"He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else." ~ Benjamin Franklin.
Have you ever noticed that some people feel a need to give us a little bit too much information ~ To over share? ~ Do we really need to know the reasons why they... What's the difference between an excuse and a reason? Well... Others give excuses and we have reasons - right?
Maybe we could all learn a little, in this oversharing society we now live in, from our friends in one branch of the military who have seven acceptable answers to anything. ~ Seven Simple Responses:
I don't know.
I don't understand.
May I ask a question?
May I make a statement?
So why do some feel a need to give us all that extra information?
To share the stuff that nobody really needs to know like:
Why they are late
What they can't do.
How difficult something is.
Well ... I Don't Know ~ but there is... No Excuse.
"Sometimes people hold a core belief that is very strong. When they are presented with evidence that works against that belief, the new evidence cannot be accepted. It would create a feeling that is extremely uncomfortable, called cognitive dissonance. And because it is so important to protect the core belief they will rationalize, ignore and even deny anything that doesn't fit in with that core belief."
Listen up young soldier, the team leader barked. You think you're pretty good at this and that's a problem. You need to learn a little bit about cognitive dissonance. Self justification is one of the most common ways we resolve dissonance. Stop rationalizing what you do and why you do it. We don't learn much from what we agree with.
We learn from challenge, he said ~ not comfort. I'm going to challenge you, physically, mentally, and emotionally. With every part of my being I am going to try to get you to quit. Your mind will want to go to a familiar place, a secure and comfortable place. It will rationalize. Often when we think we are reasoning we are in fact rationalizing. Our mind resists what it doesn't like. It rationalizes with self justification.
I hope you don't like me he said. Because if you like me ~ it means I'm not challenging you. We need the physical, mental, philosophical and emotional challenges that we dislike. We need cognitive dissonance.
The secret is in how we deal with dissonance.
But what about inner peace, tranquility, acceptance and all the zen stuff we are learning about I said. ~ He smiled, looked me square in the eye, and replied ~ "Now there's some cognitive dissonance."
"Never challenge an old man, because if you lose, you've lost to an old man, and if you win, so what?"
It was some of the best advice that a young man full of confidence could ever receive. Respect your elders son ~ Not because they are older but because you have no idea who they are, what they've done, or what they've been through. ~ Watch out for your Huckleberry.
" I've missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times I have been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over..." ~ Michael Jordan.
What's a good closing percentage in sales? It's a question that's asked by professionals in every industry and measured by managers and bean counters the whole world over. Striving to improve ones 'number' is critical to getting better in pretty much any endeavor and sales is no different. ~ We can't manage and improve what we don't measure.
But think about this...
In the National Basketball Association (NBA)
The average shot conversion percentage is 43%
In the National Football League (NFL)
The average pass completion percentage is 48%
In the English Premier Soccer League (EPL)
The average shot conversion percentage is 14%.
These guys are the best in the world at their profession. The very best. They've honed their skills to a razor sharp edge. No-one is better. They are the cream of the crop at what they do and they miss... How many?
The next time someone tells you that you should close 60%, or more, of your sales... Smile, agree, and work a little harder at improving your percentage ~ But you keep right on pitching and shooting because...
Only a loser aims at his foot because he knows he can hit it.
"A really great talent finds its happiness in execution."
Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe.
It's got to be one of the most satisfying things in life. Identifying pure talent, providing an opportunity, and then... observing it bloom in execution. Every day we are all provided opportunities to be both students and mentors. But there's talent... and then there's execution.
We can all assist those with talent ~ but we can't execute for them.
A mentor smiles ~ When they execute.
"As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do." ~ Andrew Carnegie.
A father once asked "What advice do you give to your daughter about men?" ~ Well that's a timeless question isn't it? We men say a lot of things. We use words both sparingly and excessively. We pitch, boast, brag, and boost ourselves up. We say a lot of stuff and every woman knows ~ we're from Mars. Yes... men certainly say a lot but...
As I grow older I pay less attention to what men say...
I just watch what they do.
"The only way to find out if you can trust someone ~ is to trust them." ~ Ernest Hemingway.
Sales is a tough gig. We all know that. Now I'm not talking about order taking here ~ That's not really sales is it? ~ I'm talking about the first sale we make to a new customer. The real sale. Yes... Client reorders are nice ~ We love 'em. But if we've done our job, established trust, and built the relationship, we're really not selling any more are we?
Yes we're listening, learning, and providing value. And maybe we have to do a bit of convincing to wrap things up but it's different with an existing customer isn't it? Not to say we don't do all that stuff on the first sale ~ Of course we do. But on that first sale ~ The new sale ~ We need courage to overcome our greatest weakness as salespeople don't we? ~ The courage to prospect, and approach, someone new.
Some salespeople don't do this any more. ~ They're afraid. ~ Now they'll say they're not. They'll say that it's a lot harder, unnecessary, and then there's the rejection. They will argue that it's easier and more effective to work referrals and cultivate customer relationships. To build upon what they already have. As if we can't do that and go after new customers. Sorry ladies and gentlemen ~ Often when we believe we are reasoning we are really rationalizing and in this case...
The real professional overcomes ... Sales Fear.
"Lost time is never found again." ~ Benjamin Franklin.
We all have them. Every single day we have ... "Moments in time." Single moments in time when we can seize control, take complete responsibility, and really go for something we want. When we can choose to do whatever it takes, without excuses, blame, or reservation.
Or we can choose to give out reasons why we didn't. We can settle for doing and being less ~ or ~ We can seize our one moment in time.
NOW ~ is another of those moments.
"The successful warrior is the average man with laser-like focus." Bruce Lee.
If there is a difference, one single difference, between those who succeed and those who fail at anything what is it? ~ Many will argue that the primary difference is their focus. ~ Where, and how well, a person sets their focus seperates the contenders from the pretenders.
7 Simple Tips To Better Focus:
Keep a To Do List and check off simple steps achieved.
Limit distractions - You know what they are.
Don't be weak. Use challenging self talk - strive rather than settle.
Set goals and deadlines and stick to them.
Keep visual reminders. Pictures of loved ones & people you respect.
Be accountable by asking yourself ~ "Is this productive?"
Motivate yourself with stirring music.
"I recommend you take care of the minutes for the hours will take care of themselves." ~ Lord Chesterfield.
How would you like to spend ten minutes? ~ The next ten minutes? Your last ten minutes? ~ Or any ten minutes of your life? We have lots of options and... We all know that time is a terrible thing to waste.
We can do a lot in just ten minutes. A lot of listening and learning. Take care of the minutes for the hours will take care of themselves.