Sunday, November 25, 2012

3 Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions Won’t Work for You

Every year many people nobly plan to make great change in their life. Some want to get in shape, others want to find a more satisfying job, and others want to get out of debt. The goal of each resolution is to make some type of personal improvement that will lead to a better life.

These types of resolutions fail for most individuals for 3 basic reasons:

  • Waiting to change - If it’s a good idea why wait? Imagine knowingly driving your car in the wrong direction. Every minute, every day that you go in the wrong direction will just extend the time that it takes to get to your desired destination.
  • Lack of commitment to and enjoyment of the process - Students with a passion to learn normally get good grades. Wanting the outcome good grades, good health, or financial security is not nearly as important as manifesting the behavior that creates the result. We get what we do.
  • Expecting instantaneous results - When you know you’re on the right road you don’t worry about getting to your intended destination. There are no magic potions, no get rich quick formulas, and it would amaze you how long it takes to be an “overnight success.”

Once you figured out what you want create your plan, embrace the process, and get started. Making 2013 your best year ever starts TODAY!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Is She Expecting Your Call?

Have you ever called a company and received a greeting like that? My response is usually something like, “ should I know?” Does it ever amaze you how poorly some companies treat their customers on the phone? Whether they screen calls, have impossible automated phone attendants, or fail to put staff contact information on their website these companies insulate themselves to their detriment.

Companies put these systems in place for several reasons including filtering out sales people and controlling who the customer can access. The challenge with this tactic is that companies don’t realize that people not only tell others about these experiences, but also today’s sales person may be tomorrow’s business owner, prospect or referral source.

If you want customers to call certain people for help, then make sure that those resources who you do want them to call are available, well trained and empowered. If you don’t want sales people to call then have a way for them to compete for your business or be direct that you’re not currently in the market for what they’re selling. It’s okay to say “no.”

Having an organizational culture that relates well to customers and the public, builds goodwill that will translate into unsolicited testimonials and referrals. Instead of being defensive when people call, be passionate about assisting each caller (or getting the person who can assist them) and see how quickly and sustainably your business grows.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

How Long Does It Take for Networking to Payoff?

This question gets asked frequently and the normal answer of course is, that depends. There are no shortcuts. An old sales boss of mine used to say, “your raise becomes effective when you are.”

There are two base variables when assessing effective activity; quantity and quality. How much activity are we doing and what the quality of that activity is. The simplified rule is - we get what we do.

S = Q x A
Success = Quality of Activity x Quantity of Activity.
Like all similar formulas, when either variable is a low number or zero then success is low or non-existent.

Michael Jordan scored a lot of points because he took a lot of shots. In his words, “I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

When we’re new or short of our goals the most important variable is quantity. The quality of our activity generally improves as our experience and volume increases. Increasing the quantity of our activity is a conscious choice. Example: I will increase my sales appointments per week from 5 to 10, I will exercise for 60 minutes each day instead of 30 minutes, I will have at least 2 one-on-one networking meetings each week instead of 1 meeting, etc... The practice and reinforcement that we get from more activity naturally increases the quality of our activity both because we are getting more practice and because more volume helps us make better choices.

If you want to get more, you have to do more.

Monday, November 5, 2012

5 Self-Introduction Tragedies

Remember the adage, “You only get one chance to make a great first impression”? When we deliver an introduction we not only create an impression, but we ideally provoke the right people in the audience to take some type of action. With this kind of incentive, why then do so many networkers struggle to introduce themselves well?

Here are the top 5 reason why many 30-second introductions fail:

Passion - If you’re not excited about what you do, why should anyone else be?

Focus - There is no clear and actionable description of what you do and who you want to meet.

Audience - The message is not scripted to the audience. Be careful of industry jargon and acronyms if you’re not speaking to your industry.

Long - Less is more. When your message is too long the audience tunes out.

Call to Action - No compelling reason for people to want to connect you or connect with you.

Special Opportunity - Considering how many things don't live up to their hype (e.g., door-buster sales, Congressional committees, Snooki), makes you want to take a step back and consider how you are coming across when you stand up in front of a room for a self introduction. Too much? Not enough to make an impression? How would you know? Now you have a way to find out…we’re testing a concept to help people with their introductions. As we’re working out the system, we’re looking for a few people who would like to kick the tires. Interested? Click here to learn more.