The month of February found many of us glued to our TVs (and iPods, iPhones, etc.) watching the 2014 Winter Olympics. It was exciting. It was emotional. Hopes were dashed while others nearly burst with elation. Around the water cooler or when grabbing a cup of coffee, the discussion revolved around who won, who lost, and wasn’t that weather crazy. But now that it’s all over, it can be a good time to reflect. I’ll bet the first thought that pops into your mind is not, “What can the Olympics teach me to help me do my job better?” but I think that’s one of the greatest aspects of the Olympics.
There are quite a few naysayers out there who don’t believe in the power of setting goals. I’m not one of them. In fact, I refer to my goals quite frequently and use them to help guide me as I make decisions. And I think that’s a major difference between those of us who believe in goal setting and those who don’t. Those who don’t probably don’t understand how truly powerful they are.
“The more I learn, the more I realize I don’t know.” [Albert Einstein] Einstein epitomizes the intellectual and the creative thinker. But you don’t have to be as brilliant as Einstein to realize that there is tremendous value in being a learner and a reader. In fact, just reading one book can change your life. I know, because it happened to me.
As the year winds down, we tend to become more reflective. We look at what we had intended to accomplish and what we actually did achieve. When our achievements don’t match our expectations, it can be a time of disappointment. Or the year end can be a time of great joy when we think about all that we have done as we enumerate our successes.
I’ve been writing a lot of blogs recently about respect and showing that you care—which are the hallmarks of building a meaningful business relationship. This led to a conversation with a friend who remarked that he knows some very busy and powerful people who make the effort to respond to every email in a timely fashion.
One way to gain respect from our business colleagues and customers is to share our knowledge with them. But we need to be careful how we do this. We don’t want to come across as a “know it all” but we do want to effectively communicate those areas that we have some expertise in. This is especially true in a sales situation, for this is what selling is all about.
Creating value is frequently cited in business today. It is touted as one way to be successful. But what exactly does it mean to create value? Value can be defined in several different ways. It can mean being the top sales person in your district. It can mean finding ways to enhance how others in the organization view your department. It can mean developing your own personal reputation. Perhaps the best way to explain what I mean about creating value is to tell you what I did...
As humans, we have a tendency to sometimes ignore what we have and take things for granted. This is true in life—and also true in selling. How much time do you spend with your current customers and make sure they have everything they need that you and your company can provide? If you are like most people, you just might tend to put more of your time, effort and focus into developing new business and new customers than you should. And you might even inadvertently take some your current ones for granted. What happens is that you wind up potentially losing the business you already have. And you are not alone. The average company loses 52% of its customers every 5 years.