Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Thinking For A Change

I just started a new book called "Thinking for A Change" by John C. Maxwell. One of my fellow Toastmaster's recommended it highly. Within the first 10 pages I can see why. In Chapter 1 - Understanding the Value of Good Thinking, Mr. Maxwell opens with the following quote from Benjamin Disraeli

"Nurture great thoughts, for you will never go higher than your thoughts."

Wow! That spoke volumes to me. We teach that through our I/R Theory and how you will only attain what you believe you are worthy of attaining. So in order to raise your "I" you must feed you mind with strong, positive and great thoughts. Read great books and spend time with great people. In a short time your "I" will grow.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Monday Monday

As I sat in my air conditioned office (thank goodness for air conditioning) I reviewed what I did last week. Then I set up my plan for the day. I only had 3.5 hours to work on my activities, and I wanted to get the most bang for my buck. At the end of my 3.5 hours I was not sure if I had done enough so I took a moment to reflect. What did I get done?

  • I made 20 calls (cold and warm).
  • I actually had four meaningful conversations that gave me two qualified "no's," one qualified future and an appointment.
  • I wrote and mailed two letters to follow-up on networking meetings.
  • I finalized a document I needed for Toastmasters and made copies.
  • I organized my schedule for the week.
  • I sent out several emails and printed some articles to read.

Although that might not seem like a lot to some, for me it was a huge accomplishment. What does this all represent? The continuation of my behavior that I defined in my cookbook last week. I am seeing that as I behave each day and do that consistently, I am seeing results. So I am thrilled for the day and my activities and see it as a step in my gradual and incremental growth. Have you looked at your daily activities lately?

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Cook Book

I was meeting with Ed and getting some advice. I felt a bit confused on how to allocate my time. I have several things I am involved in as well as the work that I do. I am a Toastmaster and this year they elected me President of our Club. I am a member of Women's Network of York and I am serving on a committee to promote an event that is happening in October. I am involved in the Chamber's Partnership campaign. And I also need to fit in my behavior for Staub & Associates.

My dilemma is that I have about 10 hours a week to work at this point on pay-time activities. Ed noted that I was talking cook book. It's funny how I was talking cook book, some thing we teach and yet it did not seem that obvious to me. Then it hit me, I do it naturally without labeling it. So right now my recipe for success has to only include those things that will provide me with tangible results in a short time. Once I defined the results needed to be successful, it was easy for me to decide where to spend my time.

I love our system.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Does this "Sandler Stuff" work in a Commodity Business?

This was a question posed today in our training by someone who was relatively new to the program. In fact, today was week one. So what is the answer? Well, as always, the room came to the rescue with an answer. You know the best lessons come when the students become the teachers.

The example was given that in a commodity business such as buying a truck load of sunflower seeds the client does not always buy strictly on price. Sure that is a consideration. When all is said and done there are lots of things that go into the decision making process. Will the sunflower seeds be there when they said it would be? Will they be in good shape (wet or dry)? Will the process of ordering it and getting it delivered by an easy one? Will the terms be right?

The question then becomes, how do you let your prospects know all of this? By asking the right questions, and finding out what is important to them about their sunflower seeds and the process. How was it handled in the past? Do they currently get their deliveries on time from their current vendor? Are they happy with their current terms?

Sure you might still have to be part of a bid. And, if you do it right, you will develop the "trusted advisor" relationship with your prospects and clients so that the bid is a formality because of the bond you have developed. Why? Because they know you care. You not only asked but you listened and heard. So whether you are selling sunflower seeds or office equipment you still can have an edge over the other vendors who place their bids.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Where should I spend my time?????

Because I am a mother of two young boys as well as a women in business, I find time to be my biggest commodity. As I make my schedule for the week and I know I have behaviors to do, my challenge is not to waste time. Further, I need to utilize the limited time I have as wisely as possible. So today as I did my planning in solitude (at 5:45 am) I felt a little overwhelmed. What to do? When to do it? Where should I invest my efforts?

When all else fails, do the next right thing. If your list is too long and your time too short, prioritize. Figure out what will give you the most bang for your buck. For me, I fit in a meeting and made some calls. I organized my week and got a handle on the rest of the month. Now the key is to implement once the plan is set.

I always have to build in flexibility in my plans. For example, today I needed to reschedule a meeting with an associate due to switches in someone else's plan. The good news is I've learned about having a Plan B.

So make a plan, work the plan and adjust where needed. When all else fails, be flexible and do you personal best.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Cold Calls

Today I sat down to do calls. It's funny how many things need to get done when the phone needs to be picked up. I'd look at my list and then the phone and then I would remember to check my email. Then I'd look at my list and then the phone and then I remembered I needed to fax a document. Hmmm. What seems to be the problem? Yes, even I have to overcome my own fears and insecurities to make those dreaded cold calls.

As a volunteer for the Chamber I can remember sitting in a room full of people and cell phones banging out call after call and not blinking an eye. It was easy because I was a volunteer and it wasn't about me. Yet, here I am calling for me and our training center and I find the phone feels like a 100 lb. weight.

Here's the good news. I can do it and so can you. All you have to do is try. Each time you do you get better at it and it gets a little bit easier. It is like anything you do, with practice and repetition it gets easier. It's like a muscle that you train or a habit you start. Sure there are other ways of getting business. However a good sales funnel needs to be filled with a variety of activities.

So keep in mind the following:

  • Cold calls are not forever, just till you build a good referral base.
  • It's only part of your program. You need to have other items in your tool box of getting business like networking, marketing and referrals to name a few.
  • Finally, no one has ever died from making a cold call. You will live to sell another day.

Take heart, you can do it. If I can, anyone can.

We've Moved

Our new training center is open and it is awesome. When I first walked into the building I was amazed by the size of the building. Then I opened the door to our office. It really took my breath away. The hardwood floors, the beautiful walls and the large training center with the tables, chairs and whiteboard ready to go.

After Ed gave me the official tour of the building I made a pot of coffee. Helps to start the day off right for me. Then I sat down in one of our offices to make calls and work on the computer. It was an amazing feeling. I truly believe this center is poised for big things as we help our clients grow in their businesses. The center is warm and welcoming. I look forward to our next round of training next week.