Category Archives: Uncategorized

Patience Is a Virtue

Almost everyday in sales I am reminded of the statement “patience is a virtue”.  Some days I feel like I am just running in a rat race.  100 calls and not one yes and then all of sudden I get a return call or email from last month.  Imagine if I would have given up last week I would have missed that call and opportunity. 

All too often I come across businesses and owners that say I want to increase sales and I am going to hire a sales person to do that.  Yes great idea…and here’s a hint do not make the mistake of putting the wrong expectations on your sales person.  Set numbers and goals for them to reach such as number of calls, number of meetings, and number of new prospects.  Hold them accountable to reach these numbers, but do not expect that in the first 30 days they will bring you in a million dollar deal.  It takes time to uncover opportunities and that is what makes a WIN that much sweeter. 

Tagged

Goals vs Plans

Image

Do you set plans or goals?  Are plans the same as goals?  For me they are very different.  I set goals and make plans.  Plans help me reach my goals.  My goals are commitments that I will do everything in my control to achieve.  Plans are something I make along the way.  I am typically okay if I have to reroute my plans to achieve my goals but I am not happy if I have to sacrifice my goals for a plan.

Each week I set one or two goals that I plan to accomplish throughout the week.  I generally have a plan on how I am going to achieve the goals but most of the time I have to divert from the plan.  It’s important that even when things arise and I have to make a change I still work hard to achieve the goals.  If you have to say no to certain plans because you need to reach a goal you should not feel guilty.  Goals are things that are important to you.  They are the big picture.  So that doesn’t mean you set 20 goals for the week.  Find big picture goals to accomplish.  For example, I want to run a 1/2 marathon this year.  So that does not mean that I need to run 13.1 miles this week.  I do however need to pick a race, plan times when I can run, and make sure I have proper gear to reach my goal.  If I miss running a few times a week I still stay on target and reach my goal.

So are you setting goals or just plans?

Tagged

Set Your Boundaries

ImageMany times in sales you will find yourself going above and beyond for a client.  You want to make sure the client gets the service they expect and deserve.  You asked them for a chance and you want to on deliver that promise.  At the same time you might come across clients that tend to have higher expectations than you can deliver or continually take advantage of your generosity.

It’s important to make sure you set boundaries in your business relationships.  This can be done in several ways.

Clear Proposals – Make sure everyone is on the same page before you start your work or deliver your product.  The customer should be completely clear on the deliverables and your expectations.   Be careful that you outline all the details or your proposals, and be cautious not to put into too much filler.  Proposals are generally best received when they are delivered in person and reviewed.  Have both parties sign the proposal prior to commencement of work.  It’s great to have trust in business partners but both parties should have a signed agreement regardless of the level of trust.

Communicate Effectively – Ask you client what the best way to reach them is.  There are so many different ways to communicate with people these days and really there is no standard.  Some people prefer text to email and vice versa.  Some people never check voice mails and some people have an assistant you must go thru.  Find out the best way to communicate with your client and make sure they know how to reach you as well. 

Don’t over extend yourself over and over again– Let your client know when you are doing something out of the norm.  From time to time clients will get in a situation where they will need you to work a miracle.  Miracles aren’t easy and sometimes impossible.  Do what you can to help your client but make sure they know when you have done more than the scope of services, and in many cases you may even need to charge them for the extra service.  If you continually are helping the same client with a crisis and it can be prevented you need to explain to them what you need from them to provide the service.  Your added efforts have a value and it’s important not let those services go under value.

Setting clear boundaries in business will help you in establishing healthy and successful practices.  Your clients will value your services and they will also appreciate when you have had to go above and beyond to create miracles.  Always strive to provide the best possible products and services and establish reasonable expectations.

 

Tagged

Pointless Stress

Image

I grew up in Seattle and moved to Florida when I graduated high school.  It would be fair to say that most of my driving experience has come from the Sunny Land of Florida.  I still think of myself as a Seattle Girl at heart until I get on the road.  Recently, I got off the plane in Seattle and meet my ride at the loading area.  I become immediately irritated by the person that is blocking us with their car.  It’s like the person does not see us and I tell my driver aka my mom to use her horn.  My mom looks horrified that I want to use the horn so I reach over and blow the horn.  All of sudden I get nasty looks like I am the rudest person and the other car still does not move.  Okay I decide to give in and we will wait….so we wait 30 seconds and they move.  Interesting how my blood pressure raised over waiting 1/2 a minute.  My stress seemed a little pointless.

The next day I find myself driving across town to visit a friend and let’s face it there is a lot of traffic in Seattle.  You can’t fight the traffic it’s just there.  I see a long line of drivers lined up on the exit ramp.  The two lanes next to the merge lane is wide open.  People are not driving up to the front of the merge lane and snaking in.  The drivers jump into the last place in line and patiently wait their turn.  Every time I come to Seattle and see this I am blown away.  It’s refreshing drivers actually respecting that someone has been waiting longer and if someone decides to cut there are no horns or hand signals flying around.  Don’t get me wrong I am sure there is a good share of road rage in the Seattle area, but the drivers seem to realize that getting angry and frustrated is really not going to help the situation.  Traffic exist and sometimes you just have to be patient.

This the same with many other things in life and work.  Things that tend to make you annoyed or irritable on a daily basis are sometimes things that you should probably just roll with.  There will be plenty of things in life to stress over.  So if you find yourself working and stressed over things you can’t control….pause.  Ask yourself what can I do to make this situation better?  Is my increased stress level helping or hurting?  Do I need to the let the situation pass or do I need to respectively address the situation.  Getting angry as one might do in road rage is generally pointless and ineffective. 

So while in Seattle I take a moment to pause and watch.  The traffic exist and yes it’s not fun but I can make it completely painful and tension filled or I can accept it for what it is.  If someone decides to cut me off on the road that’s okay because there may be a time when I really need to cut in and someone will graciously enough let me in….I mean haven’t we all been there?  Haven’t you ever had to wave to someone and ask them to let you cut in?  It feels good when they smile at you and give you a friendly gesture of approval.

Don’t let you days become filled with pointless stress because one thing will turn into multiple things. 

Tagged

Focus without Ignoring

Image

In this world of constant distractions it can be hard to focus.  We have become accustomed to reacting.  Email, text messages, phone calls, and social media have made it almost impossible to turn off distractions.  Communication is essential in business and you must respond quickly or you may miss an opportunity.   So how do you focus on the task in front of you without ignoring the request coming at you?

Set clear expectations.  Whether you are working to obtain new business, manage existing business, manage teammates, or working with peers you need to explain the best way to reach you when it’s urgent.  

If you receive an email does the person on the other end expect an immediate response?  Do you check your email throughout the day or do you check email 3 times a day?  I learned once from a wise man that email could become the biggest distraction in the day.  He told he put an out of office assistance on his email each day to inform those emailing him that he only checked email twice a day, and if they needed an immediate response to call him directly.  He makes a point to focus on the task in front of him.  He specific schedules times to read emails and respond, as opposed to stopping what he is doing each time an email hits his inbox.  His days have turned out to be much more productive and anyone that emails him knows they will get a response.  9 out of 10 of your emails really can wait 12 to 24 hours for a response and if it’s an emergency the person probably called you as well.

Prioritize.  Start your day with a list.  Before you look at your phone or email take 5 minutes to make a list.  Write down everything that you need to get done.  Write down small and big tasks.  Keep the list with you throughout your day.  As you complete tasks cross them off.  You will feel accomplished as you get things done.

Acknowledge. If you are focused on a task at hand and someone needs your attention acknowledge them and their request.  You do not necessarily need to stop doing what you are engaged in, but give them a response of when you can get back to them.  Add the person to your list so that you do not forget about them or their need.  Even if you think you can handle their request quickly you are taking away from your focus and the 10 minutes you take to help them may put you behind 30 minutes to an hour.

Don’t Over Commit.  Know your limitations.  If your day is already full don’t over extend yourself.  Make realistic schedules and keep to them.  Set times to meet or speak with people and focus on that meeting or call for that time.  If you constantly seemed rushed, miss calls, late to meetings, find yourself checking your phone during meetings, and racing to next engagement you may want to plan more time in between meetings and calls.  Give yourself time for the meeting and then time after meeting.

Let’s face it we live in a world where we expect immediate responses.  Learn how to be proactive, set expectations, manage time and acknowledge request without stopping your current task.  You will be surprised how much more you accomplish when you actually take time to slow down to focus, but remember that being focused doesn’t mean unresponsive.  People don’t expect you to stop your day for them but they do want to be acknowledged.

 

 

Tagged

Don’t Hide Behind Your Social Media Image

Image

The world is continually changing around us.  New technology, trends, architecture, and styles evolve constantly.  No matter what your business is it’s important to keep up with the latest and greatest.  As things change it’s even more important to understand the things that stay consistent…..people and the need for human relationships.

This is especially true in business development.  Social media and web development are important today, but the most important part of your business is going to be you and your deliverables.  Does your client trust you? Is your product superior?  Does the value mirror the cost?  Does your client know your company?

Sales have always been impacted by relationships and reputation.  We can design a trendy web page or have 20,000 likes on Facebook, but if your client can’t trust you as a person chances are they may only visit your social sites but never actually give you an order.  Human relationships are vital to business.  Ways of getting information out to people has changed drastically over the years.  Social media is a great channel to open up doors but don’t forget to introduce a human element.  Don’t get lost in the all of the social media and miss out on the opportunity to build authentic relationships.  Taking the time to meet with clients and find out what they need is vital to business.  Social media can make you look good but poor service and products can put you out of business.

Tagged

Inspiration

 

What’s a better feeling being inspired or being an inspiration?  Remember how you feel after someone inspires you.  Make sure you return the favor and inspire those around you.

 

Inspiration is one of the greatest gifts I have ever received, and I am blessed to be inspired by many.  My mom has always inspired me to push myself to do more, and even when I think I can’t I really can.  My grandmother inspired me to always speak my mind.  Sometimes I didn’t care for some of her opinions but I loved her and knew that she came from a good place.  She taught me that not everyone is going to agree with me and sometimes the difference in opinion will inspire great healthy discussions.

 

An ex-coworker inspired me to love the art of cold calls.  I had just started out in sales and we went to make a cold call.  I remember walking up to the business with him and on the door it said “no soliciting”.  I was young and new at the job, so I felt a little anxious walking into the business.  He taught me that the worst thing that could happen was they tell us to leave.  He inspired me that failure in sales is inevitable and really it’s no big deal…just keep trying.

 

I have so many people that have given me gifts of inspiration and if I can do the same for others I will have received the ultimate gift.

inspire

Having Purpose

purpose

Each day I wake up is completely different but filled with the same purpose.  I have many different actions and motives but one overall simple purpose.  Many would say that their purpose is to live life to the fullest or to make an impact on another person or even to become the greatest at a skill, but really my purpose is simple.  Really all purposes are simple.  My purpose is something I achieve daily.  My goals change but my purpose does not and it will help lead me to my goals.  Curing cancer is a goal not a purpose.

My purpose gives me peace at the end of each day.  Some days are harder than others and some days are the best day yet.  Have you ever asked yourself what is your purpose?  Sometimes people ask the question and wait for someone to answer back.  I used to do that….and then I realized my purpose was something I did everyday and it was in front of me.  I didn’t pick my purpose out of a magazine catalog.  There are certain things that are part of you from day one.  You live out your purpose most times unknowingly.  My purpose is not to teach others how to live or what to believe in.  My purpose is not to change the world or even change one person.

Keep up with my blog and you may learn what my purpose is.  I could write it down for you or the world but that would be too easy.

Clean your windshield

soak-bugs-off-windshield

Have you ever experienced that feeling when you take a long road trip and your windshield becomes covered in bugs and dirt?  The further you go it continues to build up.  It starts to get harder and harder to see ahead.  You feel frustrated and challenged to navigate your way forward.  So you finally stop and take time to clean your windshield.  All of sudden the road ahead gets clearer.  You don’t feel as uptight or concerned that you might miss your exit.  There is a sense of relief and less pressure.

In work and life sometimes you need to stop and clean your windshield.  Your mind sometimes gets cluttered like the bugs on the windshield, and keeps you from seeing the possibilities ahead.  We let past experiences good and bad stand in our way of seeing new opportunities.  Wipe away the debris that is building up so you can clear your mind and better focus on the destination.

Recharge

uh oh

Have you ever had that night where you forgot to plug in your cell phone and you wake up with a low battery?  You don’t have time to let the phone get a full charge so you take every opportunity to plug the phone in.  You charge in the car for your 15 minute drive, and then you plug it in the wall at the coffee shop for the quick 30 minutes.  All day you are annoyed because the phone hasn’t had enough time to get a charge and you have to end calls quickly or limit your time on email.  You need your phone in today’s world to conduct business.  Phones are like people, take time to let your mind and body regain a charge.  You will never be able to give 100% without giving yourself a full charge of energy.  Take the time to get a full charge and get the most out of each new day!

 

%d bloggers like this: