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Archive for August, 2015

Let me elaborate…

In my last post I wrote a little ditty as I traveled to Boston to work with one of my clients.  Last week, I had a dozen clients travel to Denver to work with me.  And, they paid to attend my “training class” to boot!  Did they experience anything “Different”?

My last post was a summary of my self-reflection on what makes me “different” (see http://thequoteguys.com/2015/08/whats-different/ ).  I asked at the same time for you to pause for a moment and address, “What makes you different?”  Did you?  Did you take a moment to crystalize exactly what makes you; your product/service; and your company “Different” in the eye of your customers?  No?  Too busy?  Well:

Many receive advice.  Only the wise profit from it. 

Publilius Syms

Today – permit me to elaborate.

“I’m a pretty good talker, but I’m even a better listener.  And boy – do I love to talk!”

Courtor’s Rule:

If people listened to themselves more often, they would talk less. 

Unknown Sage

(I’m still working on this rule.)

“I’m a pretty good listener, but I’m even better at remembering.”

What I say may not matter but what the client says always matters:

We hear only half of what is said to us, understand only half of that, believe only half of that, and remember only half of that. 

Mignon McLaughlin

“I’m pretty good strategically with the “big picture”, but I’m even better tactically with identifying the myriad of details.”

Pay fantastic attention to detail.  What details get in the way of our being easy to do business with? 

Tom Connellan

“I’m a pretty good presenter, but I’m even a better problem solver.”

The hardest problems get solved last. 

Frank Hayes

“I’m pretty good at committing to being prompt, but I’m even better at arriving prepared.”

Average sales people like to wing it. Champions like to make money.  So they don’t wing it – they prepare.  Intensively. 

Tom Hopkins

“I’m a pretty good leader, but I’m an even better follower.”

People don’t at first follow worthy causes.  They follow worthy leaders who promote worthy causes. 

John C. Maxwell

“I’m pretty good at positioning my company competitively, but I’m even better at acknowledging the “reality of multiple solutions” each client has.”

Our competition got me out of bed in the morning; paranoia is a wonderful motivator. 

Scott Deeter

“I’m pretty good at orchestrating a sales-cycle, but I’m even better helping my clients’ coordinate their evaluation process.”

Sell the way the customer buys and allocate your resources accordingly. 

Rick Page

“I’m pretty good at overcoming objections, but I’m even better at identifying client fantasies that no vendor and no product can address.”

Reality is that stuff which, no matter what you believe, just won’t go away. 

David Paktor

“I’m pretty good at negotiating price, but I’m even better at helping my clients clarify the value.”

To assess your added value, you have to put yourself in the other player’s shoes and ask what you bring to them. 

Barry J. Nalebuff

At last week’s class, I wasn’t sharing stuff I know because I always knew that stuff.  I was simply re-telling what I’ve learned along the way from these wise people named above and untold others.  Was my clients’ experience with me “Different” than all the other classes they’ve attended led by all of the other instructors who attempted to instruct them?  What do I know?

Only the customer can tell.  Was the class successful?  Well, no one quit; no one got hurt; I’m calling it a win!

GAP

Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my website too: www.TheQuoteGuys.com

What’s different?

I flew to Boston yesterday to work with one of my clients in person (a novelty in itself in our web-meeting world of 2015).  Since the client was paying the travel expense, I simply let them book my flights.  JetBlue offered the best rate and schedule – so I flew JetBlue for the very first time.  What’s different?

We departed Denver 2 hours late.  “Weather in New England” was the culprit they offered.  Of course, the initial update was posted on the screens at the gate as a 55 minute delay.  They boarded us according to that posting.  I was seated in the last row; aisle seat; where coincidentally I could overhear the flight attendants chatter.

Well beyond the 55 minute posted delay, the pilot came on the intercom and offered, “We’re all set to go; just waiting on final route information from ATC.”  I overheard the flight attendants fill in the blanks.  “They’re routing us over Canada to avoid the weather.  We don’t have enough fuel.  When we take on more fuel, we’ll be overweight, so we’re going to have to take some passengers and their baggage off.”  Unbeknownst to those passengers of course.  What’s different?

An hour and thirty minutes past scheduled departure, the pilot updated everyone else on the fuel situation that I already overheard.  He left it up to the gate agents to deal with selecting eight passengers to de-plane.  “Looks like you’re going to miss your connections”, I overheard one gate agent say to a family of three.  “We’re going to take you off this plane and try to reschedule you on another.”

The problem was, I overheard a second gate agent say to a different passenger the next available flight was tomorrow; nothing else going from Denver to Boston tonight.  Same situation, different stories.  What’s different?

I know, we all have had our bad travel experiences.  And try as they might with their marketing slogans and in-flight announcements, aren’t all airlines about the same today?  What’s different?

Yet, this experience caused me to think about my in-person client work starting today.  What makes working with me different than every other sales professional they have ever worked with?  Before turning further attention to my reflections, permit me to expand the focus and ask, “What makes you and your company different?”

So whether important to my clients or not, here are the “Top 10 things that make Gary different”:

  • I’m a pretty good talker, but I’m an even better listener.
  • I’m pretty good at listening, but I’m even better at remembering.
  • I’m pretty good strategically with the “big picture”, but I’m even better tactically with identifying the myriad of details.
  • I’m a pretty good presenter, but I’m an even better problem solver.
  • I’m pretty good at committing to being prompt, but I’m even better at arriving prepared.
  • I’m a pretty good leader, but I’m an even better follower.
  • I’m pretty good at positioning my company competitively, but I’m even better at acknowledging the “reality of multiple solutions” each client has.
  • I’m pretty good at orchestrating a sales-cycle, but I’m even better helping my clients’ coordinate their evaluation process.
  • I’m pretty good at overcoming objections, but I’m even better at identifying client fantasies that no vendor and no product can address.
  • I’m pretty good at negotiating price, but I’m even better at helping my clients clarify the value.

In a nutshell – that’s what I believe makes me different.  OK now – your turn.

GAP

Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my website too: www.TheQuoteGuys.com

 

The truth…

Posted Aug 5 2015 by in True North with 5 Comments

A friend invited me to coffee a while ago.  As it turned out, he wanted to, “run something by” me.  Ut oh – sounded heavy.

We met the day before he and his wife were leaving for a President’s Club sales recognition trip he had earned.  You’d think that day would be low key; taking it easy; looking forward to a week of fun in the sun.  Not so much.

You see, my friend was being courted by other companies.  Success has a tendency to increase contact from head-hunters, yes?  And we all enjoy being courted.  Except he hadn’t managed this courtship as well as he would have liked – he was being offered a significant increase in pay but the offer expired today.  Today, the day before he and his wife head off to Presidents Club.

I listened while he described the innocent start to the courtship.  “I don’t normally take calls from head-hunters Gary…”  “I’m not sure why I even agreed to listen…”  “Before I knew it, I had two companies pursuing me…”  And BOOM! – He was in the proverbial love triangle.

Truth is, he did have two excellent opportunities.  Truth is, he is a stellar sales professional.  Truth is, if I were a hiring manager I would be courting his services too.  Truth is, one needs to be careful when playing with fire.

Our conversation arrived at the essence of his meeting request:  Should he inform his Manager of his pending departure before the President’s Club trip, or after?  “Gary”, he asked, “what would you do?”

WOW!  We should have been meeting for adult beverages not coffee!  But he had no time for that, his preferred, outside offer expired that day.  Truth be told, I have been in similar situations myself.  Not the day before a President’s Club trip; but I’ve faced the cross-roads of having to decide if I would disappoint my Manager by leaving for a “better offer”, or disappoint a courting company by staying put.  What would you do?

I suggested to my colleague that he “tell the truth”.  Ah, there it is; the essence; “the truth”.  I wasn’t really telling him anything he hadn’t already figured out.  I think he was simply looking for confirmation before facing “the truth”.

The truth doesn’t hurt unless it ought to. 

B.C. Forbes 

We noodled through his options.  He could accept the offer and resign after President’s Club.  That would disappoint his Manager (and leave a long-lasting, bad taste in his own mouth).  He could stall the offer by telling the courting company he needed more time.  That would disappoint his future employer (perhaps even risk the offer being rescinded).  He could call his Manager, inform him of his decision to leave and offer to stay home from President’s Club.  That would disappoint his wife!

“No place to hide”, I stated.  “You’re going to disappoint someone today – you’re only choice is to decide who you won’t disappoint”.  Not much solace from a friend he was hoping could help him feel good and “do the right thing”.  He could have turned to Mark Twain for advice:

Always do right!  This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.

I suppose in the real world today, there is no “right thing”, is there?  I suppose there are simply advantages and disadvantages to the choices we make.  Successful people are continuously presented with opportunities – continuously facing choices.  I suppose it’s the principals our choices are based on that matter, true?  I mean, what would you do?

GAP

Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my website too: www.TheQuoteGuys.com