Mar 05 2016

tempus fugit (time flies)!

“For though we slepe or wake, or


rome, or ryde, Ay fleeth the tyme.”

[c 1390 Chaucer Clerk’s Tale]time flies

“Time flyeth away without delay.”

[1639 J. Clarke Parœmiologia Anglo-Latina]

What? You thought today’s generation was the only victim of flying time?

Sure, technology overload has plunked us all into the fast lane, but time –if we are to give the ancient quotes above any credibility– has no reputation for being a gracious host.

If you’re shopping for a “time flies” clock,  click here. (Hey, you get  it all in these blogposts!) If you’re interested in what this has to do with your life and business right this very minute, click here.

     Okay, now that we’ve gotten rid of all the English Lit bookworm Chaucer freaks, all the clock-shoppers, and all the sleepless-in- entrepreneursville-work-all-day-and-party-all-night-immediate-gratification nut cases out there, let’s set up some semblance of a time safety-zone and discuss what’s going on with you and Old Man Time.

racing the clock

     First of all, I am of the school of thought that time can fly. But, aaah, it can also drag it’s butt through slow-motion replays, and the only thing that really matters is  H-O-W  we spend our time (i.e. What is the process of how you live and work? What is it that you do that consumes a typical hour or day? Or is nothing “typical”?

     Are you crossing enough paths? Every crossed path is a potential connection for productivity and happiness, if you choose for it to be. Making that happen takes focused attention.

     How hard is it for you to keep your attention focused? Even with those who claim ADD as a convenient diagnosis to avoid concentration, what works and what doesn’t? Surely there are varying degrees for all of us as to what can and does hold our attention. Average attention spans for citizens of industrialized nations continue to spiral downward.

     Regardless of rocketing technology and other causes, shorter attention spans mean that sales, marketing, educational, religious, political, financial, and entertainment-based presentations need to get to the point quicker.

     When someone asks for the time, and you answer by telling the person how to make a clock . . . remember that you do this at your own peril!

     People seeking to purchase are simply not as interested in product and service features, or company history, as you are. It may be long-standing tradition in your company or organization to tell people the story of how Grandpa Beefjerky launched the business “on a shoestring” and with just two horses in 1868. But nobody cares.

We live in a benefit-hungry world,

with no time to spare.

running over clocks

     Prospective customers, clients, and patients need to hear the answer to “What’s in it for me?” immediately. If that message is good enough to “ring a bell” they’ll likely be some attention span left to want to know more, and may possibly even get around to Grandpa Beefjerkey’s story.

     Most people are resentful of others using their time even when they think they have plenty of it. Listen to any doctor’s waiting room full of retired seniors.

Like gaining more employee compliance with workplace changes that are not imposed,  patience may be a virtue, but only when the choice to exercise it is yours.

     What are you doing right this minute to make the most of your next one? How do you keep yourself sharp? What can you do now –or in the morning–that will help you make more of your time, that will help you make more of a difference?

What do you need (really!) to get started? Then, hey . . . get started!

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Mar 30 2011

Eh? What’s that you say?

Communicate. Communicate.


Communicate. Communicate. 


(Four times? Ah, yes, but repetition sells!)

There is no part of good communicating that beats good communicating! Yes, it takes longer. Yes, it’s more work. Yes it can be annoying (if you choose for it to be), but guess what? It is worth pursuing 100% of the time.

There is no part of good communicating

that beats good communicating!

Sure, you know all about the “listening 80% of the time and talking 20% of the time” stuff. And you know that one-way communicating is for radio, TV, and high physical risk situations.

You’re very aware of how important it is to communicate just the right amount of information — not too much or too little– in order to get the job done.

And you also no doubt know (but may have forgotten) that sometimes a W~H~I~S~P~E~R communicates better than a SHOUT! Oh, and of course you always try to offer and ask for examples to better understand or make a point, right? Right, and diagrams. Think of diagrams as little communications accuracy insurance policies.

So how hard do you listen? Human attention spans drift off in peaks and valleys. People often miss the most important points. This is even more pronounced and more frequent in phone conversations than in one-on-one exchanges.

And in case you thought putting it in writing helps, hmmm, look carefully at your last three emails or text messages!

When was the last time you were approached by a customer or employee or supplier who had input for you –regardless of how valuable or not you perceived it to be– and you pulled out a pen and pad (you do remember what pens and pads are?), and –as if you were a legitimate journalist (a stretch perhaps)– and actually took notes?

Let me get this down. Can you say that again?

What’s an example I can jot down?

Can you give me a resource to make note of that I can check out later?

Here, can you try to diagram that out for me on this pad so it’s easier for me to remember later?

Here’s what I wrote that I thought you just said; is it correct?

Just imagine being a customer or employee or supplier on the receiving end of a note taking boss who asks these kinds of questions. Do you think you might get more accurate initiatives and responses? Does it mean more work on your part? Of course! Will it take more time? Absolutely! Is it worth having clearer exchanges of information?

You don’t know how to explain the new note-taking you? How’s “I’m trying to improve my listening skills.”? Would that create havoc? Who knows, it might even prompt some increased admiration and respect. Maybe others will start doing the same thing? What have you got to lose? Miscommunication?


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Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You.

“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson]

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

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Nov 09 2009


You got 7 seconds, Baby! Do it!


     So you think you can make sales  by building relationships? You think you can sweet talk a prospect into a sale? You think that starting your spiel with a joke will get that signature on the dotted line? You are helping customers to slow own, relax, take it step at a time so they’ll love you when they decide to buy?


     Statistical studies have long shown  that average adult attention span in America is 12 minutes, 7-8 minutes for decision makers, and 7 SECONDS to size you up (It used to be 10 seconds, but we’re in the WiFi age!).

     This means, dear business owners, managers and salespeople  (that’s EVERYone, btw), that you better have your you-know-what together and be prepared to make a spectacular 7-second first impression. Bottom line: No time to blink! 

     First off, junk this dumb idea  that some touchy-feely guru sold you about “relationship selling.” Assuming you still want to have a job in a couple of months (weeks, even), then be alert to the fact that the building of customer relationships can ONLY happen AFTER the sale is made.

     The sale is the starting line. When the check clears the bank is when to start all the hugging and kissing and hand-holding commotion, and not ten seconds earlier! Disregard this at your peril. 7 SECONDS! You got 7 seconds, Baby! Do it! Go for the sale, B~U~T that doesn’t mean to rush in like a ton of bricks. It means make the most of those 7 seconds. 

     One sales pro I respect says  he uses those first 7 seconds to “radiate authenticity and ask a genuine leading question.” What’s an example? “Are you looking to upgrade what you have or try something new?” will certainly get you further than, “How’s the weather out there today?” or “Hi, would you like some help?” 

     “Radiating authenticity,”  incidentally implies many things. Your appearance for one. No one expects you to be wearing a tie and jacket (or a dress and high heels) if you’re visiting farms, nor are you likely to get too far in delivering a Fortune 500 board of directors presentation in jeans and sneakers. Clothes CAN make the sale when they’re authentic and appropriate.  A GENUINE smile and fresh (not overkill Scope) breath help!

     Grooming  is the other half of appearance. And if you don’t already get that you’ll do better scrubbed and neatly trimmed, you probably need more help than this blog can provide. 

     When 7 seconds can make it or break it, when 7 seconds is all it takes for a decision maker to size you up and decide if she or he wants to do business with you or not, you need a game plan. It’s fourth quarter and you’re 3 points behind on the 50-yard line with 7 seconds. You sure better know what you’re going to do when the ball is hiked. You are, after all, calling the plays!                                                                      

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Input always welcome “Blog” in subject line or comment below. Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You! Make it a GREAT Day! Hal

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