) The authors try too hard to turn a semi-academic work into something more akin to literature.  They get far too carried away trying to make their similes and metaphors cute and unique that they are almost laughable.  Yes, a minor point, but one that after awhile becomes weary. 

Now to the far more important execution issue: the diagnosis and prescriptions are going to be very difficult for a great many sellers to handle on their own (not to mention that an even greater number of sellers will never make it through the tedious detail of the book).  Many, if not most, sellers will have to have someone to both guide them through the book and to hold them accountable for executing the prescriptions.  I think far more sellers will be successful using Dudley and Goodson’s research if they work in conjunction with their manger, a coach, or mentor. 

If you’re a seller, I encourage you to get a copy of the book, work through it, and then find someone—a manager or coach probably—to work with you to diagnose your call reluctance issues (if you have any) and then work through the countermeasures.

If you’re a sales leader, even more this book should not only be on your bookshelf, but should be in your hands—you just might find it solves many a vexing problem your sellers have had.

The Psychology of Sales Call Reluctance: Earning What You’re Worth in Sales

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July 28, 2010

Guest Article: “The Busness Executive’s Dilemma: Should I Promote My Top Sales Person to Sales Manager?” by Lee B. Salz

The Business Executive’s Dilemma: Should I Promote My Top Sales Person to Sales Manager?
By Lee B. Salz

Early Greek mythology tells tales of sailors lured by Sirens. Their sweet music mesmerized the sailors and led them to believe that the illusion was reality. Ultimately, those sailors who blindly followed the tunes crashed their ships on the rocks and their boats sank.

Sirens lure business executives and small business owners too. The song that the Sirens sing has one line… “Promote my top sales person, put six people underneath them, and generate six times the sales.” And, like the sailors, many business executives and their companies have been led into harm’s way.

A promotion? The first issue with promoting your top sales person into sales management is that it’s not a promotion at all. The promotion perception is the first way the Sirens get you. Sales management is not a job elevation, it’s a job change. If you consider this move as a promotion, you probably send a congratulatory email and hold a luncheon for the new sales manager. A nice handshake is offered and the new manager is sent to achieve grandeur. This approach delights the Sirens and your ship is sunk!

If you handle this as a job change, your approach is completely different. Since this is a new job, you provide training and mentoring as well as monitor their performance. As the manager of the new sales manager, your role is to help them successfully assimilate into their new role.

Top Seller = Top Sales Manager? Before we go any further, we need to take a step back. The second way the Sirens trick you is they lead you to believe all great sales people can become great sales managers. Some certainly do. And, some pretty good sales people become rock star managers. And some great sales people fail miserably at sales management.

Before moving your top sales person into the sales management ranks, consider the ramifications of this move. You are taking your rainmaker out of the sales game where they’ve generated millions of dollars for your company. While your hope is that your theory of “disciple selling” (placing six people underneath the new manager and getting six times the sales) becomes proven, that is rarely the case. If it was so easy to clone a rainmaker, every company would do it. Quite frankly, the “disciple selling” dream is flawed. Again, you’ve been duped by the Sirens. The sole reason to place someone in the role of sales manager is that you feel that they have the potential to succeed in that capacity.

What does all of this tell you? You need a process and methodology to evaluate sales management candidates…just like you evaluate sales candidates. And, even though the rainmaker got on your radar screen because they blew out their quota, their sales management candidacy should be handled the same way you would if you were considering an external sales management candidate. Don’t skip any steps in the evaluation process!

Profile the Role. This evaluation starts with the development of your profile of the ideal sales manager for your company. Think about what it takes to succeed in the role and document those elements as part of your profile. Once you’ve prepared your list, identify each element as either required or desired.

With your profile developed, the next step is to develop a screening process that allows you to compare and contrast the candidate with the profile. It is critical during this process that you ascertain why this successful seller aspires for a management role and ensure that you set clear and accurate expectations of a day in the life as a sales manager in your company. In addition to interviews, you may want to consider tools to help identify a synergistic match like personality and proficiency assessments.

If your rainmaker succeeds in the evaluation process, you’ve found your sales manager. If not, don’t lose the revenue! Keep this seller selling!

Positioning Your New Sales Manager to Succeed. With your new sales manager hired, there are four keys to making the venture successful.

1. Support. The first is dealing with the sales team. Yesterday, she was a peer. Today, she is the manager. The new manager needs your help in developing managerial respect. The reaction to the new manager will be mixed.  Some will be fully supportive, but there will also be some on the team who are jealous and attempt to undermine her efforts. The key message for you to deliver to your new sales manager is that she has your unwavering support.

2. Mentoring.  Your new manager needs a resource to guide them through the neophyte status…a mentor. Don’t just look within the organization for a mentor candidate. Many sales management consultants mentor and develop new sales managers. The role of the mentor is to bridge the managerial knowledge, skills, and experience gap.

3. Training. Chances are that your new sales manager has never been taught how to hire a sales person, have a difficult conversation with an employee, or develop a sales compensation plan. These are all skills that can be taught. If you aren’t will to provide the new sales manager with skills training, don’t put them in the role. They will fail!

4. Expectation Setting. Your new sales manager should be provided with a scorecard that tells them how they are going to be measured. In most companies, sales managers are measured on revenue…but that is only one component of the scorecard. Based on the role and responsibilities of the sales manager, the scorecard could include metrics like profitability, cost of sales, turnover, sales cycle, forecast accuracy, etc.

Sales is one of the few professions where moving into management isn’t always the best path for the sales person or the company. Make sure the person you put in this critical role is the right sales manager for your company. After all, while this person may not be directly generating sales, they are the one responsible for the company achieving its revenue goals. Don’t let the Sirens lure your business into trouble. Develop the systems to help you make the best decisions.

Lee B. Salz, Founder and President of Sales Architects, is a leading authority on sales management. He specializes in helping companies identify and hire the right sales people, on-board them effectively and efficiently, and align their sales activities with the objectives of the business. For over 20 years, Lee has helped companies build high-performance sales organizations that sell to consumers, corporations and the government; for companies ranging from the Fortune 1000 to small firms.  Visit his website

July 26, 2010

In Sales Training, New Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Better–In Fact, It Probably Isn’t

Filed under: career development,sales,sales training,selling — Paul McCord @ 2:08 pm
Tags:

“Hey, Paul, what do you have new and exciting for me?”

“I’ve had trainers come in and do sessions on cold calling, referrals, and networking and just recently had an all day session on using Social Media.  I’m really looking for something really new and cutting edge that can really get my people excited.  Do you have any training like that?”

“You’re not telling me anything new.  Isn’t there anything new and exciting that’s going to ignite sales?  We’ve had all the standard stuff; we need something radical, something really cutting edge.”

I hear these comments more often that I’d like as there is a segment of the population that is always looking for the newest, most innovative, original prospecting, selling, presentation, and customer service methods, techniques and strategies.  And even those who aren’t asking for something unusual or different are attracted by the idea of finding something really new, different, ground-breaking.

We live in a world obsessed with the new, original and different.  The old is so yesterday; the new is what’s going to give us the ANSWERS to the great questions of sales and marketing.

But there’s a serious problem with this drive for new, different, and unique.  A lot of the new is nothing but crap and a lot of the old are solid, proven methods and techniques that work because they are in line with how humans think and act.

As a graduate student I encountered this same type of thinking.  For anyone seeking to become a tenured professor, producing new and original material is mandatory.  The problem is there isn’t that much new and original worth the paper it’s written on.  But producing worthwhile material isn’t the key to academic success—being able to defend the material—no matter how flimsy the defense or how outrageous the material—is the key to staying around long enough to become tenured.

Now, years later, I find the same situation in the training arena.  As trainers we have to make a name for ourselves in order to get the training and speaking contracts, in order to sell more books, in order to demand larger and larger fees.

How do we make a name for ourselves?  One way is through producing new and original material; new methods, new strategies, new concepts, new ideas, or new principles.   And just as with the academic, it really doesn’t make any difference if the new ideas, concepts, strategies and methods work as long as we can convince enough people that it is worth paying the price to give it a shot.  It’s even better if we can get a concept, principle, strategy or process named after us—that just might be the real ticket to the big time.

The problem is so much of this new and original is nothing other than the old put in a shiny new package which is often prettier but less effective than the old package—or, just as likely, pure old fashioned bullshit.

On the other hand, a great deal of what is considered old and dated is still the best thinking in a great many areas of sales and sales management.  Want some quality material?  Get yourself a copy of Think and Grow Rich, SPIN Selling, How I Raised Myself From Failure to Success in Selling, Solution Selling, or Major Account Sales Strategy.  Before reading the newest, hottest sales guru, spend some time reading Zig Ziglar, Brian Tracy, or Tom Hopkins.  Too old fashioned for your taste?  Well, they haven’t been around training salespeople and managers since God was just a boy because they don’t know what they’re talking about.

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t pursue new avenues, new study, new thinking.  I believe we have a tremendous amount to learn about sales and marketing, about how people make decisions, how they purchase, how to connect and relate to them.  I think we’ve really only begun to plumb the world of sales and marketing.

And certainly there’s some great (and original) thinking going on today—look at Charlie Green, Dave Brock, Jill Konrath, Jonathan Farrington, Sharon Drew Morgan, and many others.  All of these men and women are contributing their original thought and helping us become better sellers, sales leaders and marketers.  But even within this illustrious group you’ll find the vast majority of their material builds on the best thinking of the past rather than trying to reinvent sales and marketing.

Don’t be conned by the claims of new, of ground-breaking, of revolutionary from the latest sales guru.  As Ecclesiastes says, there’s really nothing new under the sun.  Instead of seeking the new, seek the proven; instead of looking for the original, look for the effective; instead of trying to find the easy way, find the way that is ethical and works.

Just because it’s the old time religion doesn’t mean it won’t work in today’s marketplace; just as because it is new and different doesn’t mean it will work.  In fact, if it is new, original and ground-breaking, chances are it won’t work.

July 19, 2010

Guest Article: “Stop Being Stupid! The Customer Isn’t Always Right,” by David A Brock

Filed under: Client Relationships,small business — Paul McCord @ 3:44 pm

Stop Being Stupid! The Customer Isn’t Always Right
by David Brock

This morning, I was intrigued by a question on LinkedIn.  A person felt offended, a salesperson had criticized this individual’s company.  The individual was very upset, complaining to the sales person’s management, and posing the question on LinkedIn asking whether anyone else had experienced sales people being impolite and criticizing the customer to the customer and how to handle it.

I don’t know about this specific situation and whether the sales person was offensive or presenting a different point of view to the customer.  It did remind me of an experience a number of years ago.  I was with IBM, an executive for a business unit.  I’d been asked by a sales team to participate in a customer executive briefing.  This had been a particularly difficult situation, the team felt we were about to lose and, apparently, felt “let’s turn Dave loose on them, it couldn’t get worse.

I was doing a presentation about the IBM solution and the results it would present to the customer.  There were about 15 customers in the room, but one individual was being particularly annoying, asking all sorts of strange questions.  At one point, I snapped and said, “Stop being Stupid!”  The room went silent.  The faces of the IBMers lined up in the back of the room turned whiter than their shirts.  I suddenly realized what I had said and wondered, how would I get out of this?  Fortunately, the “offending” customer had the strength of character to ask, “Why do you think I am being stupid?”  He bailed me out and asked the most important question he could have asked, more importantly listened.

The conversation changed.  We had been very concerned about some of the things the customer was trying to do with the system they were buying.  We saw problems in what they were doing, but also some opportunities, if they changed a few things, to achieve far better results.  The team had never been able to catch the customers’ attentions and discuss the possibility of solving not only what they thought their problem was, but to capture other opportunities that would produce results they never anticipated.  Through the courage and good grace of the customer, we were able to shift the conversation and focus the discussion on improving their business, not just satisfying their requirements.

My reaction was rather immature, particularly for a senior executive, and would have failed if it had not been for this one customer having the character and courage to consider a different point of view (he later became a nice friend).  I wouldn’t recommend others do this, but I do think there is an important point to be made, the customer isn’t always right!   Often they are prisoner’s of their own experience and can’t see things differently.  Often, they don’t know what they don’t know and need to be informed and educated.  Often they are so focused on ”a tree,” completely missing the other trees or the fact they are in a forest.

As sales people, we have a tremendous opportunity.  Because we work with many customers solving similar problems, we have the opportunity to look at our customer’s businesses differently.  We have the opportunity to help the customer do things differently or to achieve goals they had never conceived, or thought was too difficult.  The sales person who understands the customer, their customers, their competition, and their markets, can provide insight the customer may not see for themselves—transforming the relationship and creating value the customer never anticipated.

Too many sales people don’t take this opportunity to help their customers.  They play it safe, responding only to the customer requirements, not suggesting ways they can improve things.  Alternatively, they know their product and can respond to customer questions about the product, but are clueless about the customer’s business and have no insight about the possibilities or opportunities to improve their businesses.

I talk to sales people daily.  They want to understand how to differentiate themselves, how to create great opportunities within their customers, how to grow their relationship and business with a customer.  Often, these sales people say, “If only the customer would look at things a little differently, we could do so much more for them.”

Sale professionals have a real opportunity to help their customers.  If we believe the customer is always right, and we don’t, politely, challenge them to think about new possibilities, we lose a tremendous opportunity to make a difference for the customer.  If we see changes that could be made and don’t find a way to present them to the customer, we are doing them a disservice.

In my experience with this customer, the conversation that morning changed.  We were able to focus them on solving the problem in a way that produced profound changes.  At lunch, sheepishly, I approached the customer I had called stupid to apologize.  He laughed and was gracious in accepting my apology.  He said something that has remained with me since then, “The only reason I let you get away with it, is that somehow I got that you really cared.  I sensed that we may have been blind and weren’t listening.  I knew your reaction was unnatural, so I decided that we might change the way we looked at things.” 

Caring about your customer’s business and their success is critical.  Sometimes you need to challenge them and help them see it.  Don’t be foolish like I was, but remember the customer may not be right and have the courage to, politely, present an alternative.  Playing it safe isn’t necessarily right.

Dave Brock is President of Partners In EXCELLENCE, a consulting and services company that clients sharpen their strategies and execution in the areas of business strategy, sales strategy and performance, sales channels, marketing, strategic partnering/alliances, product strategy and introduction, globalization, leadership and change management.  Dave’s experience includes more than 20 years in sales, marketing and general management positions with IBM, Tektronix, and Keithley Instruments. As a line executive, he has had responsibility for developing high performance organizations. These organizations attained leadership positions in their industries.  Visit Dave’s website.

July 15, 2010

A New Definition of the Word “Sacrifice” in Relation to Work?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Paul McCord @ 11:14 am

I’m noticing something of a mini-trend with some of my younger coaching clients—a tendency to redefine the idea of sacrifice in relation to work.

For the vast majority of men and women I know, irrespective of age, the concept of sacrificing something, whether it be time, energy, money, social life or some combination of these, in order to achieve career success has always been an accepted norm.  We understood that in order to have an extraordinary level of career success some other part of life had to suffer, at least as our career was established.

Typically the sacrifice expressed itself in long hours at the office or on the road, missed parties and social events, and sometimes—often in fact–strained relationships at home.  Most of us hoped that our time of sacrifice would be relatively short.  Again, most of us discovered that wasn’t to be.  In fact, for many of us, as our careers developed and as our success grew, our sacrifice to our work increased also. 

All of us over the years have heard the adage that we should “work to live, not live to work.”  Many, if not most, of us wish it were true in our lives.  Yet, for many of us, those 60, 70, 80, 90 hour work weeks continue unabated because we want the financial, emotional, and social rewards associated with career success.

 But three of my younger coaching clients want that same level of success but refuse to make the time sacrifice that we have deemed necessary.  Although all three express themselves differently, they in essence are saying the same thing:

“I want everything you have in terms of career success but I’ll be damned if I’m going to give up my social and family life to get it.”

These are not lazy, slothful, ignorant, or new graduates.  These are all very well educated, sophisticated, aggressive men and women.  They have all been in the workplace for at least four years.  All have achieved a fair level of success.  All are considered “up and comers.” 

All view working more than 45 to 50 hours a week as an infringement on their right to a personal life (with certain exceptions such as attending business dinners, parties, and other business/social events).

When asked how he believed this attitude would impact his career, one of my clients said that sacrifice was still a necessary part of life but now businesses would have to understand that they must sacrifice their short-term goals to the needs of their employees rather than employees sacrificing their needs to the company’s goals.

This is an attitude I would best describe as delusional and, of course, self-destructive, not to mention incredibly self-indulgent. 

It’s also one I’m beginning to find more common.  I wouldn’t say at this point that it is the predominate attitude of Gen Y by any means, but it seems to be fairly widespread. 

If this attitude has made something of a beachhead on Gen Y, what will the following generation be like? 

Over the decades the concept of a work week has shifted dramatically.  At one point working from dawn to dusk six days a week was considered the norm.  Certainly in some industries that is still considered a fairly typical work week—at least dawn to dusk five days a week.

Are we at the beginning of a new shift in the way men and women view work?  One that will redefine how companies operate and what they expect from employees?  Or are we at the beginning of a new era of incredible opportunity for those willing to sacrifice for their career?

July 13, 2010

Oh the Wild and Wacky World of Sales Training Cliches and Overused, Meaningless Words, Phrases and Stories

Filed under: Uncategorized — Paul McCord @ 11:11 am

I was visiting the website of Don Cooper, a sales trainer friend of mine, and ran across a page titled “Things Don Won’t Say,” a list of overused and trite words, clichés, stories and phrases, all of which anyone who has attended more than two training sessions has heard ad nauseam. 

Like Don, I try my best to avoid these phrases, words, and stories—but I have to admit, my tongue slips on occasion.

Here’s a taste of the offenders Don has identified:

Paradigm
Matrix
Deliverables
Empowerment
Win/Win
Outside the box
Buyers are Liars
To the next level

And a few of the overused, now meaningless stories you won’t hear from him:

The frog in boiling water story
The lighthouse story
The Cortez burning his ships story

I could certainly add many of my own such as “stinkin thinkin,” “hope is not a strategy,” and “your customers won’t care about you until they know how much you care about them.”

Of course, when Zig Zigler first came up with the “stinkin thinkin” phrase it was memorable and communicated something of importance to his audience.  But how many trainers and managers have stolen that phrase and beat it to death to the point that it’s nothing more than filler in a talk?  Most of these other words, phrases, stories, and clichés are in the same category—at one point they really communicated something, that’s why they struck a chord.  Now, however, they’re hardly more than filler in a sentence.  It has gotten to the point that sometimes when you listen to a trainer or manager you wonder if they’ve ever had an original thought in their life or if they’re nothing but a continual string of cliches and passé stories.

Just for fun, what are the words, phrases, stories and clichés that you’ve had more than enough of?  I’d love to hear them (and possibly eliminate them from my vocabulary).

July 12, 2010

Guest Article: “Creating Stronger Value Propositions,” by Jill Konrath

Filed under: marketing,prospecting,sales,selling — Paul McCord @ 12:36 pm
Tags: ,

Creating Stronger Value Propositions
by Jill Konrath

In order to get customers to consider changing from the status quo, you have to give them a good reason. A really good reason. They need to know about the tangible business results they’ll get from using your product or service.

One of best ways to waken a prospective customer out of their “everything is okay” slumber is to “jolt” them with a statement about the significant difference your offering can make. And the bigger the jolt, the better.

That means you can’t just say, “We help you increase sales” or “With our products your service costs go down.”

You need to be explicit. Metrics are a must.

  • How much did sales go up?
  • What kind of savings were realized?
  • How much did you lower the cost of goods sold?
  • What was the financial impact of the time saving?

And be exact. Customers don’t believe rounded numbers any more. Don’t say you doubled sales. Say they increased by 114% in 5.33 months. The more specific your number, the higher its credibility.

Some of you are probably panicking by now. No statistics, right?

Well, you’re not alone. Sometimes it’s difficult to measure one’s impact. Sometimes customers hate tracking things. Sometimes what you’re doing is so new that no one has numbers. Sometimes your marketing department gives you nothing to work from.

But don’t let that stop you! Here are 3 ideas you can use to create stronger value propositions – complete with metrics.

1. Use Industry Statistics
For many sellers, this strategy is the perfect fix for their lack of metrics. Leverage the research that someone else has already done.

I frequently tell prospects that “Research shows that over 75% of executives at companies whose new products failed to achieve their objectives blamed poor value propositions as the root cause.”

How about this one if your company helps others be more creative: “A recent survey of 669 executives from global companies found that fewer than 25% of them felt that their innovative performance was where it needed to be for success in hypercompetitive markets.”

Keep your eyes open for relevant metrics. Rest assured, you will have a 99.97% chance of finding statistics that support your sales efforts.

2. Extend Existing Business Statistics
So many companies today are already involved in tracking things within their organization. If their company is involved in Six Sigma or other quality-type initiatives, measurement is an integral part of their operations.

Your job is to uncover the existing metrics. That means you need to ask about what they track and how they measure results. Since this tracking is ongoing, you will be able to see the impact of your product or service on their business.

My friend Rita does executive coaching, team building and helps clients with tough situations where people aren’t working together well at all. In her work with a manufacturing company, she was able to see her impact by comparing the before & after metrics that the customer was already tracking. Specifically, she helped them realize the following:

  • 31% increase in productivity.
  • 12% decrease in scrap/unit.
  • 37% drop in labor/unit.

Those statistics really strengthen her value proposition and make it much more enticing to decision makers.

3. Engage New Customers in Measurement
That’s right! You can ask your customers to create a benchmark. If you’re confident that your product or service will deliver positive business results, get them to measure the success they’re getting.

Some customers really like to do this. They want to see if their investment in your offering truly did make a difference. And if it did, believe me, they will be telling everyone in the company about their great decision making!

You want people talking about you like this. So give them an opportunity and ask them to participate in a benchmark. It may take guts on your part since you’ll really have to prove your value. But it will be worth it!

Once you get those positive, business-impacting metrics your value proposition will be so much stronger. In fact, it will be just what you need to get your foot in the door of a whole slew of new prospects.

Finally, if you’re still having problems getting metrics after all these suggestions, then I have one last piece of advice for you: Speak the language of business.

Forget that your product or service even exists. Just talk about the impact it has on clients. Tell a “before and after story” painting a picture of the difficulties customers experienced before using your product/service and what they achieved as a result.

Jill Konrath, sales strategist and bestselling author of Selling to Big Companies and SNAP Selling, is a frequent speaker at annual sales meetings, kick-off events and professional conferences. Visit her website

July 8, 2010

5 Motivational Aids—Keep the Passion Flowing

Filed under: career development,motivation,success — Paul McCord @ 11:13 am
Tags: , ,

If you want to be successful you have to be motivated. 

What is motivation?

Is it desire?  No.  We all desire things—happiness, success, money, love, whatever; but just because we want it doesn’t mean we’re willing to do what it takes to get it.

Is it vision?  No.  We can all envision ourselves with the things we want without taking the slightest step to acquire it.

Is it energy?  No.  There are millions of salespeople spending endless amounts of energy everyday toward their goals but not reaching them because their energy is misspent.

Is it commitment?  No.  There are millions who are committed to success who fail daily.

Motivation is a unique combination of desire, commitment, and energy—let’s roll these into a single quality called passion–to reach a goal no matter how difficult it may be or how long it may take to reach.

Passion—that unique combination of desire, commitment, and energy—in and of itself can virtually force you to succeed by demanding you do those things necessary to be successful.  Passion won’t let you rest.  It won’t allow you to quit.  It won’t allow you to become sated until you’ve reached your goal.

Passion demands your best effort.  It pushes you to go beyond the satisfactory to the extraordinary.  It forces you to reach heights you thought impossible.

Passion is pretty heady stuff.  It keeps you on the edge.  It sharpens your senses, keeping you alert to opportunities.  It awakens the creative juices.  It helps keep the doubts and worries at bay.

Unfortunately, passion isn’t limitless.  It has limitations and weaknesses.  Although strong, it must be reinforced or you risk having it burn itself out.

How do you keep your passion burning?

Here are 5 down and dirty ways to reinforce your passion and keep it burning strong:

  1. Love what you do.  There is no substitute for doing something you absolutely love doing.  If you can hardly wait to get out of bed in the morning to get your day started you’re already half way to success.  Certainly we can’t all be engaged in something we absolutely love, but if you can, even if only on a part-time basis, go for it.
  2. Set tangible, realistic short-term goals.  The more often you see tangible progress, the easier to maintain your passion.  Set short-term, realistic goals.  If you consistently see small goals being reached, you’ll soon begin to see large goals being reached.  By the way, reasonable goals don’t mean easy to reach goals.  Goals should consistently stretch you and your abilities.
  3. Visualize outcomes.  Athletes use visualization for a reason—it works.  If you are afraid of making presentations, visualize yourself making great presentations.  If you fear cold calling, visualize yourself being successful at cold calling.  Visualization is a form of practice.  In a study a couple of years ago researchers found that students who only visualized practicing a piece of music were as proficient at playing the piece as students who had actually practiced the piece on the piano.
  4. Use positive affirmations.  Repeating positive affirmations strengthens and reaffirms your internal belief system.  We cannot do what we do not believe we can do.  On the other hand, if we sincerely believe we can do something, no matter how ‘impossible,’ our brain can find ways to get it done.  Once we believe, our brain begins to go work to figure out a way to turn our belief into reality. 

    Our brain will believe what it hears and what our eyes see.  If it has heard and witnessed failure for years and years, it believes we will fail.  Fortunately, we can change that.  It will take time.  We will have to consciously retrain it.  We’ll have to give it positive reinforcement through what it hears—our positive affirmations—and what it experiences—our small successes as we reach our short-term goals.  But just as it learned we are a failure, it will learn we are successful—but this time we can control what we feed our brain.

  5. Use outside reinforcement.  Motivation—passion—is internal.  It isn’t something that is created externally.  That doesn’t mean that external stimulus can’t reinforce our internal motivation.  The problem is that external stimulus such as motivation books, tapes, seminars, and such burn out quickly—usually within just a few days, sometimes within just a few hours.

    That quick burn doesn’t mean external stimulus can’t be valuable.  It can be extremely valuable.  A motivational tape can give us a great burst of energy prior to an important presentation; a motivational seminar can get our creative juices flowing in new directions; motivation quotes can realign our minds at moments of exhaustion or weakness. 

    Keep favorite motivational tapes and quotes ready at hand.  Take the opportunity to attend motivational seminars and presentations.  Remember the ‘high’ is fleeting—but you can drink of it anytime you need it.

Companies spend billions of dollars every year trying to find the magic motivational bullet.  They’ll never find it because it isn’t something they can order in from a motivational speaker.  We either have it or we don’t.  But if we don’t, we can take the steps necessary to find it and nurture it.

And it isn’t expensive, difficult, or time consuming.

Find your passion and you’ll find your success.  If you’re a sales leader, help your sales team members find their passion and you’ll find your success.

July 5, 2010

Guest Article: “Does Volume Make Up for Low Price?” by Mark Hunter

Filed under: business,sales,selling — Paul McCord @ 4:12 pm
Tags: , ,

Does Volume Make Up for Low Price?
By Mark Hunter

The phone rings and the sales manager hears on the other end the all-too-familiar plea of a salesperson. The salesperson tries to convince the sales manager that it makes so much sense to offer the prospect a discount to get them to finally become a customer. Of course, the salesperson has the expectation that this new customer will quickly become a high-profit customer.  The sales manager has heard the same plea hundreds of times before, and yet for some reason, the salesperson and the lack of current sales suddenly make offering a discount very attractive.

It’s as if we’re watching the unveiling of a very slow accident that is completely avoidable and yet happens anyway.  The salesperson gets it into his or her head that the only way to close the deal is by discounting the price. They just need to convince their sales manager to go along with it.  When this occurs, a major shift happens with how the salesperson does their job. No longer are they selling to the customer; now they’re selling to the sales manager.  The problem with this is simple – a salesperson gets paid for selling to customers. That’s how both the top-line and the bottom-line are made.

If you’re reading this and you’re a salesperson, here is some very simple advice.  Contrary to what you believe will happen, you will never make up in long-term profit what you’re about to give up with your immediate discount.  Sure, there are always exceptions to this, but such exceptions are similar to me winning the lottery.  Is it doable? Yes.  Is it probable? NO!

When you discount the price, the new price is now the price of value the customer is willing to pay.   When they’re offered the price once, they will expect it again and again. When you attempt to move the price to the “normal or regular” price, they see it as a price increase.  Even if you do get the price up to the “normal or regular” price, you’re still behind the profit curve because of all the product you sold to the customer at the lower “discounted” price.

I hear this argument a lot: “You don’t understand. If I didn’t offer the discount, I would never have had the opportunity to move the price up, because they would never have become a customer.”

My response is always the same:  “So what! It doesn’t matter.” In your quest to get the customer, you cut your price. But you did so much more than that.  What you did was cut your profit dollar for dollar. That is a very simple fact of what happens when you cut your price.  It’s highly unlikely you cut the cost of your goods or services, because your goal is to get the customer to experience what you can do. That means the only place to cut is your profit. 

Here’s the deal: Your ability as a salesperson is not in how much you sell, but in how much you earn for your company. It’s the bottom-line profit that counts, and anytime you reduce your price, you’re slashing your profit.

There is not a sales manager out there of any quality who will allow any salesperson to spend their valuable time trying to sell internally. The focus must be on external selling.  Focus first on creating value by determining the needs of the customer. Then position your product or service as the solution, and do so at full price.

This is the only strategy that ensures you are not only protecting profit, but also ultimately in a place to increase it!

Mark Hunter, “The Sales Hunter,” is a sales expert who speaks to thousands each year on how to increase their sales profitability.  For more information, to receive a free weekly email sales tip, or to read his Sales Motivation Blog, visit www.TheSalesHunter.com.

July 4, 2010

The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America

Filed under: Uncategorized — Paul McCord @ 8:48 am

Below are two of the most incredible documents ever created by humans.  Argued, written and ratified by a group of men the likes of which hasn’t been seen since–and probably never will be again.  Although many have come after them seeking to improve their work by destroying it, the Declaration and Constitution still are recognized, at least in word, as the foundation of our country.  We can only hope and pray that they continue to be the nation’s guiding documents and diligently work to keep politicians and those who believe that know far better than we do what’s good for us from destorying them.

 

The Declaration of Independence

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.


The 56 signatures on the Declaration appear in the positions indicated:

Column 1
Georgia:
   Button Gwinnett
   Lyman Hall
   George Walton

Column 2
North Carolina:
   William Hooper
   Joseph Hewes
   John Penn
South Carolina:
   Edward Rutledge
   Thomas Heyward, Jr.
   Thomas Lynch, Jr.
   Arthur Middleton

Column 3
Massachusetts:
John Hancock
Maryland:
Samuel Chase
William Paca
Thomas Stone
Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Virginia:
George Wythe
Richard Henry Lee
Thomas Jefferson
Benjamin Harrison
Thomas Nelson, Jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Carter Braxton

Column 4
Pennsylvania:
   Robert Morris
   Benjamin Rush
   Benjamin Franklin
   John Morton
   George Clymer
   James Smith
   George Taylor
   James Wilson
   George Ross
Delaware:
   Caesar Rodney
   George Read
   Thomas McKean

Column 5
New York:
   William Floyd
   Philip Livingston
   Francis Lewis
   Lewis Morris
New Jersey:
   Richard Stockton
   John Witherspoon
   Francis Hopkinson
   John Hart
   Abraham Clark

Column 6
New Hampshire:
   Josiah Bartlett
   William Whipple
Massachusetts:
   Samuel Adams
   John Adams
   Robert Treat Paine
   Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island:
   Stephen Hopkins
   William Ellery
Connecticut:
   Roger Sherman
   Samuel Huntington
   William Williams
   Oliver Wolcott
New Hampshire:
   Matthew Thornton

 

The Constitution of the United States

Preamble

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.


Article I – The Legislative Branch

Section 1 – The Legislature

All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

Section 2 – The House

The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.

No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the Age of twenty five Years, and been seven Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.

(Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.) (The previous sentence in parentheses was modified by the 14th Amendment, section 2.) The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct. The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the State of New Hampshire shall be entitled to chuse three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut five, New York six, New Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five and Georgia three.

When vacancies happen in the Representation from any State, the Executive Authority thereof shall issue Writs of Election to fill such Vacancies.

The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.

Section 3 – The Senate

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, (chosen by the Legislature thereof,) (The preceding words in parentheses superseded by 17th Amendment, section 1.) for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.

Immediately after they shall be assembled in Consequence of the first Election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into three Classes. The Seats of the Senators of the first Class shall be vacated at the Expiration of the second Year, of the second Class at the Expiration of the fourth Year, and of the third Class at the Expiration of the sixth Year, so that one third may be chosen every second Year; (and if Vacancies happen by Resignation, or otherwise, during the Recess of the Legislature of any State, the Executive thereof may make temporary Appointments until the next Meeting of the Legislature, which shall then fill such Vacancies.) (The preceding words in parentheses were superseded by the 17th Amendment, section 2.)

No person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty Years, and been nine Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen.

The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.

The Senate shall chuse their other Officers, and also a President pro tempore, in the absence of the Vice President, or when he shall exercise the Office of President of the United States.

The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.

Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.

Section 4 – Elections, Meetings

The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Place of Chusing Senators.

The Congress shall assemble at least once in every Year, and such Meeting shall (be on the first Monday in December,) (The preceding words in parentheses were superseded by the 20th Amendment, section 2.) unless they shall by Law appoint a different Day.

Section 5 – Membership, Rules, Journals, Adjournment

Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members, and a Majority of each shall constitute a Quorum to do Business; but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the Attendance of absent Members, in such Manner, and under such Penalties as each House may provide.

Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behavior, and, with the Concurrence of two-thirds, expel a Member.

Each House shall keep a Journal of its Proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such Parts as may in their Judgment require Secrecy; and the Yeas and Nays of the Members of either House on any question shall, at the Desire of one fifth of those Present, be entered on the Journal.

Neither House, during the Session of Congress, shall, without the Consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other Place than that in which the two Houses shall be sitting.

Section 6 – Compensation

(The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained by Law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States.) (The preceding words in parentheses were modified by the 27th Amendment.) They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.

No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United States which shall have been created, or the Emoluments whereof shall have been increased during such time; and no Person holding any Office under the United States, shall be a Member of either House during his Continuance in Office.

Section 7 – Revenue Bills, Legislative Process, Presidential Veto

All bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.

Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States; If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law. But in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by Yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively. If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law.

Every Order, Resolution, or Vote to which the Concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary (except on a question of Adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the United States; and before the Same shall take Effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by two thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the Rules and Limitations prescribed in the Case of a Bill.

Section 8 – Powers of Congress

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

To establish Post Offices and Post Roads;

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations;

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings; And

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

Section 9 – Limits on Congress

The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.

The privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.

No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

(No capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or Enumeration herein before directed to be taken.) (Section in parentheses clarified by the 16th Amendment.)

No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State.

No Preference shall be given by any Regulation of Commerce or Revenue to the Ports of one State over those of another: nor shall Vessels bound to, or from, one State, be obliged to enter, clear, or pay Duties in another.

No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.

No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince or foreign State.

Section 10 – Powers prohibited of States

No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.

No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it’s inspection Laws: and the net Produce of all Duties and Imposts, laid by any State on Imports or Exports, shall be for the Use of the Treasury of the United States; and all such Laws shall be subject to the Revision and Controul of the Congress.

No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.


Article II – The Executive Branch

Section 1 – The President

The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice-President chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows:

Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.

(The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by Ballot for two persons, of whom one at least shall not lie an Inhabitant of the same State with themselves. And they shall make a List of all the Persons voted for, and of the Number of Votes for each; which List they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the Seat of the Government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate. The President of the Senate shall, in the Presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the Certificates, and the Votes shall then be counted. The Person having the greatest Number of Votes shall be the President, if such Number be a Majority of the whole Number of Electors appointed; and if there be more than one who have such Majority, and have an equal Number of Votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately chuse by Ballot one of them for President; and if no Person have a Majority, then from the five highest on the List the said House shall in like Manner chuse the President. But in chusing the President, the Votes shall be taken by States, the Representation from each State having one Vote; a quorum for this Purpose shall consist of a Member or Members from two-thirds of the States, and a Majority of all the States shall be necessary to a Choice. In every Case, after the Choice of the President, the Person having the greatest Number of Votes of the Electors shall be the Vice President. But if there should remain two or more who have equal Votes, the Senate shall chuse from them by Ballot the Vice-President.) (This clause in parentheses was superseded by the 12th Amendment.)

The Congress may determine the Time of chusing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.

No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

(In Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of his Death, Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said Office, the same shall devolve on the Vice President, and the Congress may by Law provide for the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation or Inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what Officer shall then act as President, and such Officer shall act accordingly, until the Disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.) (This clause in parentheses has been modified by the 20th and 25th Amendments.)

The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.

Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Section 2 – Civilian Power over Military, Cabinet, Pardon Power, Appointments

The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to Grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.

The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.

Section 3 – State of the Union, Convening Congress

He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.

Section 4 – Disqualification

The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.


Article III – The Judicial Branch

Section 1 – Judicial powers

The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behavior, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services a Compensation which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.

Section 2 – Trial by Jury, Original Jurisdiction, Jury Trials

(The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority; to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls; to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction; to Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party; to Controversies between two or more States; between a State and Citizens of another State; between Citizens of different States; between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States, and between a State, or the Citizens thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects.) (This section in parentheses is modified by the 11th Amendment.)

In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.

The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury; and such Trial shall be held in the State where the said Crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any State, the Trial shall be at such Place or Places as the Congress may by Law have directed.

Section 3 – Treason

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

The Congress shall have power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.


Article IV – The States

Section 1 – Each State to Honor all others

Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.

Section 2 – State citizens, Extradition

The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.

A Person charged in any State with Treason, Felony, or other Crime, who shall flee from Justice, and be found in another State, shall on demand of the executive Authority of the State from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the State having Jurisdiction of the Crime.

(No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, But shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due.) (This clause in parentheses is superseded by the 13th Amendment.)

Section 3 – New States

New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new States shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.

The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any particular State.

Section 4 – Republican government

The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.


Article V – Amendment

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.


Article VI – Debts, Supremacy, Oaths

All Debts contracted and Engagements entered into, before the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution, as under the Confederation.

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.


Article VII – Ratification

The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the Same.


Done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth. In Witness whereof We have hereunto subscribed our Names.

Go Washington – President and deputy from Virginia

New Hampshire – John Langdon, Nicholas Gilman

Massachusetts – Nathaniel Gorham, Rufus King

Connecticut – Wm Saml Johnson, Roger Sherman

New York – Alexander Hamilton

New Jersey – Wil Livingston, David Brearley, Wm Paterson, Jona. Dayton

Pensylvania – B Franklin, Thomas Mifflin, Robt Morris, Geo. Clymer, Thos FitzSimons, Jared Ingersoll, James Wilson, Gouv Morris

Delaware – Geo. Read, Gunning Bedford jun, John Dickinson, Richard Bassett, Jaco. Broom

Maryland – James McHenry, Dan of St Tho Jenifer, Danl Carroll

Virginia – John Blair, James Madison Jr.

North Carolina – Wm Blount, Richd Dobbs Spaight, Hu Williamson

South Carolina – J. Rutledge, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, Charles Pinckney, Pierce Butler

Georgia – William Few, Abr Baldwin

Attest: William Jackson, Secretary


The Amendments

The following are the Amendments to the Constitution. The first ten Amendments collectively are commonly known as the Bill of Rights.


Amendment 1 – Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression. Ratified 12/15/1791.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.


Amendment 2 – Right to Bear Arms. Ratified 12/15/1791.

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.


Amendment 3 – Quartering of Soldiers. Ratified 12/15/1791.

No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.


Amendment 4 – Search and Seizure. Ratified 12/15/1791.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.


Amendment 5 – Trial and Punishment, Compensation for Takings. Ratified 12/15/1791.

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.


Amendment 6 – Right to Speedy Trial, Confrontation of Witnesses. Ratified 12/15/1791.

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.


Amendment 7 – Trial by Jury in Civil Cases. Ratified 12/15/1791.

In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.


Amendment 8 – Cruel and Unusual Punishment. Ratified 12/15/1791.

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.


Amendment 9 – Construction of Constitution. Ratified 12/15/1791.

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.


Amendment 10 – Powers of the States and People. Ratified 12/15/1791.

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.


Amendment 11 – Judicial Limits. Ratified 2/7/1795.

The Judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by Citizens of another State, or by Citizens or Subjects of any Foreign State.


Amendment 12 – Choosing the President, Vice-President. Ratified 6/15/1804.

The Electors shall meet in their respective states, and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President, and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as Vice-President and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate;

The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted;

The person having the greatest Number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice. And if the House of Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the right of choice shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next following, then the Vice-President shall act as President, as in the case of the death or other constitutional disability of the President.

The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice-President, shall be the Vice-President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed, and if no person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice-President; a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number of Senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice. But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.


Amendment 13 – Slavery Abolished. Ratified 12/6/1865.

1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.


Amendment 14 – Citizenship Rights. Ratified 7/9/1868.

1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

2. Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice-President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.

3. No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.


Amendment 15 – Race No Bar to Vote. Ratified 2/3/1870.

1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.


Amendment 16 – Status of Income Tax Clarified. Ratified 2/3/1913.

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.


Amendment 17 – Senators Elected by Popular Vote. Ratified 4/8/1913.

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures.

When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.

This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the election or term of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution.


Amendment 18 – Liquor Abolished. Ratified 1/16/1919. Repealed by Amendment 21, 12/5/1933.

1. After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.

2. The Congress and the several States shall have concurrent power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

3. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.


Amendment 19 – Women’s Suffrage. Ratified 8/18/1920.

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.


Amendment 20 – Presidential, Congressional Terms. Ratified 1/23/1933.

1. The terms of the President and Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January, and the terms of Senators and Representatives at noon on the 3d day of January, of the years in which such terms would have ended if this article had not been ratified; and the terms of their successors shall then begin.

2. The Congress shall assemble at least once in every year, and such meeting shall begin at noon on the 3d day of January, unless they shall by law appoint a different day.

3. If, at the time fixed for the beginning of the term of the President, the President elect shall have died, the Vice President elect shall become President. If a President shall not have been chosen before the time fixed for the beginning of his term, or if the President elect shall have failed to qualify, then the Vice President elect shall act as President until a President shall have qualified; and the Congress may by law provide for the case wherein neither a President elect nor a Vice President elect shall have qualified, declaring who shall then act as President, or the manner in which one who is to act shall be selected, and such person shall act accordingly until a President or Vice President shall have qualified.

4. The Congress may by law provide for the case of the death of any of the persons from whom the House of Representatives may choose a President whenever the right of choice shall have devolved upon them, and for the case of the death of any of the persons from whom the Senate may choose a Vice President whenever the right of choice shall have devolved upon them.

5. Sections 1 and 2 shall take effect on the 15th day of October following the ratification of this article.

6. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years from the date of its submission.


Amendment 21Amendment 18 Repealed. Ratified 12/5/1933.

1. The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.

2. The transportation or importation into any State, Territory, or possession of the United States for delivery or use therein of intoxicating liquors, in violation of the laws thereof, is hereby prohibited.

3. The article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by conventions in the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.


Amendment 22 – Presidential Term Limits. Ratified 2/27/1951.

1. No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once. But this Article shall not apply to any person holding the office of President, when this Article was proposed by the Congress, and shall not prevent any person who may be holding the office of President, or acting as President, during the term within which this Article becomes operative from holding the office of President or acting as President during the remainder of such term.

2. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years from the date of its submission to the States by the Congress.


Amendment 23 – Presidential Vote for District of Columbia. Ratified 3/29/1961.

1. The District constituting the seat of Government of the United States shall appoint in such manner as the Congress may direct: A number of electors of President and Vice President equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives in Congress to which the District would be entitled if it were a State, but in no event more than the least populous State; they shall be in addition to those appointed by the States, but they shall be considered, for the purposes of the election of President and Vice President, to be electors appointed by a State; and they shall meet in the District and perform such duties as provided by the twelfth article of amendment.

2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.


Amendment 24Poll Tax Barred. Ratified 1/23/1964.

1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax.

2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.


Amendment 25 – Presidential Disability and Succession. Ratified 2/10/1967.

1. In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President.

2. Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress.

3. Whenever the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice President as Acting President.

4. Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.

Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.


Amendment 26 – Voting Age Set to 18 Years. Ratified 7/1/1971.

1. The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age.

2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.


Amendment 27 – Limiting Changes to Congressional Pay. Ratified 5/7/1992.

No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.

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