The Art of NOT Closing

Will need to know today if you want to go ahead with this project.

This was a line I received in an email once, and nothing else in the contents of the email. Essentially this person is trying to close the sale which I understand however I reached out to use their service after seeing a post they put up asking for work.

If a customer is reaching out to someone to get service and you force a client between a rock and hard spot, the client will more often than none go else where unless you have some spectacular thing that gives you the upper hand – but in today’s world there is always another option.

Closing the sale is important and one should do it but perhaps with a way to lure a client in and set expectations, something like this:

Client,

I just got another job today and accepted it, I just want you to know that if we were to go ahead with this project I will be able to deliver in 2 weeks time, just wanted to let you know lead time in case you wanted to get started today – since I had previously told you 1 week.

I can also refer you to X, Y and Z if this is urgent.

Look forward to working with you.

Contractor

This will go a long way with clients because you are providing added value, true expectation and also providing them 3 alternate sources – everyone has close network they work with.

I have only seen a handfull of contractors do the above, even just to quote lead expectations.  Trying to close by giving an absolute time is NOT a way to do this – clients work on their own term and they have no reason to rush.  Close by appealing to them and giving them benefit not by making them run out your door.  Telling a client a dead line is the equivalent of shopping at a luxury brand store and they tell you “we are closed now if you want anything please buy it and get out.”

Why would anyone buy from that store? and to top it off the person never responded to my email with my response.

Whatever you do, don’t close doors to sales.

Know Your Roots

A tree has many leaves, branches and fruit – that is all we see as humans.

But the secret that the tree has is roots. The roots keep the tree grounded, it keeps the tree in place and most of all it keeps helping the tree grow.

Roots are your foundation, build a solid foundation, whether that mean a good team or good personal ethos – just make sure your foundation can’t be shaken with ease.

Just remember roots survive longer than the tree – and with no roots there is no tree.

Assumptions

We often make the mistake of assuming – largely based on our knowledge and previous “experience.” However what we are really doing is putting a barrier, not an assumption.

We are labeling, profiling, judging and finding people guilty of  an assumption they did not even commit.

Recently I encountered someone who sat next to me at dinner – someone whom I don’t know – as he began to make conversation he also began to make assumptions, assuming my profile started to think of places I would like to eat, or clubs I belong to.

Soon enough I found myself not wanting to talk, why should one talk if one is already guilty of an assumption, might as well just smile.

Be careful – don’t turn off the people you meet, try not to assume much of anything about anyone until you have had a chance to see them – and in the long run its better just NOT to assume at all.

The Newlywed Effect

Ever tried a restaurant and fell in love with it?  Everything was magical and perfect, wasn’t it?

Tried to go back a second time? Didn’t quite live up to what the first time was did it? In fact generally it goes down hill or goes up and down.

This is called the newlywed effect – and its largely based on expectation.

If you want to have a magical moment each time have no expectations, but not everyone can do this.

Your customers won’t – so have clear expectations set out, your always going to have superstars and sometimes you won’t and customers won’t like it.

There is no fix for this – only ownership, leadership, and empowerment.  By empowering your employees and others around you with ownership they can help create the newlywed effect, after all each new experience – well is new.

Your Frontline

Customer’s are the doorway to your success, no customers, no success, no product nothing else can happen without someone (a customer) interacting with your product.

So next time a customer makes a complaint, or even a suggestion, make sure whoever is on your frontline that receives the message that they interact an make the customer feel heard.

That will make you better than 80% of the companies out there, want to go to 90%? follow up on the complaint – you can never be 100% because customers will never be fully happy.

Acknowledging your customers will go a long way – its also a confidence booster, because you may not think about them on the way up – but on the way down, there the only ones keeping you from being kicked down.

Stop Looking For Inspiration

Everywhere around you there is inspiration – if you could stop and just sit for a moment you would see it.  And the best part about this inspiration is it follows no logic, no path, just need and flow.

Trees grow in patterns that are only needed, but not the same every time.

The wind has no pattern, no particular movement of any kind, it flows.

Inspiration is there – I once heard a great designer talk about how he got his inspiration from a falling leaf and that it follows no pattern in the way it gracefully falls. 

Stop looking and start seeing the inspiration around you – its the most pure and authentic – and it never ever gets old.

You Aren’t – So Just Be

Everyone, everywhere wants to be someone they aren’t.  You aren’t – stop and learn from others, take what they have made and make it your own.  Stop imitating, stop copying and start doing.

The sooner you do the sooner you will get to who you are – but understand that right now, right here you are who you are and nothing will change that.

So go on and copy or just be and live in your realm, live in your reality, and watch what happens, life changes, everything changes because the minute you ride on your own boat the sooner you can go.

Stop riding everyone else’s boat, its only going to take you where they are, not where you need to be.

Depression, Not!

It seems that we are always in a depression.  Can you remember the last time you talked to someone and they told you we are in the best time and there is no depression?  Even in the heydays of housing market we were in a depression.

Reality is everything is perfect the way it is.  You can listen to everyone and wait for the tomorrow that never comes or you can bend the reality to your needs and achieve whatever it is you want.

Reality is the power is in your control, its what you choose to do with it.  But rarely does anyone really act on those and its sad – that is depressing. 

To have done something and failed is better than to have done nothing at all – if anything at least your mind will be at ease that you tried and gained.