I taught my 10 year old son a valuable lesson today about character. I went to go cut up a fallen tree on some property by my dads house. I was out there with my dad and my 10 year old son and a neighbor wandered over and didn’t realize who it was. He said “Oh I didn’t realize it was you, but heard the chainsaw”. He talked to my dad for a moment and then offered to help load the wood in our truck. When we said “that would be great” he pulled his work gloves from his back pocket and started to help.
When we finished I asked my son if he recognized anything interesting about the neighbor and he said “he seemed nice” an he was very nice but so much more than that was significant. I explained to my son that this man, heard a chainsaw, didn’t know who it was, grabbed his gloves and walked over with the full intent of helping whoever it was a few properties away just because its the right thing to do. It wasn’t the oh I feel obligated to ask type of offer either. He had to walk several acres, and he brought gloves. He fully intended on helping whoever it was.
Thats becoming more rare these days. In a world where much of our interaction is behind a screen and we are often made to fear most of whats around us by a constant barrage of bad news reports, have people become complacent on what it means to be neighborly? Not in the person next door you know well way, but in the more Biblical Good Samaritan type way. “A stranger is working hard, maybe I could help…”
I would like to think it did not stand out to my son because my family makes it a point to be like that (because my dad made it a point to be like that) but it stood out to me enough that I thought I would share.
If you don’t already, toss some work gloves in your glove box (it is what its for after all) because you never know what stranger might need help.
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So everyone is into working smarter and I am as well, but not at the sacrifice of working harder. Without first working hard you cannot even accurately define what or how to improve.
There are so many ways of helping you work smarter, and as a result it is all you hear about. You can buy books, read articles, watch videos and get software to work smarter (I sell some of it). This work smarter market has pushed hard work well out of the picture. Many people think that working hard is for people not smart enough to work smarter. But working hard exists in all of us, and it is more powerful today than ever before!
So if you spend the better part of your day trying to develop a strategy to make your sales process better, and then you find yourself doing that every day, and at the end of the week you have not called prospects, sent emails, interacted with customers, posted on Social media etc., then what good has it done? Fast forward 3 months and your business is on the decline and you can’t figure out why because your investing so much time in working smarter.
I don’t want to over simplify things but in the vast majority of situations, especially as it relates to sales if you:
- Work more hours than your competitors
- Talk to more people than your competitors
- Hustle more than your competitors
You will have more sales than your competitors.
While your competitors are watching Youtube videos and reading interesting articles (yes like this one), you will be closing deals.
After a few months of that you will know what works, and how much time it takes. Once you get there then you can define what working smarter would look like and start looking at ways to improve.
I heard a quote one time that I hated but now I am starting to understand it. “Don’t let Great be the Enemy of Good”. At first I thought; that is silly, being great should always be the goal. However I am learning that you have to be good first, then you can be great. You can’t just go to great, anymore than you can appear on the freeway without first getting in your car, leaving your driveway etc. You can’t sit there and read your way into great, or buy software your way into great. You have to work hard and get really good, then you can improve and be great.
I have been in some form of sales for many years, and one thing that never changes is that you will always have competition. However I have started to notice that all though there are more gadgets, automation and marketing strategy then there used to be, some of the fundamentals of selling seem to be fading away. In that regard, it’s getting a little easier to out class the competition. What do I mean? Here is a list of things that are so rarely practiced consistently anymore that you almost seem weird if you do:
-Arriving on time (or a little early)
-Not complaining about current affairs
-Keeping your promises
-Not being profane
-Listening to others
-Taking responsibility for your actions
I know you seasoned sales people out there are thinking “this is all fundamental” but how many people do you know that practice all these things daily? Or better yet, how many people do you know that live there lives that way?
You can’t replace principles with technology or strategy, but if you can get all three working together you will be unstoppable!
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