Everything I need to know I learned in Kinder—oops Facebook

Veiled attempts at bragging don’t fool anyone. If you wouldn’t Check In from your kid’s school during graduation, don’t Check In from The Ritz in Cancun.

News consumption works for me on a Need to Know basis. If it’s important to my network, I’ll learn of it FAST on FB. Whether a tsunami, market crash, divorce, cheap price on gas, I see it on FB first. If it’s not there, I probably don’t need to know.

Be Open. Privacy limits opportunity. No harsher way to learn this than to lose your job and allow negative feelings to keep that to yourself. Spread the word to your support system, so they can SUPPORT.

Share freely. Give to get.

Scrape & Source. If you read something that someone else wrote and it helps you, share it and remember to credit the source. You will compliment them and if it helped you, it will help someone else.

Be positive and spread enthusiasm. Positive begets positive. Emoticons work for the better or worse. Same with exclamation points. Same with thoughts, comments and actions.

And finally, thank you Joyce Leiser for reminding me I have a blog and you’ve found it useful, thus motivating me to write this post.

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Generate Your Own Postive Karma-4 Quick Things To Do Now

People are always going to respond to the tone you set for them, so help yourself by overtly setting a positive tone.

Always tell someone what you CAN do.  Never lead off with what what you cannot do.  That’s all that will be remembered.  Tell them what you ARE able to do and serve it up as a positive.  They’ll more likely respond accordingly.

When you deal with customers, don’t start out with an apology, unless someone’s already pissed off.  If you’re just a little tardy with a response, focus on the good news you have to report.

Be your own self promotion machine.   Create opportunities to sell your efforts around you…downward, upward and sideways.  Are you being a pain to your support staff because you are stressed about learning new skills?   Pull your faithful assistant aside and tell them you’re in a steep curve and you’ll both see the positive result as soon as you pass a milestone hurdle.  Have you come up with a shortcut succint pitch that others on your team could benefit from?  Share it in an email the way you’ve sent it to a customer so your buddies can easily cut and paste.  Has your boss been buried in meetings and lost touch with your day to day successes?  Barge into his face for a brief, let me tell you what I accomplished for you lately, session.

Don’t be an island.  Seek the input of others; it builds team.  Take the time to go to lunch with your group occasionally if that’s their habit; at least that’s one day they won’t be talking about you!  Don’t get so deep into your own weeds that you stop sharing with others.  It helps to keep perspective if you get out of your own way occasionally.

Don’t Ask for the Order

Yep, I said that.  Don’t ask for the order.

My day ended on an up beat because I didn’t ask for the order.  Thanks Kim, if you’re reading this.

I went to visit a prospective client who happens to be a friend, but not a close friend.  And, we’ve never had a business relationship because I just started a new position and am newly in her vertical.   I made it clear upfront that I would not be coming with a pitch of any kind, rather only to ask her questions and learn about her business.

While we were talking, she gave me two beautiful client referrals, right in my sweet spot AND offered her name to be used when I contact them.

In these days of who you know and who’s connected to whom, this was obviously very valuable to me.   And, after nearly a full week of cold calling, this was a delight to end my day.

Everyone is scrambling for business these days.  Seems we all have to work harder to earn less.

Sometimes you do have to ask for the order.  But we all get buried in solicitations from time to time.  Consider the relief on your customers and prospects by merely chatting with them about their business.  You can always tell them “this” worked well for client “X”.  State it as a fact.  Consider how non-threatening that is compared to a pitch.

Just try it sometime.

The Cult of Done

Bre Pettis apparantly deserves credit for this concept, as I learned in Seth Godin’s Linchpin.  I don’t want to be accused of scraping, but this list is so dead on, I wanted to share it.

There are three states of being.  Not knowing, action and completion.

Accept that everything is a draft.  It helps to get it done.

There is no editing stage.

Pretending you know what you’re doing is almost the same as knowing what you are doing, so accept that you know what you’re doing even if you don’t and do it.

Banish procrastination.  If you wait more than a week to get an idea done, abandon it.

The point of being done is not to finish but to get other things done.

Once you’re done you can throw it away.

Laugh at perfection.  It’s boring and keeps you from being done.

People without dirty hands are wrong.  Doing something makes you right.

Failure counts as done.  So do mistakes.

Destruction is a variant of done.

If you have an idea and publish it on the Internet, that counts as a ghost of done.

Done is the engine of more.

That’s the list.  All of this is to say, don’t let striving for perfection keep you from even trying.  The act of beginning and continuing to put one foot in front of the other is the entire point.  Just keep going.  You can always revise.  Just keep moving.

Don’t ever analyze.  Put something on paper.  If you don’t like it, change it.  Keep forward momentum going.

Good stuff.

Don’t get Lost in Space

I love this quote by Jeffrey Gitomer, “Get more creative. Sales calls are already being made over the Internet – camera to camera. Get ready for web selling before it passes you by. And, of course, as innovative as this sounds – someone will read this 20 years from now and laugh at the crudeness of the technology. Your sales success is dependent on keeping up with technology, or risk getting lost in space – cyberspace. Surf’s up.”

The world is changing at break neck speed.  You have to challenge yourself to avail yourself of new learning opportunities every day in order to keep up.   Should you read books?  Blogs?  Post comments?  Participate in on-line discussion groups?  Attend seminars?  Execute your own?  Face to face?  Online?  Via one way communication like a website or something more dynamic and interactive like a webinar?

You know the answer is yes to all of the above. 

At  my last job, I saw the sales model evolve from face to face, to phone primary, to fax, to email, to can’t buy an audience with a hope and a prayer.   The more we lost control of the contact, the greater the pressure from management to get in front of the customer face to face.

I never agreed with this philosophy.  Listen to the customer.  They will let you know their channel of preference.  Your competition will likely heed this direction, so it behooves you to as well.  Find a point a differentiation WITHIN the space provided.  This takes more creativity and planning, but you don’t have a choice.

If your job is heavily transactional, and you are relying on your personal differentiation, beware this is a flamable combination.  A lot of transactional jobs are going the route of automation.  If yours hasn’t yet, it likely will.  Keep yourself educated on the tools in the marketplace.  Know that salaries have undergone a major reset.  Know that transparency and accountability are increasing and that’s not a fluke nor a fad.

Keep up your skills and your contacts.  It’s the only security there is.

What’s love got to do with it?

“Love does not consist in gazing at each other but in looking outward together in the same direction.”  Antoine De Saint-Exupery

And what does that have to do with Sales Wisdom?

If you have any negotiating in your job function, and how can you not, even if you aren’t in a direct sales role, you’ll achieve far greater results if you remember to keep your focus on the common goal between the two parties.  If you stay focused on only what you want, you’ll not accomplish nearly as much as if you focus on what you both want together. 

Whether this is a client negotiation (you want the sale/they want more revenue), a negotiation with your boss (you want more money/he wants greater productivity which comes from employee satisfaction) or even a negotiation with a co-worker, keep your focus on your common goals.

This is just as effective as negotiations with those in every aspect of your everyday life – your parents, your children, your domestic help, your grocer, your barber, your kid’s teachers.   Give to receive.  That might come in the form of helping to frame someone else’s perspective.

Ask yourself, what’s in it for them, and use that information to frame your requests.

Are you savoring precious moments?

Last night, our family of 4 got in bed together, dog included, for a little tv time.  This is significant not only because we are all at or above 6′ tall, but because my 13 year old son typically doesn’t even wish to share a ROOM with us.  He’d be very happy to be in a different time zone than where we are.   Our 15 year old daughter hasn’t crossed into the Sybil territory everyone keeps warning me about.

It was very nice and very rare.  And I savored every moment of  it. 

I’m currently in career transition and will say that I don’t think this would have happened if my career track hadn’t had this interruption.  It’s hard to stay balanced, remember family is more important and that constant tug of career tasks won’t ever go away.  The rotation of the earth on its axis will continue even if you stop to catch your breath.

It’s easy to be tired, short tempered and to push family members out of your personal space when you feel like you don’t have another ounce to give.

Conversely, if you remember to notice what you already have, your cup will be filled and you will be able to share with others. 

And thanks to Chris Brogan for sharing this reminder to have fun.  It’s worth the 5 minutes, have a look.  http://www.chrisbrogan.com/are-you-ready-for-fun/