When I was in my early 20’s, typing offers and answering the phone in a busy real estate office in Toronto, the agents disappeared for a day to go and see a motivational/sales speaker at a downtown hotel. They all came back full of excitement about the possibilities that existed in their future.
This was my first experience of “workshop”, my desk suddenly surrounded by inspired and energetic people. I was fascinated and since then have welcomed into my life people I consider to be champions of motivation. One of them is Brian Tracy http://bit.ly/zIL8ni. I follow him faithfully on Twitter (@BrianTracy) and subscribe to his newsletter and daily emails. He inspires me and reflects back many of the core principles I weave into my work – seminars and coaching, and prospecting on the phone.
This past week his daily messages included two quotes that complement what I believe, what I teach:
“Nothing is more expensive than a missed opportunity.” H. Jackson Brown, Author
This is why I bring antique telephones to most of my workshops. Of course they are fun to look at and play with, but I also bring them to remind everyone that, not too long ago, when we spoke on the phone we gave the conversation all our attention. The equipment was too heavy, too awkward, to allow for multi-tasking. When we were on the phone, we focused solely on the conversation – on listening, asking questions, being within the ebb and flow of dialogue.
It was powerful. It was intimate. It built relationships.
It still does, of course, or there wouldn’t be a Phone Lady. But today we take it for granted, take the time to shift email out of our inbox to various folders, or click through to websites, or shuffle papers around our desk all while we are talking on the phone. And this robs us of our ability to truly engage, to deeply listen, to respond. And, I believe, it robs us of opportunities. We miss the word or phrase or small silence that would allow for a larger conversation with a customer or supplier or associate, a conversation that could easily lead us to more orders, more opportunities, more growth.
I”ll sum this up in a different way, acknowledging one of my own daily challenges: It is important to be in the moment you are in – not analyzing the moment that’s past or planning the moment that’s to come, but fully present in the now. For now is where opportunity lives and waits to be recognized. Don’t miss it!
The second quote was one of Winston Churchill’s: “The price of greatness is responsibility.”
In my workshops the topic that gets discussed the longest and generates the most controversy is follow up as in “How many times should I call a prospect?”
Everyone is always amazed, and challenged, when I say “Don’t give up. Keep calling until you reach them.”
One of the reasons for this advice is that, if you start calling a prospect and then stop … well your sudden disappearance sends a message doesn’t it? It tells the prospect that you aren’t that interested in their business, that you give up, that perhaps you aren’t organized, that you don’t have confidence in your product or service.
But I want to take this idea of responsibility a bit further . . . You are responsible for promoting/selling your product or service therefore you are responsible for reaching your prospects. It is not their responsibility to contact you and get more information – although that’s lovely when it happens. It isn’t even their responsibility to return your messages. No … it’s your responsibility to reach them and when you take that responsibility seriously … well, that’s the price of greatness – great sales, great growth, great success.
So I send my thanks out to Brian Tracy for inspiring this week’s blog and I ask you “Who inspires you?” Is there a newsletter or an email or a Twitter account that keeps you motivated, keeps you growing? It would be great if you would share it with us.
I wish you all a week filled with wonderful phonework – persistent follow up and great conversations!
Tune in next week when I’ll be able to tell you about two opportunities that have recently arrived in my world and to which I have energetically said “Yes”. I look forward to sharing them with you.