As I write this on a 14-degree sunny Saturday morning, I'm just in from snowblowing deep in the woods of Winhall (or Bondville) Vermont (pop.647). Known by the State of Vermont, the town of Winhall is-according to the Feds-also the village of Winhall in the town Bondville. Or maybe it's the other way around. Hard to figure.
Today, hopefully you're heads down and totally focused on completing the year ahead of plan. Whether you're in the profession of sales or you're an artist working on delivering the last of the Christmas ornaments, next week is the week when all of the marbles get measured. Yea, I know...the month doesn't end on the 20th, but for all practical purposes, it really does. Even if you're planning to work on the 24th and the 30th and 31st, you're going to be very lonely sitting at home talking to no one, so this is the last week to "Git-R-Done!"
As you're lining up calls, connections and closings today while keeping an anxious eye on the disappearing minutes on the clock, keep very focused on just three things:
Don't Overthink.Your work today and next week is all about your focus to close deals in five days from today!
You are not in the business of providing creative strategy or product development solutions for your prospective customer that will impact their business two or three years from now. You're the solution and business value provider whose company will provide the absolute best products and services that will improve your prospects' 2020 business results by increasing their revenue, their gross profit and their net income.
Be HumanWith a short countdown till launch of only five days, be human and project your own humanity of working 10 and 12 hours a day at this time of year to the person on the other side of the table-phone-text-email-videophone. They're just as stressed as you are and have equally stretched schedules of work, kids, teacher conferences, holiday parties and wicked travel. Yesterday, it took me two and a half hours just to drive from Logan to the Back Bay...and there were no accidents. Forget 128/95/495 travel at 7:00 AM or 5:00 PM, but also remember that that's the reality of what happens to your prospect every day. Be extremely sensitive to that type of reality and assess what it is that you could do personally that would reduce the stress, improve the time efficiency and impact the value that you and your products provide to your buying decision maker?
I'm running a two-day business planning session during the first week of January for 16 people. The real work is the technical stuff related to the prep, the interviews, and the facilitation of the meeting. I happily volunteered (and was immediately asked to do so) to take care of all of the logistics, hotel and travel reservations, food and everything else freeing up the senior team to focus on closing their year.
Buckle UpThis is crunch time; it's as simple as that!. This weekend and the next five days require 100 hours of work, waking up before the kids tomorrow and Sunday and getting in at 7:00 AM and not 8:30 all next week.
Do everything you already know how to do and make sure that you're physically and mentally on the top of your game because when it's over, it's over!
Now, get back to work, and have a great day today being remarkable!
How many times a day, do we use the word "Team"?
Almost every email I send to my board members, my students, our faculty and the senior managers in our companies, starts with "Team".
- Limited time to work. On average a "very good" salesperson works 57.5 hours a week, only slightly less than the 63.2 hours for a "very good" CEO...most of whom are what? Salespeople!
- Limited time to sleep. I guess that there is still a rule of thumb that the average adult needs eight hours, but there are those of us who have gotten by just fine, thank you, for decades on four or five, and last night on three.
- Limited time to live. 'Nuff said about that depressing note, since today I chose to "Be Happy!"
A beautiful happy day here in Boston having finally shrugged off the ugliness of a cold wet spring to now bask in the excitement of the startup capital of the world. Just a great day to be alive..."and sell some stuff"
Looks like it'll be a pretty good start to the weekend.
Must admit, I'm working from home today at the NH beach, where I just decided that I needed to do some field research so I've just relocated the office to the sand.
Definitely, a beach day, and, for me, a time to think, to read a book (on Social Media, of course) and begin the summer task of sorting through a rewrite of How to Write the Winning Business Plan and a total overhaul of its two accompanying ebooks on writing marketing and sales plans.
Nothing like blue sky, the sound of the ocean and the bliss of knowing that I, once again, successfully beat back the tentacles of yet another New England winta'.
I've had the privilege of knowing Marijo McCarthy for 30+ years, so I was very pleased when I received an email from her following last week's blog.
A gifted lawyer at the firm of Widett and McCarthy, she and I and another 20 plus small business entrepreneurs breathed new life into SBANE, "The Smaller Business Association of New England", (now, rebranded to The New England Business Association" ) back-in-the-day. Led by Julie Scofield, the powerful Executive Director of the association, SBANE was placed squarely on the map in New England as "THE" place to be for small business.
Not tech or specific market focused, but just "meat-and-potatoes" small businesses run by rock solid women and men who came together to share best practices and consistent networking...on steroids.
Back-in-the-day, SBANE was all about the basics of business networking, education in what it takes to run a small business successfully, and superb connections from trusted referrals.