Saturday, October 31, 2009

Sharpen Your Axe

Once upon a time, there was a very strong woodcutter. He asked for a job from a timber merchant,and he got it. The pay was really good and so were the work conditions. For that reason the woodcutter was determined to do his best.

His boss gave him an axe and showed him the area where he was supposed to work.

The first day, the woodcutter brought down 18 trees. The Boss was very much impressed and said,"Congratulations keep it up!"
Very motivated by the words of the boss, the woodcutter tried harder the next day, but he only could bring down 15 trees.
The third day he tried even harder, but he only could bring down 10 trees. Day after day he was bringing down less and less trees.
"I must be losing my strength", the woodcutter thought to himself.
He went to the boss and apologized, saying that he could not understand what was going on.
"When was the last time you sharpened your Axe?" the boss asked.
"Sharpen? I had no time to sharpen my Axe. I have been very busy trying to cut trees.

The moral of the story:

Our lives are like that. We sometimes get so busy that we don't take time to sharpen the axe. In today's world, it seems that everyone is busier than ever, but less happy than ever. Why is that? Could it be that we have forgotten how to stay sharp?

There is nothing wrong with activity and hard work. But we should not get so busy that we neglect the truly important things in life, like our personal life, taking time to care for others, taking time to read,further developing and increasing our knowledge etc.

We all need time to relax, to think and meditate, to learn and grow. If we don't take time to sharpen the axe, we will become dull and lose our effectiveness.

So start from today, think about the ways by which you could do your job more effectively and add a lot of value to it.

Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.

Sharpening marketing skills to build competitive edge is essential to winning greater share of customers’ purchasing power in the months and years to come. In that context, Marketing has never been so important or under so much pressure to deliver growth, yet so ill-prepared to do so. In addition to recession, a raft of other challenges like globalisation, media fragmentation and the rise of digital media are combining with internal challenges like cost-cutting, organisational turmoil and loss of corporate memory to make marketing harder than ever.

Marketing capability development is a relatively young discipline yet it is a powerful one - helping an organisation sharpen up its operations and equipping it to excel at customer-centric marketing. It demands a practical approach to driving business growth that inspires tangible change, making marketers, and those around them who support marketing, better equipped so they can more effectively and more efficiently drive demand-led growth.

Unlike conventional training, marketing capability development tackles not just individual skills but the most important and weakest organisational marketing capabilities. By investing in marketing capability development, organisations can ensure that their marketing efforts are much more cost-effective, better leveraging skills and internal best practice and enhancing impact and performance externally.

Today, many world-class organisations are building marketing excellence strategically to better drive demand-led growth. For anyone with a rudimentary understanding of business, it is clearly not enough in these days of credit crunch and recession to look to spend your way out of trouble. Marketing capability development can make the difference between a performing and a failing organisation.

By focusing on sharpening marketing capabilities, companies can begin to build the competitive edge needed to deliver demand-led growth despite the challenging economic times in which we now live. Lets sharpen The AXE.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Formula For Multiplying Sales

As one studies the success patterns of top sales professionals from all types of industries and from all parts of the country, one can make an exciting discovery. I learned that for the 20% of the sales people who sell 80% of the goods and services in the Country, achievement or failure is controlled in large measure by their strong, overpowering will to succeed--an attitude.

The top sales producers in this country are driven to succeed, giving them a multiplying factor in generating consistent sales success. This achievement drive, attitude, or “personal motivation,” is the primary force leaders employ in attaining consistent sales productivity and high closing ratios. From this research, I learned that sales success for any manager or sales professional is possible, if he or she correctly applies achievement drive principles that top sales professionals consistently use. Once I learned how achievement drive (attitude) worked for sales people, it became clear that it was also the power in the lives of all successful people (managers, parents, athletes, administrators, volunteers, etc.) helping people to achieve higher levels of personal and professional success than their peers.

Why are some people able to overcome a lack of experience, terrible adversity and obstacles to achieve greatness, while others, in spite of every advantage, turn their lives into a disaster? The answer is quite simple. Those that are successful in life have learned how to create an overpowering desire to succeed. They have mastered the art of programming themselves to build the achievement drive necessary to produce consistently high levels of success.

Studies at major universities show that successful people from every field of endeavor have a greater need to achieve success than their peers. No one ever attained a consistent pattern of success that didn't have this burning desire to succeed internalized. This desire, in turn, gives achievers the energy, stamina, enthusiasm and compelling personal motivation to attain their goals in life. Psychologists tell us that when you see your-self succeeding, the very thought of success alone can often make a significant difference in the outcome of any objective that you might have.

People are motivated and directed by their dominant thought patterns. Successful sales managers and representatives have learned to develop an overall attitude of optimism, expectations of success and a vision of themselves succeeding by regularly programming their biocomputer to be successful. This programming, once in place, is the edge that pulls them toward their dreams and ideal future. You too can apply these same principles and program yourself to attain much greater levels of productivity and sales success and produce higher success levels in everything else that you do in life. Happy Selling..........

Monday, October 26, 2009

Selling Yourself

What usually we think about the idea of “selling yourself”, as a means “to convince others of our own value”, considered a concept referred to when trying to get something – like a new job or a promotion, or selling a product to someone. To get ahead in life, you need to be in the business of selling. Selling the product YOU !!

If you cannot sell yourself as a person to others, you are going to have a difficult time selling them your ideas, your wishes, your needs, your ambitions, your skills, and your experience.

A lot people have a hard time selling themselves because they feel like it’s arrogant. People are often taught that self-promotion is vain or big headed. Truth is, it’s a necessary part of business. It’s your responsibility to make others sit up and notice your work or your product. You are your own biggest supporter. There is nothing wrong with acknowledging your talents. In fact, it’s a very wise and necessary career move.
So, how does one do it? How do you sell yourself effectively?
Be Sold on Yourself
This is the first, and perhaps most important, aspect to successfully selling yourself to others. Unless it comes naturally, this is probably also the hardest. Believe in yourself comes down to this: you must be aware of your own self-worth. This means you have faith in yourself, and have confidence in yourself.

Believe in yourself is not something that usually happens overnight. I can, however, personally attest that it is possible to change your life and gain a sense of self-worth when there was once none. If you struggle with your sense of self-worth, here are just 3 ideas that may help:
• Live in such a way that you are your own best friend.
• Find some time to reflect on what you like about yourself. If this seems hard, start with the smallest of attributes.
• Every day at least for 15 minutes indulge in positive self talk.

Maintaining a high level of integrity and a high quality of work will help keep you self-assured. You need to feel proud of your actions so don’t do things that will undermine your efforts. Focus on building your confidence and being the person you want to be.

Share Your Knowledge & Experiences. Knowledge is a valuable resource and it can make anyone look more attractive. Sell your skills by sharing your knowledge. Be willing to teach others what you know. This will not only help them, it will demonstrate your abilities at the same time. A win/win! Express yourself, you know something more than the others, it’s of great value to others.

Tell your story. People are drawn to those who are willing to open up and share their experiences. It will help you build strong connections with others. Remember that you are unique and there is value to be shared.

Be Positive and Enthusiastic:
Can you remember the last time you received poor customer service? Did the person look bored, disinterested, and as if they wanted to be anywhere but that place? Don’t be that person. Positivity and enthusiasm can both be developed, but once again it takes work. Here are a few tips to help you:
• Look for the best in people
• Associate with positive people
• Care deeply about something
• See life as an adventure
• Smile

Be Real and Authentic:
Rather than being about who you appear to be, selling yourself is about letting others know who you are as a person. For this reason, lies and half-truths are a recipe for disaster later down the line. By telling the truth, you will earn both trust and respect which, in turn, will help you build a great reputation. Not only that, it will make you feel good about yourself. The last thing you want to do is sell yourself out by compromising your values and principles.

Self-invented people are the most interesting ones of all. The difference is in the intangibles of the personality we create for ourselves. We are all works of art, or, perhaps more accurately, works of architecture with those three essential elements of core, frame and envelope. So go ahead and work on all three and reinventing a GREAT YOU.

Diamonds in My Own Backyard

Hi All
Today I have created my blog and this is really an important day for me. Hence forth you shall be getting creative stuff from me which I hope touches, moves and inspires you.
Today I am sharing a story which plays an important role in my life and I am sure it shall add some value to your life also.

David was a very ambitious and proud man, who was desperate to be very rich. To this end, he traveled the globe, spending years away from home searching for a diamond mine. He knew that once he owned a diamond mine his dream of riches would come true. Unfortunately, David ended his days neither rich nor happy. After he died, the local condominium developer bought David’s property and started to dig the foundation. And what did he find? He found that for all these years David was sitting right on top of a very large, very rich diamond mine. I tell this story to remind us to look first in our own back yards for the glittering opportunities. We all carry within us hidden diamonds, waiting to be discovered. Whenever we start a new project, its launch or marketing, there is so much hidden treasure already available and we can always use it constructively, learning from the mistakes of the others.

The Diamonds in My Own Back Yard story is a powerful model to use when developing strategic growth plans. Seldom do we look in our own backyard for the answers to our growth needs. For example, before planning new products, take a close look at your existing product line for growth opportunities.

Always apply the Diamonds model when you are developing strategies to increase sales to fuel business growth. In other words, do not first think about new clients, new markets, or new products. Think about the diamonds in your backyard; namely your present and past clients. They are the ones, after all, who know you, love you, and buy your products. Moreover, if that is not a good enough reason remember it costs ten times more to land a new customer than it does to sell to an existing customer.

Here are some proven strategies to nurture the diamonds in your back yard:
Keep in regular contact. It is an old adage but true, “out of sight, out of mind”. You must keep in touch on a regular basis with your present and past clients and prospects. One way to do this is through a regular newsletter. With the advent of Internet tools for creating and distributing very professional-looking electronic newsletters, it has never been easier to keep in touch. But, make sure your message has value.

However, face-to-face contact is still the most effective. Pick up the phone and have a conversation. Contact customers who have not bought for a while and find out why. Meet for lunch, coffee, for a more informal chat. Stay in touch and nurture these valuable diamonds.
Whether you are business-to-business or business-to-consumer, provide easy payment options—cash, cheque, Paypal, credit card, etc. You want it to be as easy as possible to buy.
Provide free value. Suppose you are in real estate, free Vastu, or feng shui advice can come along with, similarly interior design guidelines etc. Provide free value for your customers on an ongoing basis. Hold free half-day seminars. Give them a gift subscription to Enterprise magazine. Thank them!
Educate. Do not assume your customers know all about your products. Educate them in all of your products and make sure they are brought up to date on all new products. They can only buy from you what they know you have. For example, include product catalogues and/or new product announcements in with your invoices.
Look at what your top five customers are not buying and talk to them about these products. This will give you a valid reason to get in touch (regular contact!) and potentially increase sales. Remember, you are not doing your customers a favour by not telling them about products that could benefit them.

Collect referrals and testimonials. Your customer base is the very best source for getting new customers. A referral from a customer who loves you and your products is the most powerful sales tool you could ever walk into a prospect with. And when your client exclaims, “You guys went above and beyond in getting me that widget,” immediately ask if you can put the testimonial on to your website.

Dig down deep and you will find lots of business opportunities right in your own back yard. When you find your diamonds, look after them really well so that no one else comes along and steals them! Enjoy your successful growth.