Memories are what the future is built on


Wrapping up Memorial day weekend with a few thoughts…
Too often people are ignorant of the past, yet there are others who only live in the past. As I prepare for another exciting week, I was writing my reports and came across the following:

Here are the 16 rules that Bob Parsons says he tries to live by:

1. Get and stay out of your comfort zone. I believe that not much happens of any significance when we’re in our comfort zone. I hear people say, “But I’m concerned about security.” My response to that is simple: “Security is for cadavers.”

2. Never give up. Almost nothing works the first time it’s attempted. Just because what you’re doing does not seem to be working, doesn’t mean it won’t work. It just means that it might not work the way you’re doing it. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it, and you wouldn’t have an opportunity.

3. When you’re ready to quit, you’re closer than you think. There’s an old Chinese saying that I just love, and I believe it is so true. It goes like this: “The temptation to quit will be greatest just before you are about to succeed.”

4. With regard to whatever worries you, not only accept the worst thing that could happen, but make it a point to quantify what the worst thing could be. Very seldom will the worst consequence be anywhere near as bad as a cloud of “undefined consequences.” My father would tell me early on, when I was struggling and losing my shirt trying to get Parsons Technology going, “Well, Robert, if it doesn’t work, they can’t eat you.”

5. Focus on what you want to have happen. Remember that old saying, “As you think, so shall you be.”

6. Take things a day at a time. No matter how difficult your situation is, you can get through it if you don’t look too far into the future, and focus on the present moment. You can get through anything one day at a time.

7. Always be moving forward. Never stop investing. Never stop improving. Never stop doing something new. The moment you stop improving your organization, it starts to die. Make it your goal to be better each and every day, in some small way. Remember the Japanese concept of Kaizen. Small daily improvements eventually result in huge advantages.

8. Be quick to decide. Remember what General George S. Patton said: “A good plan violently executed today is far and away better than a perfect plan tomorrow.”

9. Measure everything of significance. I swear this is true. Anything that is measured and watched, improves.

10. Anything that is not managed will deteriorate. If you want to uncover problems you don’t know about, take a few moments and look closely at the areas you haven’t examined for a while. I guarantee your problems will be there.

11. Pay attention to your competitors, but pay more attention to what you’re doing. When you look at your competitors, remember that everything looks perfect at a distance. Even the planet Earth, if you get far enough into space, looks like a peaceful place.

12. Never let anybody push you around. In our society, with our laws and even playing field, you have just as much right to what you’re doing as anyone else, provided that what you’re doing is legal.

13. Never expect life to be fair. Life isn’t fair. You make your own breaks. You’ll be doing good if the only meaning fair has to you, is something that you pay when you get on a bus (i.e., fare).

14. Solve your own problems. You’ll find that by coming up with your own solutions, you’ll develop a competitive edge. Masura Ibuka, the co-founder of SONY, said it best: “You never succeed in technology, business, or anything by following the others.” There’s also an old Asian saying that I remind myself of frequently. It goes like this: “A wise man keeps his own counsel.”

15. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Lighten up. Often, at least half of what we accomplish is due to luck. None of us are in control as much as we like to think we are.

16. There’s always a reason to smile. Find it. After all, you’re really lucky just to be alive. Life is short. More and more, I agree with my little brother. He always reminds me: “We’re not here for a long time; we’re here for a good time.”

These rules are published here with the permission of Bob Parsons. � 2004-2006 by Bob Parsons. All rights reserved.

You can get the full story at his blog – http://www.bobparsons.com

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What are the first, second and third words that come out of YOUR mouth?

Powerful Networking with an Effective Introduction by Larry Baltz

You’re sitting in a room full of eager business owners at a networking event. One by one, everyone stands up and introduces themselves, hopefully gaining the opportunity to find one or two new prospects in the crowd.

Unfortunately, most business people stink at Introductions.

Take for instance the remarks made at a recent event I attended. A hotel sales rep introduced himself and stated that his hotel offered beds, meals and meeting rooms. Oh really? How many hundreds of hotels offer that, I thought. What he said was essentially the same introduction used by all the hotel sales people in the room that day.

What if one of them had said something like this?

“Hi, my name is Bob, sales manager with Big City Hotel. Sure, we have meals and beds and meeting rooms like all the other hotels. But they don’t have Ruth, our front desk supervisor who’s been serving our guests for more than 22 years. Her only responsibility is to help you have an extraordinary stay at our hotel.”

Which hotel has the best chance to get your business? The one with meals, and beds and rooms, or the one with all that, plus a great staff.

And Bob can strengthen his relationship with his audience at the next meeting. What happens if he brings Ruth with him and lets her introduce herself during the Introductions? Talk about making an impression on the crowd! By the time the meeting is over, everyone there will be best friends with Ruth.

As good as that is, Bob isn’t done yet. He can make a bigger value statement at the next meeting. This time Bob quickly introduces himself and then plays a short recording:
“Hi, this is Tom, sales director at XYZ Company. We had our annual sales meeting at Big City Hotel a few months ago and it was the best we’ve ever had. Ruth and her staff waited on our people and took care of everything we needed. She was fantastic.”

Now that’s an Introduction. So the next time you’re attending a networking event, can you introduce your value to your audience when you introduce yourself? What is a benefit you can highlight that none of your competitors can claim? What is it you do better than everyone else?
That’s the best place to start.

More info is available at: http://www.moresales-moreprofits.com.

What do rich people have in common?

What do rich people have in common?

Okay then, besides having a lot of money, what do rich people have in common?

No, it’s not intelligence or education. Look around. The world is littered with unrewarded geniuses and every store has at least one clerk with a master’s degree or a doctorate.

No, it’s not conservatism, courage, luck or wealthy families. And no, it’s not even passion, instinct, timing or greed.

The single characteristic that rich people tend to have in common is an unusually long time horizon.

In other words, rich people get rich because they think further ahead than the rest of us. As a matter of fact, research indicates that the length of your time horizon is the one characteristic that most accurately predicts where you will land in the socioeconomic strata.

Ask him how he chooses investment properties and George Stakis, the renowned multimillionaire real estate magnate, will tell you, “There’s one question that I ask myself when looking at a property, even if I plan to own it for only a few hours… ‘Is this a property that I would want to own 20 years from today?’ If the answer is ‘no,’ then I don’t buy it.”

Wealthy people routinely plant seeds that won’t bear fruit for months or even years. But counter to what you may be thinking, wealthy people don’t share this characteristic “ because they’re rich and can afford to think ahead.” They become wealthy because they have this characteristic.
The average person thinks ahead exactly one paycheck. We know what must be paid with the one that’s coming and we have a plan for what to pay with the next. Needless to say, this is not a plan for building wealth. This is a plan for being average.

How far have you been thinking ahead? (It’s never too late to change.)

The Wizard
Making Ads Work – A Wizard of Ads ® Guide http://www.makingadswork.com.au

Where to Find Loyal Customers

Where to Find Loyal Customers

by John Mehrmann


“It takes 10 times more time, effort and expense to win new customers than it takes to keep existing ones.” If this is true, are companies investing as much to develop the infrastructure and support for existing customers as they spend on efforts to acquire new ones?

If a casual customer makes a single purchase based on convenience and price, then that customer may go to your competition the next time for the same reasons. What would it be worth to your company to turn a casual customer into a loyal customer?

How much is a loyal customer worth to your company if they provide repeat business and act as an evangelist to promote your products or services to others?

Casual customers are perpetually shopping for the next best deal. Loyal customers are invested in your history, your future and your success. Loyal customers will communicate with you and tell you what they think, believing that you are equally interested in making improvements. Communicating customers can become your “Referrals,” and other times may be referred to as “Squeaky Wheels.”

Are you giving the right amount of time, effort and investment to your loyal customers? Do you know who your loyal customers are?

Where are you looking?

By using the Internet, it is much easier for customers and companies to conduct comparative research. Customers are self-sufficient when it comes to analyzing price, features, performance and competition. Sales professionals must also be self-sufficient and utilize the same tools to understand the competitive landscape, locate customers and create opportunities to develop the sales relationship.

Some of the most potent tools for sales professionals are frequently overlooked because they are so close at hand. The people who provide service and support for existing customers are the most influential sales force for existing customers. These are the people who can transform casual customers into loyal customers. These are the people who can resolve customer concerns, nurture relationships and keep the professional sales person informed of the customer’s buying cycle. As a customer measuring the reliability of a used car, are you more likely to believe the used car salesman in the plaid suit, or the mechanic in oil stained overalls?

If you are looking for leads to expand your business, begin with a review of the existing customers and determine which ones have greater depth of opportunity. Every customer that has invested in your products or services has contributed to your salary, paying for your home, rent or car. Let your customers know how much you appreciate them. In the process, you will quickly discover how many of your customers are influential in their own industries or communities. In helping your customer’s achieve their goals you will develop your own reputation, which is far easier than trying to establish credibility with a stranger.

If you are in sales and shaking you head at the overwhelming task of giving this much attention and care to all of your customers, then devote an appropriate amount of your valuable time to those people who take care of your customers all day long. Get to know the individuals in your Customer Care group or Service Department. These are the Shepard’s for your flock, give them your support and recognition. By working closely with these people you will expand your knowledge of your organization and your customers. You will learn more about the capabilities of your own organization, build your own confidence, and become intimately familiar with the needs of your customers. In the process you may also discover other new customers or opportunities to grow existing ones.

The Formula Guarantee

It is a simple and effective formula: dedicate 10% of your time to communicate with the individuals inside your organization who directly care for your customers and you will improve your effectiveness 110%. Know your organization, understand your customers’ issues, discover what delights your customers, and nurture your casual customers into loyal ones. Your loyal customers are just waiting to be found.

This formula comes with a guarantee: Dedicate 10% of your time for 30 business days to communicate with the individuals in your organization who take care of your customers and if you do not see an improvement in your ability to communicate and expand your influence with both new and existing customers, then your complete conversations may be refunded to you.

Words of Wisdom

“Great customer service experiences are a source of long-term competitive advantage.”
– Collin Shaw, “Building Great Customer Experience”

“Anyone who views a sale as a transaction is going to be toast down the line. Selling is not about peddling a product. It’s about wrapping that product in a service – and selling both the product and the service as an experience. This approach to selling helps create a vital element in the process: a relationship.”
– Marilyn Carlson, CEO Carlson Companies

“Loyal customers are just waiting to be found. They have already invested in your products or services and are just waiting to be noticed. Before you begin planning your budget for new acquisitions, understand the investors who have purchased stock in your future.”
– John Mehrmann

John Mehrmann is a freelance author, industry expert and President of Executive Blueprints Inc., an organization devoted to improving business practices and developing human capital.

Contact Scott Howard at 260-710-7078 for more ideas

Wisdom from Investors Business Daily

IBD’s 10 Secrets To Success

1. How you think is everything: Always be positive. Think success, not failure. Beware of a negative environment.

2. Decide upon your true dreams and goals: Write down your specific goals and develop a plan to reach them.

3. Take Action: Goals are nothing without action. Don’t be afraid to get started now. Just do it.

4. Never Stop Learning: Go back to school or read books. Get training and acquire skills.

5. Be Persistent and Work Hard: Success is a marathon, not a spirit. Never give up.

6. Learn to Analyze Details: Get all the facts, all the input. Learn from your mistakes.

7. Focus Your Time and Money: Don’t let other people or things distract you.

8. Don’t Be Afraid to Innovate; Be Different: Following the herd is a sure way to mediocrity.

9. Deal and Communicate with People Effectively: No person is an island. Learn to understand and motive others.

10. Be Honest and Dependable; Take Responsibility: Otherwise, Numbers 1-9 won’t matter.