Feeling Weary?

September 16, 2020

Are You Feeling a Little Weary?

During our coaching sessions with clients, I’ve noticed a certain weariness has settled in.

Even though so many have achieved amazing results, the toll has been exhausting.  This most challenging year keeps demanding a focus and drive that would tire the most industrious animal.

And we’re not done yet.

Who knows what the final  3 ½ months will foist on us?!

How about a few simple adjustments to make things less stressful and give you a chance to recharge for the final push towards your 2020 goal…no matter what comes down the pike.

First, reworked your To-Do List.

Have lots on your To-Do List?  Take a look right now.  Were most of the same items there yesterday…maybe last week, too?

Do this instead.  Limit your list each day.  Choose only the one-to-three most critical actions to execute each day.  That’s it.  One to three.  Choose only the really big issues that must be accomplished today because they will move you towards your 2020 goal the fastest.

Then, start (hopefully finish) those very few critical few in the morning, first thing, maybe even before you officially enter the office, virtually or actually.

Create your 1-to-3 item To Do List at the end of the previous day.  Then you’ll start each day knowing the critical few…before emails, text messages and phone calls alter your actions.

This daily list separates what’s critical from what’s important or nice to do.

Next, measure your results not the time you put in.  Putting in more and more hours doesn’t make you more productive (you knew that…but may forgot, right).

Then, build habits to start working.  Your routine could be as simple as scheduling the first thing on your pared-down To Do List at 8am every day or heading to your desk when you put down your first cup of coffee.

And then there is this one. Build habits to stop working.

For example, make a commitment to end your day by 5:30pm.  To help make this lollapalooza of a change, try marking 5pm on your calendar to complete your next day’s To Do List.  Turn off your computer at 5pm rather than simply letting it go to sleep.  Set a firm, non-negotiable commitment with yourself and stop working (that last one is there for you Type As).  Take the next 30 minutes to complete your next-day To Do List.

Dedicate three weeks to this new work plan.

You’ll discover the “stuff” you were doing didn’t really make a big difference when your stopped doing it.

By seemingly becoming less productive…by putting in less time and working with a much shorter To-Do List…you’ll became more productive and absolutely less weary.

Start small.  At the end of your workday today (be specific) make your To-Do List for tomorrow.  No more than 1-to-3 critical actions.  Do those things first thing tomorrow.  Then do it again.  And again each day for 21 days.

After 21 days, measure how much more you’ve accomplished in so much less time.

You’re welcome :>)

Go forth and do great things,

Martha and Chris

 

Lessons From a Failed First Date

September 9, 2020

I could feel it coming…this date was going nowhere. Despite me being my most charming self, there was no chemistry, no connection.

I was surprised because it seemed like we’d be a good match. Friends we had in common had recommended us to each other. There was so much potential!

So, what went wrong?

It probably had something to do with the fact that I never once asked a question. I was too busy talking about all my positive traits, everything I had to offer, why I thought we’d be so good together.

In short, I made it all about me.

If you are not making as many successful sales calls as you’d like, maybe you’re making the same mistake that I did.

That first conversation with a prospective client is like a first date. And it can come along with first date jitters.

Jitters that can lead to lots of nervous talking, but not much connection. When you’re busy thinking of your nerves, it’s hard to be thinking of your customer.

And thinking about your customer is what makes for a successful sales call…and a successful business.

Even if you think you already know the answers, ask questions. Lots of them. Open-ended question that require more than a simple yes or no.

Show your prospect that you are deeply interested in their problems and their perspectives. It’s important because even though they have a general need in common, your prospects all experience that need in a unique way.

Understanding that unique experience will tell you exactly what your customer needs to hear to make them say “yes” to your offer.

Think of it as letting your customer tell their story, a story that has two possible endings.

One is what will happen if they continue their current situation. The other is the happy ending that is possible if they buy your product or service to solve their problem.

Everybody loves a happy ending, right?

You can’t get to the happy ending – for the customer or for your business – if you don’t allow the story to be told.

So get past those first date jitters and ask the right questions. The ones that will lead you and your customer to discover what it will take to make a great connection.

Here comes the happy ending.

Go forth and do great things,

Martha & Chris

Does Your Pot Boil?

September 2, 2020

Does Your Pot Boil?

Put a pot of water on the stove.  Push the heat to 200 degrees.  Up goes the water temperature in the pot.  Jack the temp to 211 degrees.  Nothing much changes, does it?

Then add one tiny little degree,

Bam!  The water in your pot roils to a boil!

Is your “pot” (business) boiling or simmering?  Or barely changing temperatures?

You’ve still got time this year to get the temperature of your business cranked up to 212 degrees…when you recognize…all business is human.

The catalyst to go from tepid water to crazy boil requires you to gather and use insights into the mind of your Ideal Customer.

Your customers are human.  They use human conversation.  Human conversations drive the language of successful businesses.  Your finest business occurs when you speak to your human customer in the language they hear, see and understand.

That language revolves around the thing of most interest to them.

Themselves.

Specifically, solving the problem they actively want to rid of.

What’s your Ideal Customer’s problem?  What are they tired of living with, and you can cast it out?  What language do they use to express their problem?

Answer those questions, use the answers in your business (your marketing and sales, to be specific) and watch what happens.  People who paid no attention will look your way.  Prospects who heard “blah, blah, blah” instead of your conversation will take note.  Website visitors who moved on without a call or an opt-in will connect.

Your business will change.  This year.

You know how to be human.

Yet, perhaps you’ve forgotten in this age of amped up Facebook nonsense and monotone mission statements (save that for your employees).

Humans still relate to humans.  Humans understand conversations.

What should you change…right now…to alter your marketing and sales blandness in favor of a true, authentic, customer-centered conversation focused on eliminating the problem your Ideal Customer wants to eradicate?

Focus the conversation on their problem as they see it.  Not your solution.   Problem recognition comes first.  Until your prospect understands you understand their problem, you have little opportunity to make any kind of connection to the solution.

Focus on your human, their problem and how they express it.

Then realize they’ve just handed you everything you require to create a great conversation, relationship and sale.

Go forth and do great things,

Martha Hanlon & Chris Williams