Jan 02 2009


You’ve only one year to live.


What do you do with yourself?


Your business?


     Far-fetched?  Hopefully, yes.  But possibly, no.  It’s often been said that all of life is simply preparation for death, and that all we ever do from the moment of birth, is begin to die.  That’s admittedly some pretty heady philosophical stuff that many of us shy away from thinking about. 

     But is it worth considering? 

     Of course (unless, that is, you have little or no regard for yourself, your business, your family and friends, in which case –assuming you are reading this– you are probably a hermit in a cave with a laptop, and it’s probably time for you to rub some sticks together and begin thinking about what’s for dinner!) 

     Okay, back to serious for a minute, what are the first three things you think of in answer to each of the two headline (in dark red) questions above?  What do you think about your answers?

     What about if those questions followed a revised headline statement that said: You’ve only 6 months to live . . . ? 

     Would your answers change?  How?  How much?  And what if the headline statement only gave you one day

     This exercise can be very useful in the thinking process of establishing both life and business priorities (as well as delegating, and decision making) because whatever your responses may be, they serve to push the envelope.  It’s hard to imagine choosing to spend time doing tasks of avoidance, and harder still to imagine assigning lesser values to the tasks that are most important. 

     By forcing your focus on this for a minute or two, you can almost always prompt yourself to assess and evaluate situations and options (especially stressful ones) more realistically.  You will certainly make yourself more productive (the way you are the day before you leave for vacation?) more often. 

     Yes, yes, I know, you might rather join the hermit hunting down some berries and a squirrel to BBQ.  (I’ve heard the furs can actually be quite warm, assuming you’ve managed to save them from a few dozen meals’ worth, and sew them together. Okay, Gorilla Glue.)

     So, give it a chance (not the squirrel fur!).  For a grand total of about 2 minutes of applying your mind to such a “what if” circumstance, you stand to gain a finely-tuned and highly accurate appraisal of what’s important and what’s not, and what should be tackled in what order.  It sure beats dusting file tops, alphabetizing your DVD’s, and counting out-of-state license plates in a parking lot!

     “Bah!  Dis exercise is nuttin’ so revealin’,” you might exclaim. 

     Okay, so take it one more step.  You with me?  Get a piece of paper out (I know, you don’t own any paper; well, borrow a piece!) and write out your own obituary notice.  Ah, now there’s a challenge.  Notice what you mention first and second and third (and last) about your life.  Pay attention to what you have to say about youTHAT’s what’s important!                halalpiar  

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Check out and contribute to the daily growing 7-Word Story started 114 days ago (inside a coffin).  Click on the link to the right, or go to the “BOOKS” tab at the top of this page, then to the top headline link.

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Nov 12 2008

Economizing Doesn’t Make Money! SALES Make Money! (Trenchcoat Techniques)

No one ever made dollars


by pinching pennies!  


     Business reports are flooded these days with news of companies cutting, trimming, slicing, saving, searching, eliminating, conserving, consolidating, closing, and filing.  Enough already! 

     STOP worrying and making yourself crazy!  If you own or run a business, keep this thought on your front burner:  NO ONE ever made dollars by pinching pennies!  

     Your business can only survive, grow, and make money by making sales.  Yeah, you say, well that’s not so easy when people are using Gorilla Glue www.gorillaglue.com on their wallet pockets and purse clasps.  (Wow! Try saying those last two words three times fast!)  But, you know what?  It IS easy if:

  • A) you CHOOSE for it to be easy (since all behavior is a choice!), and
  • B) you concentrate hard on using empathy by putting yourself in your prospect’s shoes, by listening carefully to what your prospect says is important to her or him, and by emphasizing the benefits (instead of features) that specifically and directly address the issues and concerns that you hear expressed. 

     Gently and pleasantly “sizing up” the prospect and the situation accurately is the first and often most important step in making a sale.  You need to clear away other thoughts and concentrate on being a friendly detective.  You’ll never catch a ball that’s hit to you if you’re thinking about your next vacation, or last night!

     Pretend you’ve been hired by the prospect to work together on the same side of the desk to help him or her make a buying decision that will be beneficial (and hopefully “smart”) . . . one that truly provides the benefits the prospect seeks, which you’ll know from A) and B) above . . . one that paves the way for building a long-term relationship and repeat sales.  

     Overcoming objections can be critical as well. 

     People will not always say what’s on their minds, but –aaaaah– you know “The Columbo Technique” because you’ve seen the old TV series, right?      http://www.tv.com/columbo/show/1011/summary.html  Forever trenchcoated Detective Columbo was famous for his last-minute stepping back in through a door he was closing as he was leaving a suspect behind, where he would disarmingly lean back in and say something like, “Oh, by the way, I was just curious about something: now that the murder is practically solved, would you mind telling me the real reason you hated your boss?” 

     The prospect is getting ready to leave, and you turn to say thank you for her or his time and attention, and “By the way, now that you’ve made it clear you really don’t want this particular model we’ve been discussing, would you mind telling me the real reason for your decision?”

     Why is it important to know this missing piece?  Because when you know the real reason for the “NO” you know where to focus your energy and attention.  When someone says he or she wants a practical vehicle that can be used with both family and work needs, you then know where to channel your discussion.  Forget about price.  Forget about fuel economy.  Forget about leather interiors.   

     It’s not that these are not important features; it is that they are blocking you from concentrating on what is truly important to this particular prospect: space and convenience. 

     The person is looking for quick, easy, convertable space that passengers will find comfortable, but that changed-over, will accommodate tools or files—or whatever work needs you heard mentioned when you asked about the individual’s job in B) above. 

     The goal throughout this process is to speak 20% of the time and listen 80%.  The results will speak for themselves with sales instead of savings.  Halalpiar        

 # # #

Check out and contribute to the daily growing 7-Word Story started 64 days ago (inside a coffin).  Click on the link to the right, or go to the “BOOKS” tab at the top of this page, then to the top headline link.

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