Business

Don’t Ever Say Never:

You want to know why you are losing sales? It’s because you don’t think that deal is possible.  Heck, we all do it. We have that conversation, look over the details, crunch the numbers, fail time and time again and we decide that whatever it is, is just impossible to get.

The real issue, it’s that we don’t have realistic expectations of what it will take to accomplish that goal / task / ambition.  Plus, we try and push too fast in the relationship and instead of finding out their actual needs and how we can help, we just make the offer… which falls on deaf and/or angry ears.

Please, take a moment to read to this quick story because I promise it will help, even if not right now.

I just closed a deal with someone who has become a great friend over the past few years. His name is Bo Cordell and he is a freaking champion, you should get to know him.  Around three years ago he stopped by Tip Top and it was a great meeting.  He left with no business in hand, BUT he had started some key relationships with our company.  As time went on, I became the traffic manager with sole responsibility of bringing on new carriers and the needs of our company started changing.  Beyond that, we spent about a year and a half getting coffee once a month just to shoot the shit, talk shop, and get to know each other even better.

About a year ago he received a fantastic promotion, just another reason that shows how much of a #boss that he is, and he moved back to his home town.  Since then, we have had fairly regular calls, one of which further cemented our professional relationship.

After three years, we just closed a deal with his company. It never felt forced, it always felt natural, and the whole time we talked biz we grew our friendship.  I can’t wait to see how it continues to grow, especially as we are potentially starting another exciting adventure together with a few others. More details on that to come at a later date. 

Helpful Hints

How To Not Scare Away Potential Customers: Stop Proposing, And Start Dating

 I am literally blown away by how many calls I get and within the first five minutes… nay, the first five seconds, they are already asking for the commitment.

When you force the buying decision too early into the relationship there is a tension that is created because their isn’t enough trust on the buyers part to fully buy into what you are selling.  Selling takes time.  Its almost always something that takes more than one call. Regardless of what your selling though, before the potential customer can buy, they need to know you as much as they know about the product.

Please, for the love of all things good and holy, make sure that you build the relationship first before you even dream of asking for the close.  I know this may go against what some folks have been taught, but the better and deeper the relationship, the easier it is for the other person to say yes to your ask. The easier the yes, the more closes. The more closes, the more MONEY… capisce.  

Culture

How To Lead When You’re Not In Charge: Relationships Over Opportunity

One of the most impactful lessons that I learned in 2018 was to value relationships over opportunity every single time.  This may seem a little backwards at first, but when you start focusing on serving and helping others, opportunities begin to abound.  I am not implying that being driven and pushing forward towards opportunities is a bad thing.  The issue is that when we are pushing towards those opportunities and forcing our way forward, it often times sends out some negative signals.  Those negative signals, intended or not, start to drive a wedge between you, the person, and the desired opportunity.

What I have come to notice as I have actually put this into practice, is that when I take a step back and let things fall into place, opportunities that I had been striving for seem to happen on their own.  As I am waiting for opportunities to happen, I am honing my craft and making myself available to volunteer and help with other side projects that may pop up. In fact, it is these side projects that come our way that allow us to not only practice our skills, but it shows others that you can actually do more then what your job description says.

One last benefit that happens when we focus on relationships over opportunities, is that it lets people know that you are there for them.  If we instead come to others focused on what we can get from them, people will sense that and they stick you in the “do not ever talk to them again” category.  When we are in this category, it makes it even more difficult for us to have any influence on that individual and keeps us from growing.

Even though it may seem backwards at first, we need to focus on relationships over opportunities every…single…time. When we do this, it allows us the freedom to hone your skills and offer leadership without being seen as if you were overstepping your boundaries.

Who are the individuals you need to start putting the relationship first with again, and what are some specific things you can do right away to get that started?

 

Community

The Importance Of Solid Friendships

The best kind of friends are the ones that jump in and help without asking any questions. They are the ones that will do anything for you and they add so much richness to your life. These are the people you would help move mountains and recommend to anyone.  If we want to surround ourselves with these types of rich relationships, we need to start looking at interactions with others not as opportunities for ourselves, but instead as moments to help and serve others.

Recently I got to experience this more fully as I was put in charge of helping put on the pre-service event for my churches Christmas Eve service. As I got to the church with a car full of goodies and treats, I was still unsure how me and the other lady helping with the pre-service were going to pull it off. We were told there would be a few volunteers that would be able to help, but what we didn’t know was how much they would crush it. As me and the other lady unloaded our cars, a few volunteers, some of the guys I have become great friends with at church, showed up to help.

In an instant, tables were set, treats were out, cakes were cut, and everything was ready to roll as the first guests started to show up. Not only did these guys set up, but they manned the tables, greeted guests, and made it one epic start to a great service. They offered so much helpful insights and made this Christmas Eve experience something for everyone to remember. They were a giant help and I couldn’t have asked for more. In fact, I honestly asked for none of it but they went above and beyond with helping.

Knowing these guys for a couple years now, this was not out of the ordinary for them. They are constantly serving at the church and freely give their time to help those around them. I am honored to call them friends and they encourage me to be the best version of myself. They are the friends that I am glad are surrounding me for all seasons of life. These are the friends we all need in our life.

Do you have these friends in your life? Better yet, are you this type of friend for someone else?

Culture

The Year of ASK Part 3

I’m not sure about you, but if I had to choose between a toxic or healthy culture, I choose healthy everyday.  The real question is, if you find yourself in a place that breeds distrust, anxiety, and broken teams, how can you counteract that and fight against that toxic culture?  Today we are going to look at the third thing we need to do to start shaping and shifting the culture of where we find ourself.  If you missed the first post… just click here, and if you missed the second post… click here.

We are finally at the K in the year of ASK.  The K is by far the hardest yet most rewarding step in this whole process.  The K stands for Keep moving forward.  Keep pressing into those relationships we have been building by asking questions and commenting on what we are seeing.  When we ask those questions and focus on the relationship over the opportunity, it starts to shift and shape the culture.  When we comment on things we are seeing others do, those actions, if positive, get repeated or, if negative, stop happening.  

The K is difficult because we want to see instant results, but real culture shifting ideas and actions don’t always happen overnight.  Culture shifting ideas and actions take time.  We need to constantly be pressing into those relationships we are building because we don’t know what is going on in the other persons life.  We don’t know what story they are living and what is happening behind the curtain.

No matter a persons title, position, or circumstance, they have a story that needs to be heard, and the only way to do that is by living out the year or ASK.