– Posted on Jun 25, 2012 by Margie Albert
Have you noticed how much information comes at you daily? Of course you have! Countless emails, texts, email subscriptions, RSS feeds, tweets, posts, memos, updates, advertising, consultants (!) – information coming at you from all directions 24/7. How do you decide which ones you pay attention to? Probably the information you are comfortable receiving. But how did you get to that comfortable place?
Come with me on a very brief journey-
The NBA Finals recently ended and I watched these athletes as they made decisions in split-second time. I marveled how easily they seemed to just know where their teammates were on the floor as well as their opponents. Their decision-making seemed effortless as they passed, went to the hoop, etc. While watching I went back to my own competitive days as a figure skater and the hours of training I invested to make good decisions and also appear effortless.
Then it became clear – it was hours of learning what to pay attention to and what not to. It was hours of experimenting and testing and never ruling out anything until proven worthy of extinction. It starts and ends with being uncomfortable. Who could be comfortable the first few times guarding a Dwayne Wade or jumping in the air, doing 3 revolutions and landing on one thin blade?
Relentless and fearless curiosity and experimentation gets us out of our comfort zone and that leads to change and development.
So you ask what does this have to do with TMI?
Is your information delivered to command attention like a Dwayne Wade or a Michelle Kwan? Do you appear effortless because you have trained yourself as an athlete in your craft as a television sales person or manager? Have you forced yourself to be uncomfortable most of the time so your customers can be comfortable? The emails you write, the voicemails you leave, the memos you distribute, the proposals you deliver? Do they ignite curiosity and leave us yearning for more of you because it feels effortless?
If you embrace being uncomfortable so we can be comfortable with you – well, we will happily receive your information and that will make you remark-able.
– Posted on Jun 18, 2012 by Margie Albert
My husband and I are both small business owners and we often compare our days with each other. We spend a lot of time laughing and shaking our heads. You know why?
Most salespeople call on us to solve their problem which is making their goals! It isn’t about us, the customer. It’s about them!
Trust me; we are no different from your advertisers. We can smell insincerity a mile away. Nicely camouflaged by asking a few questions from a canned CNA doesn’t fool anyone.
Here are some ways you can demonstrate your concern about us and get our attention (Do all of this before you call us):
- Visit our website and read it – every bit of it
- Visit LinkedIn to learn more about us
- Check to see if we are on facebook and twitter
- Review our competition – who they are, what do they differently?
- What are our industry trends? Growing? Shifting?
- Who are our customers and how are they consuming media?
- What’s happening in our market that could affect us?
- What is our uniqueness within our niche (not your uniqueness, ours!)?
- In 15 seconds or less, tell us one compelling reason (from our point of view, not yours) why we should listen to you.
If you don’t really care about us please don’t call us. When you care enough to send your very best – PLEASE give us a call. You will be remark-able.
– Posted on Jun 13, 2012 by Margie Albert
Listening may be the hardest thing we do. There is so much inner noise. Noise to determine how we can win, noise to say something clever in return, noise to ask the next question, noise to solve problems quickly, noise that distracts us constantly from listening.
How do we quiet the noise? Here are a few methods I am practicing:
- Stop thinking – just focus on the other person, customer.
- Look directly at the person talking. No eye wondering.
- When I feel like I’m wondering I literally pinch my wrist. Sounds crazy but try it.
- No note taking while someone is talking. If I have to write something it must be only a word or two and I force myself not to look at the paper or my iPad. Eyes fixed on them at all times.
- Repeat what they said…if you can’t you weren’t listening.
- Stop needing to win or be first.
- Stop needing to solve immediately. Take time to think. Seems like I come up with much better ideas when I do this (what a surprise!).
- If it is an interview or fact finding meeting with a client I am prepared and know my stuff. No pre-written questions, they are in my head. Keeps me from referring away from the person talking. Yes, that takes work and preparation.
- Practice, practice, practice!
When you are prepared and able to focus on customer success (or whomever you are conversing with) the internal noise calms and we are open to actively listening. I’m working on this every day. Join me? It is amazing what we can learn from each other to make us even more remark-able.