Thursday, November 20, 2014

Have Some Kind of Plan

I ran into an acquaintance on the street the other day and I asked him how he was doing.  He said, "Good.  I just got my realtor's license!"  Then he handed me a card.

"Oh cool," I said.  "You are going to be in the real estate business, huh?  What is your plan?"

And then the conversation came to a bit of a halt.  He paused and thought about it. 

"Oh, I don't know."

Great!  Well please let me list my properties with you!  What could go wrong?

Please understand that I don't mean you have to have it all figured out when you start a new endeavor.  Quite the opposite.  Anyone that has ever started any venture knows you can't.  Things will pop up and throw you off track. 

But how can you really be successful in anything if you don't have ANY plan to start? 

He could have said, "I am just going to work hard to get my name out there and get as many listings as I can."  I might have pressed him (just for conversation) on how, but it would have been a start.

So by all means, start something new!  Get a new job or start a new business.  Just give some thought to how you will make it happen.

I have a feeling it will help.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Just a Bit Cheaper

Have you ever had this experience?

You have been purchasing from a company for some time.  They provide good service, good quality at a good price.  The value in the exchange seems fair.  But, as a smart consumer, you set out to find "a better deal."  You find a new vendor for your products that is (on paper) the same but "just a bit cheaper."

And then the situation goes a bit sideways.

The purchasing process suddenly isn't as smooth.  You can purchase the product, but it's more cumbersome.  You get the product, but it takes a bit longer.  And then if there is a problem, watch out!  The service on challenges is non-existent.  Sound familiar?

For most of us it does, because we have all fallen for this "just a bit cheaper" trick.  The challenge, of course, is that when a company is doing the same as everyone else but they are "just a bit cheaper," then price is all the have to compete on.  So they are, quite frankly, not that interested in the rest of the transaction.

Everyone should look for the best value you can.  But just remember to ask "what is my time worth?"

As a side note (for us business owners), maybe that customer doesn't go looking on price if we were not just providing "good service."  If we dazzle them...maybe they don't go looking in the first place!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Hustle Creates Hustle

One thing I believe to be true:  Everyone in business believes they are hustling. 

I use that word a lot.  It motivates me and reminds me if I want good things in life, I need to be willing to go get it!  Talent is fine.  It can even be important...but only when combined with hustle.  We all know talented lazy people that accomplish nothing.

But there are different levels of hustle.  Think about it.  Everyone thinks they are "busy" too.  It's the most overused word in the English language.  But don't you internally roll your eyes when some people say they are "busy?"  The same is true for "hustle."

A few months ago, I was hustling.  Sort of. 

Then I went to a great event with Gary V, Dave Ramsey and Seth Godin.  The event was fun, inspiring, and motivating.  They touched on many aspects of business and made me think about ways to change mine.  But the over-arching message I received was this..."I need to hustle more."

Since then, I have been running faster, doing more, trying harder.  I was busy before, but now I am being more pro-active.  You know that important task you have been procrastinating?  That thing you know will be good for your business, but will be hard and uncomfortable?  I have been working to do THOSE things.

The results have been great.  Now I just need to hustle more.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

What Do I Win By Winning?

We have all been there.  We find ourselves in an argument with a person who is just plain wrong.  They have dug in their heels.  They refuse to listen to reason.  This person might be a customer, a friend or even a spouse...and it can be incredibly frustrating. 

The next time this happens, ask yourself this simple question:

What do I win by winning this argument?

If you are like me, you feel like you can win the argument.  You can use logic, statistics, or brute force and get them to succumb.  You might not really change their mind, but you will succeed in making yourself feel better!

The problem is, you might lose by winning.  You might lose the friendship, the customer, or the relationship.  Really.

So take a breath.  Just ask yourself that simple question.  You may hear that question in our head and say "This is worth it."

But you might not.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Always Be Curious

If you have ever been in sales training you have heard about the ABC’s of sales…Always Be Closing.   In the famous scene from Glengary Glen Ross (from 1992), Alec Baldwin reminds us to "get them to sign on the line that is dotted!"   Though we can discuss the validity of that in current day sales, there is another ABC that I think always has value.

Always Be Curious.

If you are always curious, you want to explore that new place, learn that new language, acquire that new skill and improve your life. 

What I have found is that if you are always curious, you won’t have time to do all the things you want.  But your life will be infinitely more interesting than if you are not!

*And as a side note, the Always Be Curious philosophy is actually great in sales too!   By being curious, you are likely asking important questions that will help you get to the core issue of your customer!