This morning I received an email from a life long friend, Ed Boudreau, now known by our tribe as "The Zen Master." Met him in high school, casually kept up with him as he went off to BU, Suffolk and later, Stanford, as he expanded his career at John Hancock. When he became Chairman and CEO of the investment funds side of the business, I reconnected, and we did a number of consulting projects together. Proves the importance of Sales Basic #1: "It's good to keep connections...forever."
Reinforcing that sales adage of keeping connections, it's very important that just keeping connections is not enough in today's fast moving and rapidly changing world of sales.
What is absolutely critical to successful selling is...
- nurturing those connections through your comments and providing interesting, individualized content.
- sharing those connections, with their permission, with other trusted connections that you have.
- engaging those connections in solutions by asking their ideas and advice.
For most of my business life, I've made sure that I worked hard to keep those connections digitally through my CRM evolutions from ACT to SFDC and now to Hubspot, and in my use of social platforms from Plaxo to Linked In and Facebook and now to a variety of multiple, highly integrated solutions. But, each day, every day, multiple times a day, I am entertained, solaced and educated by the fact that I am part of a highly engaged email chain among a tribe of my high school buddies quarterbacked by Zen Master Boudreau and Bill Grannon, our class president and star football captain, married to Kathy, our head cheerleader. How cool is that...after all of these years?
- Sometimes, I just don't have enough time to read these personal comments on life, families, and, of course politics. Certainly regarding politics, it's been a very busy and heated email season of opinions, cartoons and overt worry about where we're going
- Sometimes, I make sure that I slow down just enough and read through some of the comments more carefully and express my own two cents.
- ...and sometimes, like this morning, I stop and think about how comments made by my decade-long friends might apply to my strategy and sales and marketing consulting work work with our customers.
Therefore, I was struck by the Zen Master's comments on happiness and contentment this morning, and I immediately internalized this to think about what I needed to do during the balance of June, the last month in the most critical quarter in the year, to turn around or close more quickly a number of deals that I have in the pipeline.
Read the following once, read it a couple of times while you move the words of "making you happy" to "making your prospect, or your customer happy". After all, Sales Basics #2, #3 & #4, state that you should...
- never be selling products, only solutions
- never be selling benefits, only highly differentiated value
- never be selling relationships, only trust and true happiness
The Zen Master writes...
Have you ever heard someone say... "you don't make me happy"?
Happiness is really a self actualization experience. You control that feeling, someone else does not " make you happy. Your happiness is in your control.
Contentment too is something that we must find within ourselves. Like Frazz tells his girl friend this morning, you may find contentment best when you wish for something you know is coming. The stress in our life often comes because we seem always unsatisfied with the state of our life.
One could argue, however, that the lack of contentment is arguably the prime variable to the achievement of the things that have improved our world
Early explorers were not content with life in the old world and sought a new life in America. Folks like Henry Ford and Eli Whitney were not content with how things were made and tried to find new ways to do it. Almost all inventions come about because folks were not content with the status quo and sought solutions to problems or to find better ways.
Be content knowing life will always be a challenge, be happy knowing you have a chance everyday to seek contentment!
Having thought about all of this happiness and contentment stuff offered up today by the Zen Master, since there is still an entire month of hard sales and marketing work in front of us, just remember Sales Basic #5
...have a Superb Sales Day!
IT's time to TUNE UP YOUR OWN BUSINESS & MARKETING PLANS
Also, since you're now deep into Q2, you just may want to put aside a day during the next two weeks to refine and update your 2016 Business Plan, or at least your 2016 Sales and Marketing Plans. To get you started, click here and receive a downloaded copy of our Writing the Winning Business Plan, 2016 edition.
Another opportunity for preparing now for Q4 is to do the same type of "relook" at the basics of your 2016 Marketing Plan after reviewing our ebook on "How to Write a Marketing Plan". This consists of mostly solid basics and tactical structure stuff...which just might be the perfect thing to do right now before you dive too deeply into Q3.
...and, of course, if you just want to talk through some of where you are right now and use us as a confidential sounding board...or do a short Whiteboarding Session with any of us, just email me, and we will work out a convenient schedule.
Derby Management...for 25 years
-Sales & Marketing Productivity Experts
-Business & Strategy Planning Specialists
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Box 171322, Boston, MA 02117
Jack's Cell: 617-504-4222