This month’s TIPS bulletin is not about specific implementation steps for sales or customer service, but the more intangible ideas of motivating yourself to achieve your goals in sales, service or coaching. Whether you are a sales or customer service rep connecting with your prospects and customers every day, or a manager of a sales or service team connecting with your employees every day…it is important to motivate yourself to achieve new and higher results this year. You must find an “affirmation” that helps you to visualize your goal AND you must follow new paths. Letting negativity get in the way of your objectives will undermine your initiative, momentum and motivation to be successful in 2010. This is the year for POSITIVES!
- If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you always got!
You’ve all heard that one before. We get in a rut and it’s difficult to break it. But break it we must if we are going to reach new heights in sales performance or customer service delivery for ourselves, or motivation for our employees.
- Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.
Same as #1. Old habits are hard to change. You will not get new leads if you don’t find a new lead source. You will not handle those irate customers better if you don’t prepare for the complaint and the complaint resolution in advance. A defensive or “knee jerk” reaction each time you hear it will not solve the problem. You will not instill excitement in your staff unless you embrace it yourself and believe passionately in their strengths and ability to achieve new heights. Just because “Susie” always does it that way and always reacts that way doesn’t mean you have to accept it as the status quo. Help her – to be better or to find a new opportunity.
- They moved your cheese…do something different
If you haven’t read the book “Who Moved My Cheese” – go out and get it today and read it cover to cover in one sitting. Then identify who you are in the book (you have to read it to know what I’m referring to) and determine how you are going to find your new cheese. The world has changed. It’s not like it was 30 years ago in sales or service or managing people…or 20 years ago…or even 10 years ago. If you can’t come up with a new way of finding your “cheese” – whether it’s as basic and concrete as returning to the income level you HAD before the recession, or the more intangible of finding the joy and passion you had working in prior positions, then find a new way to get that cheese! Change your profession, go to school for education in a new field, PLAN for what you might do in 12 months or 18 months IF that job you want doesn’t materialize. “They” have moved your cheese…what are you going do about it?????
- Are you a Languisher or a Flourisher?
You have a choice to make this year. Are you willing to accept the status quo and simply languish in your situation? Miserable every day? Complaining about every thing? Your job, your company? Your income? Your spouse/children? Languishers never advance and sometimes they languish into… nothing. About 17% of Americans are Flourishers per a study in American Psychologist. They have a positive outlook on life (see #5), a sense of purpose and community, and are healthier than “languishers” – about 10% of adults who don’t feel good about themselves. If you choose to be a flourisher – you will live longer. Most of us fall somewhere between the two states. Here are some questions to ask yourself to determine which side you are closer to:
a) Is my first thought about situations and circumstances positive or negative?
b) How often do I find myself complaining about, well… anything?
c) How often do I verbalize gratitude for, well… anything?
d) How resilient am I when things don’t go as planned?
e) Do I regularly find the inner resources necessary to overcome?
f) Do I blame or bless?
- Attitude = 100%!
For those who have taken any of my training programs… this isn’t new. I talk about it early on in any program for sales, customer service or managing/coaching people. If you don’t know, Attitude spells 100%. If you look at the letters in the alphabet, A is the first position = 1. T is the 20th, U is the 21st, and so on. So:
A + T + T + I + T + U + D + E = 100 %
1 + 20 + 20 + 9 + 20 + 21+ 4 + 5 = 100%!
It doesn’t matter about all the activities you might do to build your business, increase your service delivery or motivate your staff, if your Attitude is not 100% it will show…and it will undermine your efforts. Again, you must be doing something you passionately enjoy so that you FLOURISH in your delivery.
- I took the road less traveled and…
One of my favorite poems is Robert Frost’s The Road Less Traveled – the last stanza reads:
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
It takes courage to take the road less traveled, but it can result in wonderful rewards. Those who choose to relocate to try a new area, those who leave a bad relationship – marriage or job, those who change fields in middle age… sometimes that less traveled road will make all the difference.
I can’t imagine where I would be now approaching a landmark birthday (I will not say which one) if I had NOT relocated from NYC to St. Louis in 1987 not knowing a soul to take on a position in a field new to me, if I had NOT started my own business 19 years ago when I was downsized and instead joined another company with a salaried and “safe” position, if I had NOT married for the first time at 46 (now THAT was a challenge), if I had NOT learned new technology last year to deliver training in webinars and phone coaching as my “cheese” got moved and classroom training business decreased significantly!
It is sometimes scary to take that road less traveled, but the opportunities that open up at the end of that road can be better than you ever imagined.
- Affirmations and visualization.
If you state what you want, and put it “out there” it will be more likely to happen. If you visualize what you want, you are more likely to get it. (Although I keep visualizing my face on Pamela Anderson’s body and it’s just not happening!)
But if you want more sales appointments, visualize yourself AT sales appointments. If you want the award for best Customer Service Agent, visualize yourself receiving the award. If you want your team to win the contest, visualize your reps around you and applauding. If you want to drive a new car, visualize yourself IN that car. If you want… then visualize it!
Then create the affirmations to support the visual. Mine might be...
“You do not need bread and butter in a restaurant” and I would say it 3-5 times before I went out to dinner. OR “I want to cruise the Mediterranean on Windstar in 2011” right before every sales call… because THAT is my passion that drives my work – having the money to travel with my husband on romantic trips! Right before each sales call I say to myself (Med cruise, med cruise, med cruise!!!)
- Write all these sayings on post-its and use them as visuals to motivate yourself!
Now that I have outlined key ideas for motivating yourself, because we are our own best motivators, don’t just read this TIPS bulletin and put it away or delete it!
• Write #1 and #2 on a post-it and put it on the left side of your computer screen.
• Buy the book “Who Moved my Cheese?” THIS week… or re-read it if you have it. Then figure out where your cheese is and go get it!
• Decide that you are going to be a FLOURISHER and write it on a post-it and display it on the right side of your computer screen.
• Write ATTITUDE = 100%! on a post-it and put it on the right side of your computer screen.
• Pick something new, and maybe a bit scary to do in your life, and commit to doing it this year.
• Write your Affirmations on a post-it and put in on the right side of your computer screen.
• You might even put all of the above in a colorful Word doc and make it your screen saver
Whatever you decide to do to motivate yourself or your staff, this is the time to start out on the right path for 2010. The New Year is over. The winter will soon be over. You’ve got 47 more weeks to make this year count. I hope it’s a great one for you!