Have you ever done a presentation to someone or a group and they were leaning forward, they indicated they had a need, it seemed like they were interested, they were shaking their head saying “Yes, Yes, Yes!”, this is the best thing I have ever seen and you felt it was the best presentation you had ever given and when it came time to make a decision, they said “I have to think about it” or they said “No!”
You almost fell back in shock and after it was over, you thought “What just happen? I’m so confused! I asked them the questions and answered them. I presented to them the features and the benefits, they seemed like they wanted it and then “No!”
You didn’t address the most important concern that every person has, “Fear of the Unknown or Change!” Most people fear the unknown or change more than anything else. How do you overcome this?
Have you ever gone to school before and on your first day you were nervous until you looked at a class schedule and you saw what classes you would be taking? It made you feel better because you knew what to expect.
When you are presenting to people you need to tell them what to expect when they become a client of yours. You must bring the general benefits and specific benefits to life for the potential client.
Example “Team Referral Network”
When you join Team Referral Network, this is what happens:
1. You will have opportunities to network which means you don’t have to do it alone. You have community of business professions (a tight knit
family) who has your back and they are looking out to help grow your business.
2. You will have others giving referrals to you which is like having a sales team promoting your business without having to hire one. You don’t have
the headaches and the expense of employees and money stays in your pocket.
3. You will learn become very effective at marketing yourself. You will have a chance to give a “One Minute Commercial” every week and a regularly
scheduled “Ten Minute Presentation” in front of your business family who supports you as you become a powerful communication expert becoming clear
on how to present your business and what you are looking for to anyone you meet.
I think you get the picture by now. If you give your potential clients a picture of what your service or joining you is going to be like, you reduce the fear of the unknown and it’s more likely they will become your client.
Shifting happens around us all the time, some subtle and some not so subtle. Can it be possible that if you change the way you look at business that business around you will change? I say it is, how about you? When was the last time you really stopped and looked around you, smelled the coffee so to speak? When was the last time you really noticed significant, life changing paradigm shifts that have happened both in life and in business?
Let’s take a look at the paradigm shift of bottled water. In the early 70’s people would take plastic bottles to springs and collect water from the spring for magical and mystical health cures, other than that American’s drank water from their faucet. Who would have ever thought that water would ever be sold in a store? Who in their right mind would pay for something that is FREE? In the 90’s bottled water became a thriving $3.4 million business. Fast forward to 2008 and water sales exceeded 30 billion bottles, who would have ever thought?
How about coffee? Wow, what a paradigm shift that was! Seriously who saw that coming? Teaching consumers to pay on avg $4 for coffee and for some people, that is daily. Look at how Keurig revolutionized coffee drinking. Your typical at home coffee brewer was approximately $40 and a pound of coffee, which could last a few weeks, was approximately $15 or less. Keurig educated consumers that traditional coffee makers took too long to brew and wasn’t really a fresh cup of coffee. But by using a Keurig you would have a “coffee house cup” every time for less than a coffee house and let’s face it, it is really awesome coffee!
Technology has had a lot of paradigm shifts over the past few decades. Mainframe computers in the 60s and 70s used to take up complete buildings. When the desk top computer came in the late 70s, computers could sit on top of a desk instead of an entire building. Now we carry them in our pockets and our hands and the information stored is 1000s of times greater and it is somewhere in space called the “cloud”. How about how technology has shifted in other industries and made significant impacts on their daily business? Let’s use for example the music and the movie business. Not so long ago, music lovers would go to a music store (do they even exist anymore?), and sort through their favorite group’s records/albums/tapes/cds to find something they thought they would like. A consumer would buy an entire album, at full price for just the 1 or 2 songs they liked. Today’s consumer doesn’t need to go anywhere but to their phone, tablet or computer, and they don’t even need to guess if they will like the music because they can sample it before they download it. A raving fan doesn’t even have to buy an entire album now, they can pick and chose the songs they want for .99c each and then download them instantaneously wherever they are. The movie industry has had similar shifts. Consumers went from going to a movie theater to see their favorite stars to renting or buying a vhs/dvd, to being able to download the movie and watch it on demand. Seriously, did you see that coming? Do I even need to get into how Facebook, Linked in and Twitter have revolutionized socialization and business marketing and in just a few short years?
I am by no means a historian, the dates listed in this article are approximate but the information drives home simple truths… doing the same thing in the present and in the future as we did in the past will get us the same results as we have always gotten. Some of you may be sitting there thinking, “that’s awesome, I’m happy with my results to date.” Others may be thinking, “something has got to change, I need more business, I need more money.” Then there are some of you out there who truly seek the paradigm shifts so you can take your business and your life to the next level. I invite you to look at you business differently, look at your industry differently and ask yourself, “How can I take my business and my life to the next level? What specifically can I do to create huge shifts and make a significant impact?” TEAM Referral Network has done exactly that. Not just for TEAM as a business but also as a TEAM for all our members. You have been hearing a lot about this new website, and how it is truly going to revolutionize the referral marketing industry. That is a pretty bold statement…or is it? Based on the few examples in this article, I suspect it is a pretty accurate projection. Times are a changing, as they always do. Companies and industries that look at ways to modernize and set the tone, path and pace for industries are truly pioneers. It is this foresight that makes significant life and business changing impact. Just like when that internet thing called www. something came out, it was weird, it was different and some resisted it as long as they could while others jumped in with both feet and rode it to millions.
I share this with you because shift really does happen …and how you view it today will impact all your tomorrows to come.
Stacey is passionate about helping sales professionals, small business owners and entrepreneurs learn that through effective goal setting, accountability, coaching and networking techniques they can increase productivity, accomplish tasks and goals that have seemed out of reach and fill their pipelines with qualified prospects, double their referrals and ultimately allow them to enjoy more income for less effort. – See more at: www.pivotpointadvantage.com
1. Do a Coaching Session with EVERY member in the chapter! During the session, lead-in with wanting to know more about THEM and THEIR business FIRST. Ask them lots of questions. People love to talk about themselves and will LOVE you for allowing them to go first and talk so much about themselves. That will go a long way with them in having you stick in their minds and wanting to look for referrals for you.
2. Make your “One Minute Commercial” very specific with the types of Power Partners/Strategic Alliances you are looking for and the specific target market you are looking for and change it up each week.
3. Tell more stories in your One Minute Commercial. People relate, empathize, and emotionally invest when hearing stories. And, it makes you more memorable in their minds when their out networking. Stories conjure up images…of people that can be referred to you.
4. Create a list of “Key Phrases” or “Buzzwords” for the members to listen-out for when they’re going through their day-to-day lives.
5. Spend a lot of time speaking and networking with your Power Partner members!
6. Look for Power Partners (other businesses that can help you and your business) to invite to the meetings and sell them on TEAM and your chapter and encourage them to join!!
7. Offer to serve in a Leadership Position. This often gives you more credibility, reputability, and visibility which ultimately equals increased respect and trust leading to more referrals.
8. Change-up your One Minute each and every week by highlighting a different area of your business each week, but really focus on the things you do the most and the most important things.
9. Encourage the members in your chapter that use your services/products to consistently use them and ask them to share their positive experiences, successful results, and stories with the chapter during the highlights/referrals segment of the meeting.
10. From time-to-time in your One Minute let the group know that you are qualified and are looking for “speaking opportunities” by getting in front of large groups (if, in fact, you are looking for this).
I have been in sales and marketing one way or another all my life. I have learned a lot of different styles and techniques; some great, some not so great. But one thing I have learned through my journey is that people do business with people they like and trust. That novel concept literally took only a second to learn, but an understanding that it is an ongoing journey to master. This concept is what I call the LTR Factor. The LTR Factor stands for Likeability + Trustabilty + Reliability = Referrability. Seems simple enough, right? However, this is a concept that few have mastered in order to most effectively leverage resources and convert their relationships to revenue.
Throughout my journey as a sales person, and as an entrepreneur, I learned very quickly how to leverage the LTR Factor. After honorably discharging from the military in my early 20’s, I went on to do what I was “programmed” and expected to do by society. I went back to school, got a great education and pursued a career in corporate America. While climbing the ladder to success in sales, it quickly became apparent to me that buyers could and would buy from whoever they chose. A buyer’s criteria was very simple; you had to have a competitive price, a quality product, be able to make their delivery date and, most importantly, they had to like and trust you. Simple, right? Wrong, so few sales people truly got this concept. Most sales people led with price, or fabricated the truth just a little to get that order. I stayed true to honoring the LTR Factor and by following this simple practice I quickly found myself making a very healthy six figure income in my early 20’s. Suddenly, the industry I was in suffered extremely and deep cuts were made, including my job. I had become a casualty of 9/11. Unemployed and in shock, I had been totally blindsided and never saw it coming.
A dear friend introduced me to business networking. Through the course of networking I was introduced to a business owner who was looking to shift his business and make some changes. Eventually we became business partners. Through strategic networking and building solid and mutually beneficial relationships, we took our business from $197,000 per year and $200,000 in debt to $1.2 million per year and lowered our debt to $187,000. This took 3 ½ years. Not bad, right? All of this was done by simply utilizing the principles of the LTR Factor.
Since being bitten by the entrepreneurial bug, I have utilized this concept to grow and develop two other businesses. Guess what? It worked again… and again! The second time I launched a business using the LTR Factor, and the “Secrets” that I am going to share with you, I started earning $20,000 to $30,000 per month within 3 ½ months. A few years ago was the launch of my sales and leadership training company, Pivot Point Advantage. First year sales, and in a down economy I might add, generated a nice six figure income; 100% from my networking efforts.
Dale Carnegie said it best, “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” I love this quote. I believe that if you choose to live by these words and invest the time in developing and applying the right tools and planning, becoming a Master Networker will be inevitable.
As in anything, there are various levels to networking. Regardless if you are a beginner at networking, or if you have been networking for quite some time, you are just a few minor adjustments away from a path which leads you to success.
In this book I am going to share with you a failsafe plan. No tricks, no gimmicks, just tried and true methods that work. Yes, that’s right, actually WORK. You see, that is the second part of the word, netWORKing. It’s not netSITTING, netCHATING, netEATING, netGOSSIPING, netVISITING, netSOCIALIZING, netVOMMITING or netSELLING for that matter. It is netWORKING.
Networking is an art; a skill that gives you so much more leverage and advantage over your competition. If done properly, networking can set you apart from everyone else. The caveat being, IF DONE PROPERLY.
This is where so many fail. People do not understand that there is a right way and a wrong way to network. People fail to understand the networking disconnect. For most, they consider “hunting” as successful networking. That is the furthest from reality.
The Networking Disconnect
I believe in order to understand how to make something work, I need to understand what doesn’t work about it. I took some time to dissect networking and networkers. One thing that became glaring obvious to me, was a significant amount of people who attended networking events, showed up to sell not netWORK or netCONNECT. So, if you have a room full of people, wanting and needing to sell their product, service or solution in a room where nobody has a need, want or desire to buy; you will find a huge disconnect. A room full of sellers and zero buyers.
The next disconnect I discovered is what I have labeled as the Law of PCH. Like any law, it can be broken but there are always consequences attached if you do. The law of PCH consists of three important components (P = Plant the seed, C = Cultivate the Relationship, H = Harvest the Benefits). The problem with today’s society is we have been trained to expect instant gratification, thanks in a great part to technology. Between emails, the internet, voicemail, texting and Smartphone applications we are used to getting what we want in just a few seconds. Well, relationships don’t work that way. They take time, cultivation, significant nurturing. Depending on your profession and a person’s center of influence will impact the amount of time you need to invest in building the LTR factor. Some relationships may only take a few weeks to invoke trust, others may take a few years. If the return is possible, then the investment is worthwhile.
I would like to leave you with a networking exercise. I want you to attend a few networking meeting over the course of the next couple weeks. Find a couple groups that you enjoy and join them. Show up with the intent and desire to add value to people and their businesses. Make a point to be present, really invest on adding value. Spend time after meetings getting to know key individuals that share your same target market but don’t compete with you. Invest in getting to know them, their business, their needs, wants and desires. Be sure to share the same information about you and your business. When you are comfortable and are confident of the person’s LTR factor with you, start connecting them to people that can help grow their business. Really edify them, open doors and help them. Do not show up with the intent to sell, show up with the intent to serve. You will be greatly surprised at your increased ROI, just be adding this one simple step to your networking efforts. If you are interested in more information regarding growing your business through networking, or sales mastery and influence please stop by our website at www.themasternetworker.com. Look forward to connecting with you soon.
It’s The Not Knowing That Hurts Salespeople, Entrepreneurs and Small Business Owners
I don’t know what I don’t know. All I can say is ouch! You hear so many small business owners, sales people and entrepreneurs talk about how much their PHD cost them. That is the PHD from the school of hard knocks. I jokingly tell people that I got my PHD from UCBSHK (University of California Business School of Hard Knocks). My PHD roughly cost me approximately $2.8 million. I think I got off pretty cheap, trust me I have heard much worse and count my blessings daily. As you may know, in my story it turned out to be the biggest blessing in disguise of my entire life and I literally tripped into my passion. But that is for a different day, and honestly it didn’t make the sting any less.
I like to look back on events and reflect what learnings certain situations created for me, and I would have to say that my biggest ones fell under the umbrella of I didn’t know what I didn’t know. So, I would like to share them with you, as they have helped me immensely to build several successful business since.
1. I hope this is a powerful visualization for you. See the biggest injustice we can ever do to ourselves and tell ourselves, “Oh, I already know that” or “that was a great reminder” I am going to get really real right now and pretty blunt. If you already knew it then why aren’t you doing it? If it was a great reminder then why isn’t it in your current routine? Bottom line is this, yes you heard it before but you weren’t ready to take action yet. Or better yet, you are at a different stage in your business now to hear it differently, so that you can take the old learning and apply it differently and take you, your business, your life and your bank account to the next level. Corporate America invested over $300,000 on my development, to make me a better sales person, a better manager, a better leader, a better planner, a better visionary and a better communicator. When I became an entrepreneur and a business owner, I would go to seminars, I would hear speakers and I would sit there, “OMG, really this is so trivial. Can’t this person offer me something I don’t already know?” How horrible was that for me? How many opportunities did I miss? I can tell you, I have learned and embraced this lesson whole heartedly. No matter how elementary a learning is, I look for what it can teach me and how I can utilize it in my life and business.
2. There will always be roadblocks, barriers, forks in the road and land mines on your journey, and that is ok! Remember we don’t know what we don’t know, so occasionally we may step in something that doesn’t smell the greatest. These are always opportunities to learn, grow and make necessary adjustments to get to the next level. As opposed to waving the white flag and sticking your head in the sand and allowing things to get even worse.
3. Copyright, Royalty and Licensing Infringement. This happens frequently when people create memes for websites, social media or blogs. This is a huge no no. Make sure every photo you use is royalty, copyright and/or license free. The best way to do this is join a membership site that sells photo license free. Yes that means you have to pay for it. But that is much more inexpensive. Someone I am very close to is going through this right now and she is very scared. She innocently took a picture off the internet that complimented her blog post. 9 months later she got a wonderful letter from “Getty” demanding she remove their picture immediately or pay heavy restitution. She took the picture off her blog in seconds of receiving this letter. Several months later, she received an email from a Getty attorney, advising her that she has to pay Getty Foundation $1500 in restitution for copy right infringement or risk being taken to court and suffer a higher penalty. All because she innocently copied and pasted a picture. This is a perfect example of not knowing what you don’t know. For as little as $99 a year she could have avoided this unfortunate problem.
4. Know who you are aligning with at all times. Regardless if it is a subcontractor that you are hiring or a referral partner that you are connecting with a valuable relationship in your data base. This is where we are so quick to just jump in to make a connection, or solve a problem or a void. Bottom line is anyone can talk the talk and with today’s technology anyone can make themselves look like all that and a bag of chips. If you are hiring a subcontractor for services make sure you do your due diligence in checking them out. Don’t just look online. With today’s technology it is really easy to create your own kudos. Make sure you ask for references and check them out.
I have a quick story for you. I know someone that invested a little over $15,000 with a social media expert to take her business to the next level. This expert promised phones ringing off the hook and an exponential windfall of new clients, etc… you get the idea. Well this prospect took it all for lock, stock and barrel. She took it all for face value, even took all this experts testimonials from the expert themselves and never checked out one raving client. Months of this campaign went by and not one phone call, not one prospect and not one new client. When this business owner started questioning the social media expert, she was told it takes time, it will happen. Then more months went by and more questioning and finally the social media expert showed her report after report of tens and hundreds of thousands of “click throughs” and started blaming her client that she wasn’t converting leads and that wasn’t the fault of the social media campaign. Well that would have been fine if there were every any phone calls to “not convert, but sadly this was not the case. She started doing due diligence, yes after the fact, after she was out $15,000. She started asking people for recommendations to social media experts and hired them to tell her what was wrong. Well her platform was developed on 10 year old technology so Google would never see her and all her campaigns were being “clicked through” in Russia and the Ukraine. Did I mention she was a local business with a very specific local target market?
This is a very painful lesson of not knowing what you don’t know. Do yourself a favor, when you are bring other people into your business, whether it is a vendor, a partner, or a referral partner do you due diligence. Get to know them, like them and trust them and by all means check them out.
5. Understanding that people don’t get us. Entrepreneurs, Sales People and Small Business Owners are a different breed. Let’s face it, being an entrepreneur, sales person or small business owner is hard. Truth be told, if it was easy everybody would do it because the upside is phenomenal. But in reality is it is hard mentally, physically and emotionally. At times, fear, doubt anxiety and the feeling of being all alone can easily set in, leaving us to think, “what were we thinking” or “maybe I should just give up or get a job.” Our closest support systems, our family and friends, just don’t understand, unless of course they are an entrepreneur, sales person or small business owner themselves. In their eyes, they don’t understand the hours we work, why we can’t just up and leave at a moment’s notice (while we are in ramp up mode) and worse yet we think we are constantly risking humiliation and embarrassment of failure. It’s important to remember, if they don’t have the entrepreneurial spirit, if they believe getting a pay check; which there is nothing wrong with because that is a better suited environment for non-risk takers, they have a harder time understanding why you are doing what you are doing. Remember their story is their story and that is just perfect for them, live your own story and live it full out.
6. It’s ok to say, “I don’t know.” This is such an imprinted behavior from childhood. Most people go back to how it felt in class to not know an answer. Or when they got in trouble and their parents asked, “why did you do this?” and you sheepishly answered, “I don’t know.” Things got pretty heated after that and believe it or not, that imprinted on you and you carried it into your adult life and your professional life. In most cases, when an entrepreneur, small business owner or sales person doesn’t know the answer, they will talk in circles to make it sound like they do and say a whole lot of nothing. Or worse yet, it is an answer they are seeking for themselves and will waste endless hours searching to no avail and will be far too stubborn to take the next obvious step. By now I am sure you are laughing or at least smirking and snickering, because you have either seen this done or have done it yourself in the past. It’s ok to say you don’t know. This is an embedded fear that is easily shifted. It’s ok to let the person you are talking with know that you will have to find out and get back to them. Trust me when I tell you, this will earn you so much respect. The person will see you as an even greater professional than they had already. Since we are on the subject, let’s discuss the next fear this could create. If you venture off seeking the answer and whether for you or someone else and you can’t find it. It is really ok to ask for help. So many attach pride and ego to reaching out to someone else for help. Trust me, it is ok and most will graciously help you. By asking someone else for information or help it will get you your much need answers quicker, build and cultivate an even stronger bond and relationship and allow you to remove pride and ego and be a lot more authentic which ultimate makes it easier for people to connect and relate to you. How awesome is that.
7. I am going to make a very bold statement that applies to you don’t know what you don’t know. There is NO self-made millionaire. There I said albeit, very boldly too I might add. No matter what your venture is and no matter how short or long it has taken you to get there. It is very important to always remember you were not alone. You had loved ones, friends and family who supported you as best they could, in their own way, continually throughout your journey. You had trainers, mentors and in some cases advisors and coaches by your side almost every step. Some of you had employees or coworkers. Some of you suppliers and subcontractors. And in other cases some of you had factories and other companies supporting you behind the scenes. No matter what you did, you were never alone. Because small business owners, entrepreneurs and sales people rely very heavily on word of mouth marketing, they achieved levels of success due to relationships, introductions, referrals and collaborating, masterminding and connections. No matter what the self-proclaimed self-made millionaire thinks, they would have never gotten to where they were without their customers hence, they did not do it alone. So, no matter how alone you may feel at any given time. Every step of the way, you never were.
8. Do what you do best and hire the rest. Align yourself with a strong professional team. Very few of us went to law school, or studied to be an accountant, or passed the Bar or CPA exam, or became a QuickBooks pro advisor, unless of course you did and I know there are a few of you who are listening that have and now have different careers. These are areas that you truly don’t know what you don’t know and you really need to know.
If you are entering into a partnership or if there could be levels of liability in your product service or solutions you want to take advantage of the protections that are afforded to you if you set yourself up right from the get go. Or what about having the advantage of leveraging the tax laws to the fullest extent, or understanding what pitfalls lie ahead. Having the luxury of understanding the benefits of key man insurance and how you can protect yourself just in case. Having your books set up right, so that you can always forecast money coming and money going out. At all times you can navigate your business wisely. These are only a mention of a few areas. But because you don’t know what you don’t in these areas and professionals do, you want to make sure you have a strong attorney, CPA, bookkeeper and tax preparer on your side or at the very minimum at least consulted with them for advice so you can make changes to certain aspects.
9. If you treat it like a business it will pay you like a business and if you treat it like a hobby it will cost you like a hobby. Do you have a business plan, I mean a real plan that outlines the problems your business is going to solve and how, the solutions and benefits of your product service and solutions, industry and market analysis, analysis of the competition and your product, service or solutions sustainable advantage, very specific target markets and your marketing and sales strategy, does it outline the who’s who of the business (the executive team and what they bring to the table), financial projections and projected income forecasts, and even in some cases an exit strategy. Some of you may be saying, “um this doesn’t apply to me, I’m a sales rep in another business.” Guess what, if you want to experience a level of success, you will want a plan at some level. Maybe a smaller scaled version, but a still a plan. How can you possibly take action on something that is in your head, something that you have no accountability, no vision towards? Just a ready, shoot, aim approach; which if you were wandering rarely works.
Separate accounts, do not comingle funds. This is a business, run it as such. Have separate bank account for your business and personal. Pay yourself based on your performance and if you want to really stretch yourself, pay yourself before you pay your bills. It will make you work even harder to produce even more so that your bills will get paid too.
10. This was probably my biggest epiphany on my journey towards success. You have heard me say time and time again, what you feed grows and what you starve dies. There came a time that I realized that every time I went to a seminar, training, or a workshop and every time a hired a coach, the money I invested came back to me tenfold. I mean it was that crazy. I committed to $1000 training, I went, I learned, I applied the knowledge that was given to me (even if I had heard it before and it was a good reminder) and bam next thing I know my business grew by $5000-$10,000 more. So I would do it again, yes even in the beginning when I didn’t have the money. We are entrepreneurs, sales people, small business owners our most reliable muscle should be the one between our ears, and I can promise you I am not talking about your mouth. I am referring to your brain, and it really should be flexed and exercised more than it is. If you have convinced yourself you don’t have the money then you have done you, your family, your bank account and your business a huge injustice. Where there is a will there is always a way. I will tell you I now invest 10s of thousands of dollars every year on my development because I know what it will give me back in return. I get so excited when I write the check for training because I know what it is going to make me. If I could leave you with one huge word of advice, do your due diligence. Make sure you aren’t taking advice from someone who is financially challenged themselves, because let’s get honest here. All you will learn is how to stay broke and do what probably doesn’t work. Make sure they are a true expert in their field and not self-proclaimed. I have been coaching for quite some time, and have over 10 credentials and hundreds of successful happy clients and testimonials who would talk to anyone about working with me. I don’t tell you this to impress you I tell you this to impress upon you, make sure you know who your advice is coming from.
It can and sometimes will happen…your chapter President, at the last minute,
relays to the other chapter leaders that he/she is not able to make it to the
meeting. In these instances, the chapter Vice President is responsible for
conducting the meeting and should be prepared by having all the necessary
supplies, materials, paperwork, etc. But, you will be without the President’s Box,
which contains items that the Vice President may not have readily available to
the run the meeting. So, I recommend to all VPs and Treasurers to construct a
Vice President’s Kit” or “Meeting Kit”.
The VP should attend every meeting with their manual, that was given to you
at TEAM Leaders training, and the TEAM Weekly email that is sent from the
Founder, Kelli Holmes. Included in the TEAM Leader’s manual are most of the
worksheets needed for a meeting, e.g., the Meeting Format, Members Creed,
and the Featured Speaker’s package. You may want to have in a “Kit” those
forms and the following items; 1) Applications, 2) Referral Cards, 3) Copy of the
Speaker Line-Up, and, 4) New Member Introduction forms. Keep in mind that
every member should come to each meeting prepared with their Networking
Kits with plenty of Referral Cards inside, as well as plenty of their personal
business cards since you may be without the Business Card/Referral Card
Man, do we HOPE we’re timely in passing this content onto to you.
Greg Savage, founder of Firebrand (an Aquent brand down under) posted this no-holds-barred post about the importance of showing up on time. We thought it was too good not to share.
Greg, we should mention, has founded four incredibly successful staffing businesses and is a highly-sought after international keynote speaker.
This post may offend some readers. But only because it’s going to cut close to the bone for many.
And I don’t care if I sound old-fashioned, because actually it’s nothing to do with ‘fashion’ or ‘generation’. It’s got everything to do with basic good manners and respect for other people.
So here goes… How did it get to be “OK” for people to be late for everything?
Because as far as I am concerned, it’s not OK.
In recent years it seems that a meeting set to start at 9 am, for some people means in the general vicinity of any time which starts with the numeral ‘9’. Like 9.30 for example.
People drift in at 9.10 or 9.20, or even later. And they smile warmly at the waiting group, as they unwrap their bacon sandwich, apparently totally unconcerned that others have been there since five to nine, prepared and ready to start.
10 people kept waiting in a meeting for 20 minutes, while some selfish pratt who idles his way via the coffee shop, is actually 20 minutes times 10, which is 200 minutes wasted – while you keep us waiting because you did not catch the earlier bus. That is over 3 hours wasted. By you! How much has that cost the business? Shall I send you an invoice?
And an arrangement to meet someone for a business meeting at a coffee shop at 3 pm, more often than not means at 3.10 you get a text saying ‘I am five minutes away’ which inevitably means 10 minutes, and so you wait for 15 or 20 minutes, kicking your heels in frustration.
And often these ‘latecomers’ are people who have requested the meeting in the first place, are asking for your help, or are selling something. Fat chance, mate!
And it’s not only business.
Why do people, invited for a dinner party at 7.30, think its cool to arrive at 8.30? It’s rude. It’s inconsiderate. And it’s selfish, as I witnessed in a coffee shop near my home one weekend. Three “ladies who lunch” (a species not confined to, but heavily represented on, the lower North Shore of Sydney) were chatting loudly at the table next to me. One inquired what time the ‘drinks do’ was that night. The reply for all the world to hear was ‘Oh 7.30, but we won’t get there till 9 because by then it will have warmed up and all the interesting people will have arrived’. Nice. Imagine if everyone took that view. Cocktail parties would start at 3 am eventually.
Or a dinner at a restaurant where I was meeting two other couples. My wife was away, so I was flying solo. I arrived at two minutes to eight for an eight o’clock booking. At 8.20, I was into my second glass of Pinot and at half-past I got a text saying ‘on the way’. We finally were all seated at 8.45. There were not even attempted excuses from either of the two couples, who seemed oblivious to the fact I might actually have got there at the agreed time. Meanwhile I had put a huge dent in the bottle of Pinot, and was ready to go home.
And it is not that we lead ‘busy lives’. That’s a given, we all do, and it’s a cop out to use that as an excuse. It’s simply that some people no longer even pretend that they think your time is as important as theirs. And technology makes it worse. It seems texting or emailing that you are late somehow means you are no longer late.
You are rude. And inconsiderate.
And I act on it, too. My dentist kept me waiting 50 minutes not long ago. She has done it for years and years. But enough! I walked out, past a literally open-mouthed receptionist who had never seen a patient act on their frustration, only to get a frantic call from the dentist herself as I got into my car.
Sure she was “busy”, another patient took longer than she expected, blah blah.
But hold on, I am busy too! I would not keep her waiting 45 minutes if she came to see me as a candidate. And yet I am HER customer. I told her I have been coming to you for 15 years but don’t take me for granted. See fewer patients in a day if you have to, but see me on time or close to it. She has never kept me waiting again.
Me? Am I ever late? Sure, sometimes. That’s inevitable even with the best intentions. But I never plan to be late. I never ‘let time slide’ because my stuff is more important than yours.
I am not talking about the odd occasion of lateness. I am talking about people who are routinely late. In fact, never on time. You know who I am talking about!
And certainly I consider serial lateness a character flaw which I take into account when working out who to promote, who to hire and who to count amongst my real friends.
It’s that important.
When things in life seem like too much to handle… when 24 hours in a day are not enough… remember this story about “the mayonnaise jar and the beer”.
A professor stood before his philosophy class and, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar. He proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.
The professor then took a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students, again, if the jar was full. They agreed it was.
The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous “YES”!
The professor then produced two cans of beer from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.
“Now”, said the professor, as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.
“The golf balls are the important things – your family, your children, your health, your friends, your passions – things, that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.
The pebbles are the other things that matter – your job, your house, your car.
The sand is everything else – the small stuff.
If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “there’s no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you’ll never have room for the things that are important to you.
Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.
Play with your children. Take your partner out to dinner. Make time for your medical check ups. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house, make the next sale, and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first, the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”
One of the students raised her hand and asked what the beer represented.
The professor smiled. “I’m glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of beers.”
Here’s to you! Make it a great life.