Monday, November 28, 2011

Hunting Customers Versus Farming Relationships

I heard this analogy the other day and I thought it was really true. Most of us in business treat our sales efforts like Big Game Hunting. We get up every day and head out into the world in order to "bag" a new customer. It can be very exhilarating when we do track down the new target! And when we get a great client, we feel like we are truly getting ahead. In addition, when we have success in this method, the results are quick. The problem with this approach is that in order to maintain success, you have to continually go out and find new "big game."

I think we need to shift that focus to more of a strategy of Farming Relationships. In this strategy, you reach out in kindness to others in order to help them reach their goals. You spend time planting new seeds of relationships each day. You water and care for these new relationships, so when these new friends are ready to do business, they not only think of you...they WANT to do business with you!

This method is not always immediate (though sometimes it can be) but the results are much more long lasting! Consider this as you head out today and try to "bag" a new client. Try to create a long term relationship instead!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Be Decisive AND Thoughtful

Memo to you...and ME!

One of the greatest pieces of advice for someone that is looking to be efficient is to "touch things once." This sage piece of advice tells us that when we get a message, we call someone back. When we get an email, we make our decision, respond and move on. It's appropriate and efficient.

And it's hard to do!

As a leader you want to be efficient. We want to lead by example and we want to get a lot done! That is what leaders do...right? But don't we also want to be thoughtful? Though our first impression is often right, there are decisions I don't want to make a snap decision on. I want to give each decision it's due.

But I think there is a happy medium. Though we want to be thoughtful (and we should be) with important decisions, we do need to keep things in our organization and our lives rolling. So here are some thoughts on how to be both decisive and thoughtful.

1) Make the easy decisions quickly. So many times we put off a call or email or decision that is unpleasant. We know the answer, we just put it off. With these...or with any easy swift and take care of it now!
2) Block out Distractions. Easier said than done, I know. But many times the reason we don't have time to give a decision "thoughtful examination" is because of distractions. Don't answer the phone while you are trying to come to this decision. Don't answer emails or texts. Get this decision made...then move on!

Good luck!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Give Yourself Time To Rest or Heal

If you are a hard charging person that is working diligently to reach your goals, you probably have a hard time taking a break. Quite honestly, if you are excited about those goals (and I hope you are) and your happy with the way you are working to reach them, sometimes what you are doing is fun.

But remember there are times you really need to give your body and mind a break. Remember, if you are in training for a race, it is your rest days that your body makes the most progress as it rebuilds the muscle your workouts have torn down. If you don't take the time to rest (both body and mind) occassionally it will get in the way of your sucess.

As I type this, I am strugging with a chest cold. I have been struggling with it for several days but have not taken time off to let my body rest. I have fought the idea of rest because "I don't get sick." We all do this sometimes.

Today is a rest day for me. My hope is by letting the body heal, I will be better prepared to get back after it tomorrow! Wish me luck!