I went to my computer this morning and began my ritual of deleting junk e-mail on-line before bringing it into my computer. One of my many servers (Aloha.net) had a pop-up saying, “E-Mail Not Available.” I went to their website to see if there was a notice of some sort, and saw a posting that e-mail and website hosting had been discontinued. I was irritated that I knew nothing about this.
I saw a phone number listed so I called it expecting that this being Thanksgiving Day, I would get a recording.
I was surprised when a man answered the phone. I asked him what the problem is. He asked me for my e-mail address and then to hold on while he checked. When he returned to the line he said, “That account has been discontinued due to a past due bill.” I told him that they charge my credit card automatically every month and have done so for many years. Once again he asked me to hold on, and when he returned he said that all “dial-up” service has been discontinued.
This was my first e-mail account and when starting 16 years ago I used dial up; didn’t everybody back then? It’s hard to even imagine doing that today.
Not long after after that I started adding different e-mail addresses and got WIFI. He explained that he could “Get me back on-line” and what the cost would be. I agreed to that, and within a matter of minutes all was okay.
While I was irritated about this at first, I do understand that 16 years of internet evolution as well as my own has created a new and quite impressive cyber world. I am totally impressed that they took my call on Thanksgiving Day and handled the situation so professionally.
Yes They Do!
The things you say to people have the power to hurt them, help them, heal them, to encourage or motivate them. Choose your words wisely since no one wants to be hurt. And, it’s so easy to do.
“I told you so.”
“Why did you do that?”
“I’m here for you.”
“What can I do to help?”
“You will feel better tomorrow.”
“This too will pass.”
“I love you.”
“You can do it!”
“I know you can.”
“Go for It.”
“You have what it takes.”
Add some of our own, but most importantly,
“Think before you speak.”
Say, “NO” to Colds
Yes, words are powerful, especially those that you say to yourself. People are amazed when I say that I have only had one cold in the last 55 years. Actually it’s the only one that I “Welcomed.” Others have attempted to reach me, but I refused to let them. Many years ago I embraced the phrase, “An unwelcome visitor soon departs.”
The “Cold Monster” took a run at me the past few days, but I refused to accept it and I’m fine. Never say, “I’m catching a cold.” When you do, the cold will catch you. When anyone asks me, “Are you catching a cold?” or “Do you have a cold?” I instantly respond, “No, I don’t get colds.” When someone says, “Don’t get near me I have a cold,” I say, “I’m immune to colds, come on over here and give me a hug.” It Works!
I got goosebumps while watching game six of The World Series when the TV commentator said, “The late, great Jim Fregosi said, ‘Sometimes you have to know how to lose.’” Jim Fregosi was my first business partner in the mid ‘60s.
Late and Great
Jimmy was playing shortstop for the California Angels and was the highest paid shortstop in the American League at the time. He was a real celebrity, especially in Anaheim.
We literally could not go into a bar or restaurant where he was not known and sought after for autographs. It was a real treat to be with him and get to know him. I had the pleasure of going to Palm Springs with the Angels and sit in the dugout during their spring training games.
I learned a lot of things from Jimmy, perhaps the most important was the difference between professionals and amateurs in anything. Following is the best single example of the lessons he taught me.
We were having lunch at a restaurant in Anaheim one day and he said, “I need to get out to the ballpark and take batting practice.” I hated to see him leave and said, “Jimmy, why do you have to take batting practice? All you’ve done your whole life is hit baseballs.” His response changed my life.
Jimmy said, “Ron, we do not take batting practice to learn how to hit, we all know how to hit the ball. I cannot help it, on the way to the ballpark I have a little bit of Little Jimmy (his son) going on in my head, a little bit of Jan (his then wife) going on in my head, a little bit of last night’s game going on, and I will probably have a little bit of this lunch going on. He then went on to say, “But, to play at this level you can’t have anything else on your mind than tonight’s game. When we put on the uniform and go out on the field to take batting practice everything else goes away and we get focused on why were here tonight.”
The words that continue to give me goosebumps are, “To play at this level.”
The difference between Jimmy and many of his teammates was that he knew WHY they take batting practice. He told went on two say, “When you know HOW to do your job you can keep it, when you know WHY you can become the Manager.”
When Jimmy eventually became too old to hit baseballs he was made manager of the California Angels and then went on to manage several other big lead baseball teams. GOOGLE him. Jimmy died on Valentine’s Day two years ago and I watched television all day as they showed reruns of some of his best performances at bat and on the field.
There’s No “I” in Teamwork
This question was sent to my website from a student at Brigham Young University.
“I was at a seminar at the Polynesian Cultural Center that Ron put on. He talked about the Master Mind Alliance. I was wondering if I could get the quote for that? I took notes but they weren’t as good as the way he said it. Thank you in advance.”
“Whenever two or more minds come together, with a common goal, and in a spirit of harmony, there is an invisible mind created. That invisible mind; the Master Mind is more powerful than the sum total of the individual minds, and then feeds the individual minds with ideas, hunches, motivation, inspiration and everything needed to be great.”
Nobody likes rejection, and nobody gets more of it than salespeople. Buying is an emotional decision, and a willing customer can cool off in a heartbeat. You are showing the product and your customer’s head is bobbing up and down like a doll in the back window of the car. You know it’s going to be a sale. You and your customer are both smiling approvingly. You are thinking, “Oh boy, oh boy.” Then suddenly your customer’s smile goes away and you hear those dreaded words, “I need to think about it; I will be back. That “Oh boy” feeling fades away as your customer begins to walk away. What do you do now? Most people will either bear down and push for the sale, or bail out and hope that the customer will come back. Some do; Most don’t and you know it.
Which Way Will You Go?
The “Bear Down” salesperson says something like, “You know you love it, that’s a great price, you should get it now.” Some even suddenly drop the price thinking that will close the sale.
The “Bail Out” salesperson says something like, “Okay, here’s my card, please ask for me when you come back.” The customer smiles, agrees and heads for the door. You frown and feel depressed. One of these two scenarios plays out in luxury retail stores across the country every day. There must be a better way, and there is.
Put on Your Detective Hat
The wise salesperson stops selling at this point and becomes a concerned “detective” looking for the real reason the customer is not buying it. This salesperson says something like, “Okay, but maybe it’s just not the right piece, and if that’s the case, you shouldn’t get it. Let’s take another minute before you leave, and tell me, what is it about this piece that just MIGHT NOT be right?” Now simply shut up and continue looking at the piece. It’s the customer’s turn to talk and you will be surprised how many confessions you will get. You will hear things like, “Well to tell you the truth, it’s more than I was planning to spend.” Or, “It just doesn’t look right to me.” or “It’s actually too big” or “Too small.” These are “truths” that can be dealt with.
No Means, “No, Not Yet.”
There’s usually a real reason, and when you uncover the truth, chances are you can do something to resolve it and make the sale, if not that item, then another one. The truth will set you free; lies paralyze. If the customer say’s, “No, I just always like to think before buying” and that’s true the truth is that the customer really does need to think about it, help him or her do it while still in the store. Say, “Do you think it MIGHT BE the right piece?” If the answer is, “Yes” or “Maybe,” say, “Let’s be sure” and then go back over the features and benefits of the piece looking for what might be the hold up. If you cannot find a good reason to not buy it, then SELL IT! Say, “It looks like we have found the right item, is there anything we didn’t think about?” If there isn’t, then say, “Let’s do it now and you won’t have to come back.” This is where salespeople are separated from clerks and order takers. The key is doing it for the customer, not for you. The customer will have the product longer than you and the store will have the money. When that’s where your heart is, you and the customer both win.
Professionals and amateurs can be found in all walks of life; sports, business, law, medicine, the arts, and of course in sales.
Googling; I found that professionals have certain things in common:
Professionals maintain a high standard of ethics, behavior and work activities as either an employee or self-employed person.
Professionals put the interest of the client ahead of their own interests.
Professionals demonstrate a high level of work morale and motivation.
Professionals have interest and desire to do a job well while holding a positive attitude towards al aspects of the job at hand.
Professionals treat relationships with colleagues in the most respectful manner at all times.
Professionals subject themselves to strict codes of conduct enshrining rigorous ethical and moral obligations.
There are also some distinct differences between professionals and amateurs:
Professionals perform at a HIGHER LEVEL than amateurs do.
Professionals stand out; amateurs blend in.
Professionals know how and why they should do things; amateurs only know how.
Professionals work when they need to; amateurs when they feel like it.
Professionals go to work because they want to; amateurs because they have to.
Professionals start a new project as soon as they finish the current one; amateurs give themselves a well deserved a break as soon as they can.
Professionals take pride in their work; amateurs don’t really care.
Professionals don’t have time for endless tinkering; amateurs can tinker all day if allowed to.
Professionals judge their work by results; amateurs by their efforts.
Professionals make deadlines; amateurs avoid deadlines.
Professionals accept, even embrace criticism; amateurs become hostile when criticized.
Professionals think big; amateurs think small.
Professionals solve problems, amateurs make excuses.
Professionals visualize success; amateurs fear failure.
Professionals practice; amateurs don’t need to.
Professionals remain students; amateurs graduate prematurely.
Professionals understand the importance of attitude and commitment; amateurs think it’s all luck.
Professionals make it look easy; amateurs are convinced that it’s hard.
Professionals learn from their mistakes; amateurs deny them.
Professionals see opportunities everywhere; amateurs overlook them.
Professionals are even tempered; amateurs quick tempered.
Professionals are patient; amateurs impatient.
Professionals are organized; amateurs disorganized
Professionals arrive early; amateurs on time at best
ATTITUDE + BEHAVIOR = RESULTS
It’s a simple formula. Anytime that your attitude goes up or down or your behavior is better or worse, your results do as well.
Everyone wants more and better results. To achieve better or more results, focus on the things within your control.
Many things can affect your attitude if you allow them to. Take control of your attitude and prevent “things” from taking you down.
Get a shield around your good attitude and do not let anyone or anything take it away from you.
Behavior is usually triggered by one of two things; feelings and judgments. If you only do what is best when you feel like it, there are times that you won’t. And when it comes to judgments, who’s not guilty of taking one quick look at a customer and forming some form of judgment as to whether or not this will be a good one? If your judgment is negative so will your result be. It is a self fulfilling prophecy.
There are some other things that can affect your results like the weather, the economy and traffic. Unlike your attitude and behavior these are things that are beyond your control and DO NOT warrant your attention. Whenever you are faced with a challenging situation, ask yourself, “What can I DO about this situation to improve it?”
Self Fulfilling Prophecy
This is an old but very telling story that a friend sent to me a while back.
Once there was a man who owned a hot dog stand that he ran by the side of the road. For years he treated his customer’s right, sold good quality hot dogs to lots of people who stopped by to purchase from him. He even made enough money to send his son to college. He wanted his son to be an educated man and successful in the world. So his son went away to college and several years later he returned with his diploma in hand. The man was very pleased to have an educated son who could help him in his business.
The next day his son heard him placing his order for hot dogs and commented that he was surprised that he would order so many hot dogs and said, “Dad, haven’t you heard that there is a recession going on?” The man thought about this and concluded that his son had a college education and must know what he was talking about so he cut back his order for hot dogs. People continued to stop at the hot dog stand, but by rush hour the man had run out of hot dogs. He had to turn customers away. After a few times of stopping by and finding the man out of hot dogs his regular customers stopped coming by. This continued for a while and less and less people stopped to buy hot dogs.
The man’s income dropped to the point that he could not pay his bills and he went out of business. From this the man concluded; “My son must be right, there is a recession going on!”