Sales – some believe is an undesirable profession, something to be ashamed of. After working in business development for over a decade, I beg to differ.
Unless you’re into making a quick sale – the kind where you take someone’s money and run – selling, whether it be products or services, is an honorable career path.
- It is possible to be 100% transparent about your offering and still make a sale. Unless you define being transparent and honest as self-bashing. Do you?
- A quick sale is nice – a repeat order and a referral are both blissful. To achieve the latter two you must earn your clients’ trust. Gaining trust sometimes means forgoing an immediate gain for the sake of a long term, sustainable result.
- Passion is unfakeable. Your clients will believe in your offering only as much as you do. So don’t aim to fake it until you make it. Simply go out and make it. Sell only those products and services that you believe in – that are in line with your values.
Now go out and sell, sell, sell…
Just like mediocrity comes in all sizes, greatness has no size. (and it’s not because I’m 5’4”)
The driving force behind achieving greatness at work is not size, it’s attention to detail. Where the rubber meets the road, greatness is action driven by the knowledge of the granular aspects of work. It’s knowing that every one of your actions is worthy of your full attention because it will impact something else – something that is beyond yourself. That includes a colleague you have lunch with. Remember that next time you fill out an expense form.
Sure enough there’s a difference between petty details and the important ones. Petty ones lead no where. Important ones contribute to the company’s overall vision. Knowing how to tell the difference is vital. Petty details are short-term distractions and excuses camouflaged as important urgencies. Remember that next time you spend 20 minutes unwinding your phone cord. Important details are vision-driven, solution-focused and have a positive long term impact on the company you work with. Remember that next time you take 20 minutes to hand write a thank you note to send to a client.
Some might argue that to be detail-oriented and accurate you must slow down. I say only if you lack focus. It is possible to be quick and accurate at the same time. This simply depends on how present you are at any given moment.
And that’s your biggest clue to acting with attention to detail – being in the here & now. The more you can achieve that, the greater you will be.
Have you ever tried driving a car looking only through the rear-view mirror? Doubtful if you have any sense of self-preservation, right?
Then why do some insist on holding on to the past – on looking back and dwelling over past mistakes?
To embrace the fresh new life that lies ahead of you, look beyond the hurts and losses of past mistakes. Focus on the lessons – and move on!
Thanks Jennifer Tobler for the picture.
(or Please hold, your call is important to us)
Patience, I’ve heard some say is a science.
I say that’s the case only if you make the most out of your waiting-time.
Putting my money where my mouth is, I’m sitting here at a shmik lunch place in Bogota, Colombia waiting for a client, who according to local customs, is perfectly on time. Yet, I’ve been waiting for 30 minutes.
Should I be angry, or offended my her lateness? (…As if any of those emotional states will achieve anything in this situation…)
Frankly, her lateness doesn’t bother me. It’s not because I have all the time in the world. I’ve back-to-back meetings scheduled for the afternoon. Or because I’m particularly understanding or forgiving of her circumstances. If anything I value my time more than I value hers…
It’s because waiting-time – the kind that falls on you unexpectedly – in my world is found-time. For that reason I’ve learned to pick it up, say thank you, and put it to good use. Just like the last time I found $20 bucks on the street.
In line with that, as I sit here waiting I’ve:
- Planned the rest of my week – written a to-do list and all
- Returned 2 phone calls
- Drafted 3 emails
- Developed 1 idea for a marketing campaign
- Added 3 items to a meeting’s agenda
- Ordered flowers for my mom and
- Written this post.
So how are you perfecting the science of patience?
Like the picture? Click here to find out where I found it.
Drop: Problems – they will squash you.
Keep: Challenges – you will rise to meet them.
Drop: Excuses – they will drag you down.
Keep: Reasons – they will energize you.
Drop: Sacrifices – they will make your decisions seem painful.
Keep: Trade-ups – it’s what you gain when you choose long-term benefits over instant gratification.
Need to drop anything else? How about self-sabotage?
Unthinkable force is generated when your work is in line with your life`s purpose.
It`s the difference between driving with snow chains during a storm, or leaving them in your garage.
“Don’t get too attached…” said a sales manager to me once in reference to a sales rep she thought would not be around for much longer.
Her words continue to echo in my mind since that day eight years ago. As a strategic job-hopper I tend to not stick around for long at jobs (my all time highest tenure at a job is 18 months, my average is 14 months). Most certainly impermanence is the law of my land. Even so, contrary to what most think, not getting attached does not make me cold-hearted. Learning to let go will not make you ice-cold either. Knowing that things do not last for ever will drive you to make the most of your current situation, to stop taking things for granted. And that’s a good thing.
Riding the wave of change will make you better able to:
- Keep the lessons from each day. While situations – good and bad – do not last forever, the lessons that they leave in their wake are yours to keep for life – and to pass on as your legacy. Learn to take stock at the end of each day (I call this a ‘wrap-up & psych-up’ session). Acknowledge to yourself your accomplishments and the lessons you learned. Like a snow flake, each day is unique. It has something unique to teach us. It’s the sum of lessons and experiences that make us who we are. Welcoming those lessons into your life makes you more open to change and more resilient.
- Seize the day. That’s far from being reckless – and destructive. On the contrary. It means being thankful for the day that you have been given to get closer to your goals. Sure there are days when we feel like letting our hair down. And that’s okay. As long as the spirit of your actions is constructive – like to unwind and de-stress, not to hurt others or yourself – it’s okay to have fun.
- Live with a sense of urgency. This is far from rushing around. It stands for being focused and deliberate. It’s also about identifying interruptions and learning to manage them out of your life.
- Act now. In case you need reminding, nothing lasts forever. That includes my life and yours. It’s okay to put off certain things in order to make time for the more important and urgent. It’s not okay to live in ‘some day’ mode. If you don’t give importance to what matters most to you, to what fulfils you, no one else will. Switch from ‘some day’ to ‘if not now then when’ mode. Do it NOW.
- Be more tolerant in the face of challenging situations. It’s one thing to endure the sting of a syringe in your arm when you know that it will not be forever, quite another when you know that the pain will last a lifetime. Enduring challenges is just like learning to enjoy holding your breath under water. Try it next time you go for a swim. See how much further you can go before you come up for air. Have fun with it.
Really knowing that things are impermanent will lead you to surrender in the face of change. Once you do, you’ll find that you’ll be more trusting of the process.
What are you holding onto with your dear life? Let go…
Love the photo as much as I do? Thanks Denis Darzacq
In the past few days I’ve spoken to several people – all from different walks of life. One is a professional mom in her early thirties, the other is a gym instructor in her mid twenties, the other is a restauranteur in her early fifties. In spite of their differences I’ve noticed that they all share one thing in common – which I wish it wouldn’t be so.
They all told me about projects that they hope that some day they’ll execute. Some day one will open her own business, some day the other one will buy an investment property, and some day the other one will write a children’s book.
When I asked them what they had done today to get closer to their goal, they were not able to give me a clear answer. Their lack of clarity is what inspired this post.
As far as I know, today is that ‘some day’ of that other day when you said that some day you’d do that one thing you’ve been wanting to do. So are you doing today what you said that other day that you’d do ‘some day’? And what can you do today to get closer to that goal that you’re putting off for some day?
Photo credit: Thanks Photo-master Greg
A few days ago, when Dan Schawbel, my blogoshpere friend and author, asked me to review his recently released book, Me 2.0 (by Kaplan), I gladly accepted. For the past few months I’ve followed Dan’s work and collaborated with him on a few projects. It’s quite clear that he’s one of the most knowledgeable millennials on using social media to develop an effective personal brand. After all, he’s been using tools like a personal blog, facebook and twitter to become known as the ‘personal branding guru’.
That said, if Tom Peters put personal branding on the map in 1997, in Me 2.0 Dan put it on steroids. Through his easy to implement advice, Dan demystifies social media tools and empowers readers to create their own effective personal brand – and take charge of their careers. Me 2.0 is not an option, it’s a must for anyone looking to succeed in this new world.
Right now, just be.
Yes, I am giving you permission to stop what you’re doing. I promise, as urgent or as important as it might be, it will still be there waiting for you – and the world will not crumble if you stop…(I dare you to find out for yourself).
Now take a deep breath in – the kind that makes your diaphragm hurt. And let it all out. Take another deep breath in. Fill your lungs to capacity. And let it all out. Do this 10 times. 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10…
Now get back to the task at hand.
Notice how different you feel? Do you have more energy? Are you experiencing more mental clarity? Has a new idea popped into your mind?
Yes, sometimes slowing down does help you get more things done.
Give yourself a Zen moment every 2 to 3 hours throughout your day. And watch how much more effective you become.
And please, share this with someone around you…
Photo: thanks flickr