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No one is listening to you. Here’s why.

Monday, April 23, 2012 3 comments

“Why aren’t they listening,” you ask? Because they want a message with purpose; something they can believe in, remember and take action on. So how do you do that?

Start by Generating a Message with Purpose

First your message must have purpose. Are you talking just to fill time or is what you have to say really going to be of importance to your audience? Be sure to consider your audience and determine if what you are about to discuss with them is really going to matter. Once you have done this it is easy to know the direction of your next steps.

“To talk or not to talk – be sure to ask the question!”

Getting their Attention

Once you have decided that your message is important enough to move forward with; how do you do it? How do you get your audience to listen? Start with something to get their attention. A riveting statement, a perplexing question, an amazing fact, a brief story; anything that will turn their head and bend their ear in your direction, just make it relevant and make it something you can circle back to in the end.

Developing your Message

Know your audience and keep your message in context. Now that you have their attention; will they understand?

Tailor your message to the level of your audience.

If you are talking to a group of children, then make it simple and easy to comprehend. If you are speaking with a group of specialists, use their language and terms they familiar with. So what is your message? What is it you want to say? What do you want them to gain from your message? Think about these points.

Include content pertinent to the idea you are trying to convey.

Create an outline formatted to help you step your audience through the message in a logical process. Point A leads to point B which leads to point C and so on. Now you have your message laid out; is it clear and easy to understand? Take a second look, take some time away and come back to it with a fresh mind and maybe even do a dry run with a peer asking them to give you some critical feedback. What’s your back-up plan? Always have Plan B in your back pocket. Get down to the brass tacks. If you had to cut your 30 minute presentation down to 10 minutes or less, what would you say? You know your speech, you know the message you want to convey and you know the key points you need to drive home with your audience. So if the unforseen happens and now you only have 10 minutes to get your message across be sure to hit on those key points. If you are compelling with the key points, your audience will come back to you for more.

Delivering your Message

Ok, you have your message ready to go. How do you get them to believe in your message? How do you get them to remember? First, you MUST exude confidence! If you don’t believe in what you are saying, why should they? Look at them in the eyes when you talk to them it builds trust with the audience and will reinforce your believability. When you talk, use clear and concise sentences; speak clearly and avoid being monotone. Keep them engaged. Whether you are delivering a speech or giving a sales pitch you can keep your audience engaged by asking questions and taking time for dramatic pauses. Ask them to visualize what you are saying, it helps with recall. Use repetition, the more you repeat it, the more likely they are to remember it. Use repetition; the more you repeat it, the more likely they are to remember it. Be passionate about the message. Deliver your vision, make it their vision, get them on board and compel them to act. When you are finished, ask yourself: Do they agree with it? Is it something they will put into action?

I get it, I agree with it, I think I can do it, I’m willing to try it.” – Jeffrey Gitomer

Circle Back

Bring it full circle. You started out with something to get their attention. A riveting statement, a perplexing question, an amazing fact or a brief story; now it’s time to get back to that statement or question. This will bring relevance to that statement which got them to listen in the first place. It will help them to understand your opening statement really does relate back to the end result. Bottomline: Prepare. Be confident, clear and compelling.

What are some of your secrets to delivering a message successfully?
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Does your sales cup runneth over? Just add water.

Thursday, December 17, 2009 1 comment

(Photo: darkpatator)

So many times we are thinking about the big win, the one deal that will save the day, help us reach our goals or make us look like hero to the rest of the company. And why not; it is great to focus on those sizeable achievements, but it also takes those several smaller feats too when you are looking at the big picture. Often times it can be those last few small drops that allow our cup to run over. After all without the constant flow of your day to day business, where would you be?

So where do you start & how do you determine what to focus on?

  • Take a step back.
  • Look at the big picture.
  • What are your goals?
  • Determine what would be the quick and easy slam dunks.
  • Figure out what might take a few extra days to close.
  • Plan and prioritize according to what will allow you to compile the largest sum before the end of your selling cycle.

All too often we get so busy, being busy, we don’t take the time to focus and strategize on what the big picture is and what needs to be done to accomplish the most. So be sure to take the time to assess your best strategy then move forward with a well thought out plan.

Get the big win’s, but don’t forget about your core business and the small feats. Take time to prioritize and strategize. Soon you will find your cup runneth over.

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Winning is everything!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009 1 comment

(Photo: U.S. Marine Corps)

“We tell our kids it doesn’t matter if we win or lose, but let’s be honest, winning feels pretty great there’s nothing like that golden moment in the sun. I think every parent probably wants that for their child and maybe a little bit for ourselves too.” -Jay (Ed O’Neill) on ABC’s Modern Family

We have all heard the phrase, “Winning, isn’t everything,” but have you ever started something with the intention of coming in second, third or even last? NO! You are in it to win it or you wouldn’t be in it at all.

So why do we love winning so much?

“When you win, nothing hurts.” -Joe Namath

The answer is simple, winning feels good! You have a sense of accomplishment, everything you practiced, trained for, and worked hard to build was executed to the best of your ability and you came out the victor. If you have ever won at anything you know the sensation it brings you and know without winning the desire to achieve, the incentive to practice, the motivation to work harder and the aspiration do one more thing to make the difference is absent.

Now, are you always going to win? No, but you sure as hell are going to try! If you don’t win will you shrivel up and disappear? No! So maybe winning isn’t everything, but you certainly have to be willing to give it your all and try.

“All right Mister, let me tell you what winning means… you’re willing to go longer, work harder, give more than anyone else.” -Vince Lombardi

It is this yearning to win which keeps us driving forward when others have given up. It is this aspiration to win which allows us to work longer than the rest. It is this necessity to win that compels us to practice when others have quit. It is the desire to win that permits us to put in extra hours after everyone else has gone home. It is the yearning to win which induces our determination.

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So what does it take to win?

1. Leadership

2. Strategy

3. Focus

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1. Leadership

  • Effective leaders have a rapport of trust by working WITH their team.
  • Leaders instill a positive attitude setting an example for their team.
  • Leaders set the tone for everyone else.

2. Strategy

  • Have a thorough knowledge of your industry.
  • Use solution based thought processes clearly defining goals and maneuvers.
  • Offer innovative insights and solutions.
  • Let your customers be your voice and promote you to others.
  • Adjust your plans with the turns of market but be creative.

3. Focus

  • Have clear set of goals in mind and what your final vision is.
  • Radiate a positive attitude; believe in yourself and in what you are doing.
  • Display unyielding determination by concentrating on the solution.
  • Hold true to your word.
  • Exude energy both physically and passionately.

“Every obstacle presents an opportunity… If you’re looking for it. You only fail when you quit.” – Jeffrey Gitomer

I think this is best summed up by Teddy Roosevelt: “It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”
-Theodore Roosevelt
“Citizenship in a Republic,”
Speech at the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910

Remote Note:

As a remote leader you have a distinct advantage over the office staff during the holiday season. Working from home allows you to use the spare moments you have to accomplish a few extra tasks you would have otherwise had to go to the office to complete. Don’t let the holiday season slow you down. As you thrust forward you will be passing by the others who have let this “slow time of year” reduce their momentum. Put in those few moments of extra time and you will come out the winner.

How are you going to go out there today and win?

What are some or your winning strategies?

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Building your future.

Monday, September 28, 2009 Leave a comment

(Photo: Mrs. Maze)

My young son is playing with his blocks this morning, taking them one by one and stacking them on top of each other. Slowly he progresses along; building things up and in a moments notice everything comes crashing down into a pile of ruble on the floor. Is he discouraged? No! He just starts from the bottom building the blocks back up, one by one into a new tower, this tower surely to be better than the last.

Let’s take a lesson from my son playing with his blocks. When something you are working on does not turn out right or comes crashing down after you worked so hard to build it up; don’t be discouraged. Experiences like this can actually be kind of fun, it allows you to rebuild, to try a different route, to learn from your mistakes and move forward in a different direction to the same destination.

My son enjoys the rebuilding process so much he intentionally knocks down his blocks just so he can start over again. What an opportunity to correct our mistakes and rebuild with improvements as we reflect on what we really sought after all.

Learn from and build upon your setbacks.

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Email without purpose.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009 5 comments

(Photo: Ségozyme)

Have you ever received an email and wonder, “What am I supposed to do with this?” An email giving you all kinds of background, but never explains why you are receiving the email in the first place? Every email you send should have a call to action.
— If your email is informational, start out the email with “FYI.”
— Are you looking accomplish an objective with this email? Have you addressed the person or group needed to complete your goal? By addressing people individually in the email you are making sure everyone is assigned direct responsibility for their actions.
— Is this email a request for information? Then let the intended recipient know what you need from them.

Have you expressed your expectations or goals?
— Why the recipient needs this?
— What is the timeline?
— Is there anyone else who should be on the email to be able to monitor the progress?

Especially with a remote working situation it is important you communicate a specific call to action since your intended recipients are not going to be able to clarify your purpose as they would be able to working in the same office.

Every email should have call to action and timeline.

(See also: Long drawn-out emails, Who are you talking to anyway, Email in camouflage)

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