Friday, 23 October 2009

The Past Does Not Equal The Future

Many people get discouraged when they look at what has happened so far in their lives. They say, "I guess I just wasn't cut out to be a success. I've never really made anything work for me."

Every successful person knows that when it comes to success, the past does not dictate the future. If you look at your current results to define who you are and how successful you can be, you may disempower yourself and even limit your future success. It's like driving to work and figuring out where to turn by looking into the rearview mirror instead of at the road ahead of you. It doesn't produce good results.

Your current situation is the direct result of your past thoughts, decisions and actions. If you look at your current situation and make decisions about who you are and what you can have based on those results, then you will repeat the same thoughts, decisions and perhaps even actions that got you where you are today. What this guarantees is that you will get the same results again and end up with more of whatever you have now.

When you change your thoughts, you will change your results. If you understand this principle, you can change your life. This is a new way of thinking for most of us... but true success begins only when you turn away from the things you don't want and begin to focus on what you do want.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Increase your Chances of Talking to a Prospect

10 Tips to immediately increase your chances of talking to someone!!!

1. Prospect: "We're not interested."
You: "What exactly are you not interested in?"
(This is a great response to use with prospects and gatekeepers when they've given a response before you've even made a pitch. Many of them will stop and ask you what you're offering. )

2. Prospect: "How did you get my name?"
You: "Um, I'm not sure. I think you attended a trade show a while ago and we got your card."
You (#2): "I asked the receptionist who I should speak with."
(When cold calling, don't say you're just calling names in your database. Prospects hate being treated as a number. Knowing that their name is in some database is equally disturbing. Try to personalize your call as best you can.)

3. Prospect: "Can you call me back in 6 months (or later)?"
You: "Sure. What's going to change by then?"
(Your prospect may have a legitimate reason for pushing back or she may just be brushing you off. Don't waste time chasing prospects who will never buy. Asking what's going to chance will let you know for sure.)

4. Prospect: "Can you send me some information?"
You: "You know, a lot of people tell me that just to get me off the phone. Is that what's happening here?"
(Use this response only if you feel you the prospect is just trying to get rid of you. Don't waste time and money sending information to prospects who have no intention of buying what you're selling. How will you know? Use your gut.)
You (#2): "Sure, where should I send the info? (Get the address). "You know, we're actually going to be over in that area in a few days. Can we give you the information in person?"
(Great response for appointment setters or salespeople whose goal is to set up a meeting.)

5. Prospect: "We're happy with our current vendor."

You: "That's not a problem. A lot of our current customers started off with your vendor but once we proved our value they switched."
(This gets the prospect thinking that maybe there are better products or services than what they're using.)

6. Prospect: "We handle everything in house."
You: "That's great because our product (or service) doesn't replace your internal staff. We work with them to make their lives easier."
(Many people fear what you're selling will eliminate jobs. This response will put them at ease.)

7. Prospect: "You'll have to call our corporate office."

You: "Who should I ask for?"
(Don't cold call if you don't have to. Get a name and when you call let the prospect know who referred you.)

8. Gatekeeper: "Can I take a message?"
You: "No. Don't worry about it. I'll try him later."
You (#2): "Does he have voice mail?"
(Some gatekeepers will actually take a message. Others use taking a message as an excuse to qualify you. As soon as you tell her what the message is regarding, she may tell you your prospect is not interested. Use your gut and determine if taking a message is really the gatekeeper's motive.)

9. Gatekeeper: "She's on another call."
You: "I'll hold."
(Do this only if you really have the time to hold and are not bogged down with a dial quota. Waiting for your prospect to get on the line is better than trying to catch her in the office.)

10. Gatekeeper: "May I tell him what it's regarding?"
You: "Just tell him it's (say your name). He'll know."
(This works well when you're speaking with gatekeepers who are just weeding out salespeople. In many instances they will put the call through because it sounds like you already know the prospect.)

Friday, 16 October 2009

Steve Jobs

In the last month I have found myself more and more interested in the whole Steve Jobs thing. By “"Steve Jobs thing” I mean the management model used. It rages against the normal protocolic (is that a word? If not, then its © me) systems of management. I read and hear reports that he is a nice guy, friendly, supportive and a people person. I also read reports that he is a megalomaniac, control freak, thief of other people’s ideas, tyrannical bully.

Whatever he is, what he does works. He has a great team behind him and I can only assume that he instils loyalty. Either that it is a form of Stockholm syndrome, like when the kidnapped people start to empathise and side with their captors. The Apple seminars are like a motivational rally. He is supposed to have an aura about him, which is known at Apple as a reality distortion field. Basically he has charisma. Nearly all of the powerful people you meet, or the ones perceived to have power, will have that. I don’t think or believe that they have it. I think we create it through our apprehension or interest.

The basic tenets of the Steve Jobs business model are strange, but they are effective. Some of them look out of place, or questionable. Nevertheless, they work.

Get Busy.
Face hard decisions Head On!
Don’t get emotional.
Be firm.
Get Informed – don’t guess.
Reach out for help.
Focus means saying NO.
Stay focused.
Focus on what you are good at; Delegate everything else.
Be a despot.
Generate alternatives and then pick the best.
Design pixel by pixel.
Don’t be afraid to start from scratch.
Avoid the Osborne effect.
Don’t shit on your own doorstep.
When it comes to ideas, anything is game.
Don’t listen to your customers.
Find an easy way to present new ideas.
Don’t compromise.
Design is it's function, not just looks, sound and touch.
Thrash it out.
Include everyone.
Partner with ‘A’ players, fire Bozos.
Seek out the highest quality.
Invest in people.
Work in small teams.
Don’t listen to “yes” men.
Engage in intellectual combat.
It's OK to be an asshole as long as you are passionate about it.
Find passion.
Use the carrot and the stick to get great work.
Put boot to ass to get things done.
Celebrate accomplishments with unusual flair.
Insist on what seems impossible.
Become a great intimidator.
Be a part time ingratiator.
Work people hard and yourself harder.
Don’t lose sight of the customer.
Study the market and the industry first.
Don’t consciously think of innovation.
Concentrate of products.
Remember that motives make a difference.
Be flexible.
Burn the boats.
If you miss the boat, make sure you catch it.
Look for big changes in the world that can be used to your advantage.
Set a deadline.
Don’t worry where the ideas come from.
Don’t worry where the tech comes from.
Leverage your expertise
Trust your process.
Don’t be afraid of trial and error.
Embrace the team.

As you can see, there are a few rules here that make you think, ‘WTF?’ but these are the basic rules of Steve Jobs’ management/ business style.

Whether or not we agree with them, they work for him. Mention Apple and you see Steve Jobs. Mention iPod and you think of Apple and then Steve Jobs. His seminars for Apple are like a self help guru spouting technobabble. Apple is fast becoming, or has become, the company everyone would like to work for instead of Google, or if Google were not recruiting. I read that Jobs has had some organ replacement procedure after a tumour on his pancreas. He is now back at work and I wish him well, though I doubt he is reading this. Jobs is a buddhist, interested in Zen who hardly drinks and doesn't smoke. His background involves hallucinatory drugs so he has tried it, didn’t like it. Or if he did, he realised that drugs and running a major corporation doesn't mix. I read he has a passion for pineapple Pizza.

The thing I like and respect about Steve Jobs is that he appears to be a kick-ass, take no bullshit, kinda guy. Remember. He started Apple, got downsized (which is French for getting F*%ked and then sacked) and then came back on his own terms and now runs it. Ya gotta admire that...