calehawley

Posts Tagged ‘relationships’

Getting to Know You

In Personal Development on April 7, 2017 at 4:24 pm

Self-awareness seems to be somewhat of a hot topic these days. Whether or not someone directly comes out and calls it self-awareness, I have heard it no less than a dozen times in the last two weeks.

To be honest, I never really thought much about it until recently. I know there are certain things that I am good at, people who I gravitate towards, and tasks that I enjoy more so than others. When you look at the big picture, identifying why I am good at these certain skills, or why I hang with the people who I do, and why I enjoy certain tasks really does come down to my personality type.

How does one become self-aware? The simple answer: pay attention to yourself. The difficult answer (which really isn’t that difficult) survey yourself. Make notes. Understand the “why.”

Years ago I worked for the drug manufacturer Pfizer. We participated in the DISCovering Yourself and Others personality inventory. I’m sure it is called something different, but you can Google DISC personality and find a number of resources. In fact, you can even take a free survey online that will give you a brief synopsis of your personality tendencies. The synopsis is shockingly identical to the results that I saw during my Pfizer days. I encourage you to do the same, but don’t focus on your perceived weaknesses revealed in the survey. Instead, focus on the positive and improve on that. Go with your instinct.

As for me and my self-awareness, I have and I guess will always be the type of person that likes to get things done and will typically do them myself. I like fast paced activities and high energy, positive people. It is no wonder then that my DISC profile is “DI,” and specifically I identify as a “persuader” and an “implementer.” Makes sense if you know anything about my personal and professional background.

Let me know what you DISCover about yourself.

Full Disclosure–There are many other personality inventories and they all say pretty much the same thing about you. I am in no way affiliated with DISC or any of its entities, and I’m sure that the others are great. I just happen to have experience with DISC.

The Long Road Wisdom

In Personal Development, relationships, Sales on July 27, 2016 at 5:09 pm

The relationship sell. Sales is one of the most simple things on the planet when it is stripped down to the basic principles. You have a product. You find buyers. The buyer makes a purchase. Done.

Of course, it is never this simple in real life. When it is, you are typically selling commodities. If you are selling something other than commodities, you should be in the business of relationships.

Relationships take time. It is a long road. You have to continue to drive that road until you reach your destination. The trick to the destination is that you are rarely there to stay. You have to continue to drive that road and take your relationship to new destinations if you want it to survive because there are others out there driving that road as well. Some get there faster than you. They are just more skilled, not necessarily better than you.

Be warned though, if you try to rush the relationship just to make a sale; you could end up taking a turn for the worst and crash and burn. Once this happens, you rarely get to travel that particular road again.

The Lumineers’ song “Flowers In Your Hair provided the inspiration for this post. The lyrics are: “Cause it’s a long road to wisdom, but it’s a short one to being ignored.” I find these lyrics very profound.

So please be wise and take the long road to relationship building.

Focus vs. Fluff

In Communication, Personal Development, Sales on July 19, 2016 at 5:05 pm

One of my greatest strengths is also a tremendous weakness. 

Focus. 

When I am truly engaged and working, I can drown out almost anything. I have the ability to cut to the chase immediately and ensure that business is handled in a timely manner. I get things done.

Though sometimes I am so focused that I forget to address the fluff (my word for relationship building words and phrases). Don’t get me wrong, I think fluff is important, I’m just very task driven. 

Some get lost in the fluff. In sales, I call these individuals “professional visitors”. They have the best relationships, but the business never really extends beyond the surface encounters of the visit.

There is a fine balance and when you find that balance you start to reach more of your sales goals. Have you ever witnessed that sales person that can go into an account and appear to be just visiting but also able to get the pitch and the close in without anyone really noticing? They’ve got the balance and people love them. That’s why they get the business. 

Start paying attention to your sales call tendencies and figure out what you are. It is important to be yourself, but if you can tweak things just a bit, you and I can both achieve balance.

Fluff up your focus a bit, or focus up your fluff. 

Me, Myself, and I

In Personal Development, Sales on July 12, 2016 at 8:36 am

It is easy to try to be what society wants you to be. To talk the way they want you to. To act the way they want you to act. Sometimes it can be difficult to just be yourself. Truthfully though, most people can see right through this facade. I have read book after book, blog after blog, and watched countless videos to show me and teach me how I should look, act, write, etc. to be a “good salesman”. Want to know what works best for me? Being myself.

The next time you send a cold email, or a cold call, or try to connect with a prospect on social media. Be yourself!!!

Failure Casts A Long Shadow

In Image on December 13, 2011 at 10:39 am

I heard the title of this post on a podcast the other day. It was so profound. Before I give up the source of the quote, hear me out. The quote in full reads: “Failure casts a long shadow, but the minute you begin to fear that failure you’re done.”

We are trained to fear failure from an early age. Failures are foolish. Failures are different. Failures don’t get it. Failures don’t fit in. Isn’t that what it’s all about? Fitting in? If you really consider your fear of failing I’m willing to bet that it is not a fear of failure at all. It’s a fear of failing to fit in.

A Hall of Fame baseball player will fail at batting seventy percent of the time. Advertising fails at converting prospects into customers ninety-six percent of the time if not more. We tend to magnify our own failures more so than others do. And that magnification is what makes us freeze up and do nothing.

A bit of honesty from me: I still have a bit of the fear too. But I’m working on it. My challenge to you is the same one that I am involved in. Question your fears. What is your fear? Failing at what? What are the consequences of that failure? Instead of saying “failure is not an option” start saying “fear of failure is not an option”. Take that first step. They say (I love quotes from they, their credibility is impeccable) the first step is the hardest.

As for the source of the quote: my favorite comedian Jay Mohr; taken from his podcast Mohr Stories. Comedians are a different breed. I’m guessing they know a thing or two about the fear of failure. After all, they walk the last ten feet. That ten feet from backstage to the microphone and then bear their souls for the audience every night. What if they get heckled? What if they are not funny? They still walk the last ten feet and make it happen.

What are you afraid of? Failure? Or Failure to fit in?

Google+…Really, One More, Why?

In Interactive on November 17, 2011 at 4:28 pm

Well, I did it. I finally signed up for Google+. I’m told there are 40 million Google+ users. Where are they? No matter.

Why did I do it? Vanity is probably the best answer to that. Really it’s because I am in the middle of starting a new business and since Google controls the majority of search traffic in this world, I figured I could not afford to be there. So I signed up and created a personal page and a business page. If you are wondering whether you should join or not, here are some questions to ask yourself:

Do I have a business or a cause to promote?

Will I log in and use it?

Can I grow personally from being on there?

Really that is what it comes down to. I find it has the format of Facebook, seems to have a news feed layout and the ability to add photos, but is a lot like Twitter in the sense that the recommended people to follow are for the most part people you don’t know.

I’m sure that once I have downloaded the app and played around on it for a while that I will come around. As for now, the jury is still out.

What do you think? Are you on Google+?

IMAGINE Marketing Part 7 of 7–Events

In Events on February 11, 2011 at 6:00 pm

IT’S PARTY TIME!!! Events are one of the most enjoyable elements of the marketing mix. It is usually the most work too. And depending on the event, a great number of times it is the hardest to measure.

Plan. Loosen up and have some fun. Remain professional and follow-up.

Plan. Give yourself plenty of time to plan for your event. Bring in some outside perspective. Use what you like from other events. Make sure you think about every possible scenario and have a back-up plan if things don’t go as planned.

Loosen up and have fun. You are not going to please everyone, so loosen up a little and have a good time. If you do not allow yourself time to enjoy it, you will not want to do it again. Be yourself. Leet your guard down a little and get to know those attending your event as well as letting them get to know you. It is great for your image, it is interactive, and it is very generous (are you seeing a theme yet?). While you should have fun, remember professionalism trumps all. Have a problem with a vendor, customer, or co-worker? Now is not the time to address it. Do not do anything that you will regret either. If you have alcohol at your event, be smart. you do not want your event in the news for the wrong reasons.

Follow up. No question you will make contacts at your event. You will make these contacts on a personal level. Be sure to make a follow-up call and a thank you afterwards. Do not forget to thank those that came through in the clutch to help you out either. You could not have done it without them.

Got an event coming up? A ribbon cutting, open house, diner party, etc? Plan. Have fun. Follow up. Let me know about your successful events.

IMAGINE Marketing Part 5 of 7–Interactive

In Interactive on February 4, 2011 at 10:51 pm

I know, I know…blah blah blah social media blah blah blah. Another schmo telling you about the importance of social media.

Yes and no. While social media plays a part in interactive, it is not the sole platform for interaction. Just because you have a Facebook page or a Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc. does not mean revenue will fall out of the sky. If used properly though, it can improve your chances.

What do I mean when I say interactive? A simple exchange of ideas between customers and corporations. Social media can aid that conversation. But there are several other ways to interact with your customers. And by interact, it has to be a two-way communication. If it is only one-sided then you are just another “spammy commercial” interrupting my updates of what my friends are cooking for dinner, who needs help on Farmville, and photos of my friend’s friend’s cousin’s kids birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese’s.

What makes interaction work? Again, simply interacting without necessarily doing commerce. If you have a questions/ comments page on your website, respond in a timely manner. And not with corporate/ PR/ HR approved gobbledygook gibberish. Respond as a human being. Engage with others ar networking events (and by networking events, I mean anywhere you might see other people–and for crying out loud, please quit acting like you are networking and be yourself). Make yourself available to speak with customers when they ask for you by name or email you.

Now. If you are not sold on social media, feel free to skip ahead to the next paragraph. OK. They are gone. Since you are still here it is clear that you get it. Facebook, blogs, Twitter can all be effective when used the right way. So what is the right way? remember my post on image? It is going to vary from person to person. Update people on your industry or how you are helping the community. It can be as simple as posting your flavors of the day (FrazzleBerry Frozen Yogurt), updated designs and openings (http://www.facebook.com/nailsforgirlygirlz) events (http://www.facebook.com/lmfao) the options are endless. Some people follow only for exclusive offers. Again, it’s going to vary based on your product and your market.

Think about your interactions with the companies you shop with. You more than likely continue doing business with them based on these interactions, unless you are a bottom line lowest price only shopper. Learn from these interaction.

How are you interacting with your customers?

Regret

In Image on August 29, 2010 at 8:45 pm

Living with regret is a choice. Chances are, there is a large number of you living with regret. If not, you know someone who is. I was once asked by a high school football coch after a playoff run that left us one game shy of state if I had any regrets. I immediately answered “no.” Judging by the look on his face that that moment, I’m quite sure my answer shocked him. I simply chose to not have regret.

Dictionary.com gives this definition of “regret theory”: a theory that says people anticipate regret if they make a wrong choice, and take this anticipation into consideration when making decisions. Fear of regret can play a large role in dissuading or motivating someone to do something.

How do we get to the point of regret? A starting point is asking “what if”. Asking “what if” is fine as oong as you look at the positive and negative side of the equation. Too many people focus on the negative side of “what if” and decide to “not.” Fine if you are considering committing a crime, not so good if you are trying to make the world a better place. If they “not” they are not vulnerable, don’t fail, and as a result, cannot be ridiculed. Pretty easy, huh? Until regret sets in and you have to live with that feeling.

Then the “if onlys” start. You hear this all the time: if only I invented ‘xyz’. If only I finished school. If only I was thinner or made more money. If only I waited to have kids, get married, waited to buy a home, etc. etc. etc. You get the point.

Too often the “what ifs” turn into “if onlys” and then you have regret. Some regrets can be avoided by exploring the “what ifs” (see example of committing crime above), but the “if onlys” are the poison that turn into regret and a loss of confidence.

Instead of wasting time with regret, choose to live a life without regret. Sure you will stand out. People may think you’re crazy. People may not like you. People my ridicule you, and you will definitley fail at some point. But you will be happier for it, and your blessings will follow…if you choose to recognize them as such.

Guess what? you might even do something remarkable.

Image is Everything?

In Image on April 23, 2010 at 9:36 pm

Remember those old camera ads with a young Andre Agassi? The tagline was awesome…image is everything. The funny thing is, I have believed this for so long. This is something that I have thought a great deal about over the past few years. You hear people say things like “fake it until you make it.” Again, it comes back to image. When you have people trying to protray a certain image, you never quite know how to take someone, where you stand with that person, or if you can even trust them. The worst part of this is that when reallity does not match up with the “perceived image”, that opportunity is gone.

Today, while image and perception is still very important, image is nothing unless the image you portray is the image that is true to yourself. People are more skeptical than ever. If you want to build relationships fast, open up and let people know the real you. Some people may like it, others may not. But at least you know that they like the person you are, not the person you hope they think you are.