Archive for the 'Coaching' Category

In this economy listen to Grandpa

Things are tough and people seem under more stress than ever.  Tempers are short and emotions high. Here are some not-so random thoughts

“Progress always involves risk. You will never make it to second base with your foot firmly planted on first”

“Do the right thing, it will amaze your friends and confound your enemies”

“Don’t let negative people determine your agenda”.

“When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.”

“Smile – It will make people wonder what you are up to!”

And Remember

PEACE and Fortitide

How to be a success on the internet… listen to grandma

 

Grandma’s advice:

  • In life you will get what you give.
  • Do unto others as you would have them do unto you
  •  The best relationships are Win – Win
  • Live life with passion

How it applies to Internet Strategy:

  • Your actions now predict what kind of future you will have….
    • Get involved and participate in the discussion
    • The most valuable thing you can give people is time – interact with your employees & customers.
    • Be sincere in your internet communication
    • Feedback is very important…. Even if it is negative
  • Act with integrity
    • Throw hard at the issue not at the person
    • Praise in public and admonish in private
    • Speak kindly about your customers and they will talk kindly about you.
    • Don’t cheat, or lie to get your way
  •  Develop mutually beneficial relationships with your employees, vendors and customers. The best things happen when everyone wins
  • Let your passion show – Rekindle the flame for what you do

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admin on July 27th 2010 in Coaching

just moving forward will get you somewhere, but is that enough?

Alice in Wonderland

Here is a lesson from Alice and Wonderland by Lewis Carol  

The scene starts when Alice first meets the Cheshire Cat:

“The Cat only grinned when it saw Alice.  It looked good-natured, she thought: still it had very long claws and a great many teeth, so she felt that it ought to be treated with respect.

“Cheshire-Puss,” she began, rather timidly, as she did not at all know whether it would like the name: however, it only grinned a little wider.  “Come, its pleased so far,” thought Alice, and she went on. “Would you tell me please, which way I ought to go from here?”

“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.

“I don’t much care where—-“said Alice.

“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.

“———so long as I get somewhere,” Alice added as an explanation.

“Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walk long enough.”

Alice felt that this could not be denied, so she tried another question. “What sort of people live about here?”

“In that direction,” the Cat said, waving its right paw round, “lives a Hatter: and in that direction, “waving the other paw, “lives a March Hare.  “Visit either you like: they’re both mad.”

“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.

“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here.  I’m mad. You’re mad.”

“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.

“You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.”

My Thoughts

To build a successful website you need a plan.  All plans begin with a clear starting point and destination. If you have a clear mission you will have a clear website. A clear website will result in the right people finding and acting on your internet marketing strategy. Your mission states in as few words as possible what you do. It is ground zero for your planning process which includes building a website.

All Plans need a vision too. A vision is your ideal destination or goal. A clear vision on a website helps visitors see the future opportunities in doing business with your company or organization and makes them feel secure because there is a future. A vision states in as few words as possible where you are going. It is why you are planning in the first place and identifies the the place you will celebrate geting to. A clear vision allows your organization to pull together in the same direction, and will help your people make right decisions along the way.

If you do not want to end up a “Mad Hatter” you may also want to work on your purpose which Lewis Carol touches on in the last few lines of this quote. Purpose is the “why we do it” or “why are we here” part of a plan.  Mining “purpose” will bring you and your organization even more riches

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admin on October 12th 2008 in Coaching

Good question makes better sales calls

Starting a sales call by talking about your product is easy…particularly if you believe in what you do. Having a rehearsed opening, and listing all the benefits, is a standard approach for many salespeople. The problem is… only if you are lucky, will one of those benefits actually be of interest to the client. You may find that a fair percentage of your calls languish or fail if this is how you start.

Try starting a sales call with a question. Do your homework first so you know some answers before you ask the question. For example: look at their website, read a brochure, do a Google search, walk their store, quiz the receptionist…and more… Knowing the answer before you ask it will prevent you from asking the wrong question that ends a conversation. The best questions will hook your prospective client into a relevant discussion.  Get them talking about the problem you can solve and what life will be like for them when that issue is checked off their “to-do” list.

Master salesmen never ask a question they don’t already know the answer to…and they have also already thought of the follow-up question(s) they will ask next. For example, a simple opening question might be about how business is going.  Ask — what do they see are the opportunities and problems today? You will learn a lot and it will help you frame the rest of your whole sales presentation. 

The next question is critical…it must be specifically about an area where you can help them and establishes why you are taking their time. You need them to tell you why they want you there and how to proceed. Good questions will tell you what benefits to emphasize later. 

I always like asking the question, “What do you like about the current solution you want to replace?”…then head towards the “don’t likes.” It creates a more positive feel to the discussion.

 

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admin on April 4th 2008 in Coaching

It’s all about getting home

The baseball season opens in a few short weeks…and for me and many baseball fans, life begins on opening day.  It seemed appropriate that I saw a message today that read:

“Progress always involves risk. You will never make it to second base with your foot firmly planted on first”

 Go for it!

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admin on March 18th 2008 in Coaching

A goal without a plan is just a wish

Every business (and individual) needs to set a goal or two every so often and then accompany it with a plan that includes a way to publicly measure progress. It is not hard if you break the goal down into little FIRST steps. It is time to stop fighting fires, step back and take action for the “long term” of the business or yourself. This includes all businesses…even you doctors, lawyers, consultants, salesmen and programmers! 

Here are just a few ideas for a 2008 goal:

  • Write down what keeps you up at night
  • Make a plan for last year’s goal that includes a progress graph
  • Think of a small and easy first step towards last year’s goal
  • Increase your company or organization sales/customer base
  • Become more efficient in what you make or do
  • Find another larger account
  • Explore a foreign market
  • Expand your local service area
  • Develop a new product
  • Communicate better with your staff
  • Learn a new skill
  • Acquire deeper knowledge in a business area
  • Upgrade your staff with training
  • Replace weak links in personnel
  • Find more personal time
  • Share your knowledge
  • Start an exit or succession plan

It is most healthy to start this process with a personal plan:

  • Write down what keeps you up at night
  • Make a plan for last year’s goal that includes a progress graph
  • Think of a small and easy first step towards last year’s goal
  • Become more financially secure
  • Spend more time with family
  • Help a friend
  • Become an expert in something
  • Read more
  • Exercise more
  • Lose weight
  • Find more personal time
  • Get a hobby or learn an instrament
  • Go for more walks with your family/partner

Doctors say half the battle for recovery is identifying (or admitting) you have a problem…taking action and measuring progress is the only way to reach that goal.

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admin on February 11th 2008 in Coaching

Sales manager 101

When I was young, and cutting my teeth in sales, I noticed something…When the boss came to my sales territory, sales went up. Was it me or the boss…? I say me because it forced me to do my job more thoughtfully. I planned and organized better and was forced out of my routine. I wanted to impress management so I made sure we made only good sales calls.

I also enjoyed the one-on-one time with the boss; it was great to learn more about the company and share ideas as well as watch how he sold. When I moved into management, I saw other good salesmen act the same way. If they didn’t, I took it as a warning sign of a bigger problem.

As a leader, if you want to make things happen get out in the field and travel with your sales reps or dealers. The good ones will welcome it and you will help them close more business. Moreover, you will learn first-hand what is really going on “out there.”

Finally, when you are with the rep, be excited about your product. (It is shocking how often people forget this!) Before the call, review with the salesperson the important benefits of your product, or service, that is unique to that customer. Think of questions to ask during the call that relate to those benefits. Let your rep respond to the answers. Make mental notes during the presentation about the sales call. Once you are away from the customer’s business, review your notes in an encouraging way – beginning with what went right.

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admin on January 25th 2008 in Coaching

Where Did All the Mentors Go?

We all should look for mentors. I have had, and continue to have wonderful people influence my life as mentors. They have come from many places, various ages, ethnic backgrounds and genders. They have taught me wonderful things and shown me direction and passion. I know when I have been mentored because I have been given the gift of time from someone I respect and it left me feeling better, seeing an issue clearer or just pondering very worthy subjects. I recommend looking for mentors all the time…it certainly is better than the school of hard knocks! (Although there is value in that school too… if you don’t get hurt to badly…another blog)

 

How do you find a mentor.  It takes time. They rarely come to you. You have to actively look for them.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions, listen and evaluate what you hear. Open up your heart and mind to people you meet. Understand that no one is perfect, give people a chance to show who they are and what they stand for. There are things to learn form everyone. It might be a gardener, a teacher, a neighbor, or a manager who is not a direct report.

What do mentors look like? Ask people you respect for references. Look at people who get involved in your business or community but don’t hog the spot light. I look for are people who are principled. Are they consistent, trustworthy and helpful? They are good listeners offer opinions,  without being judgmental.  Most importantly and possibly most difficult, do they give you the gift of time.

 

Why should business promote mentoring? Any organization will benefit greatly if they promote mentoring. In the February 2007 issue of California Lawyer they are an article of why women are quitting law firms.  One reason given was a lack of mentoring. The explanation for a lack of mentoring was both social and environmental, but the bottom line is that mentoring does not happen in most law firms.  Losing these valuable, bright hardworking women cannot be healthy for that industry

 

Lawyers are not the only one’s who have trouble creating an environment where mentoring flourishes. In my experience most people do not know how to mentor, and are not willing to invest the time one on one with people. Training in this area is available and would be a good start.

 

All businesses would benefit form the sharing of knowledge experience and encouragement that comes with mentoring. Morale will improve and innovations occur when people share ideas and collaborate. It all starts by giving a person the gift of time. Interesting, it takes time to find a mentor and time to experience a mentor. No wonder in these time-crunched days people ask “Where did all the mentors go?”

 

 

As a final note…it is my experience that this works with children too!

 

Also see http://www.sacredleadership.org/blog/

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admin on March 5th 2007 in Coaching