Saturday, October 25, 2008

Follow Through

In Canadian ice hockey, they play a very physical game with the tradition to seek body contact and always follow through with every tackling. This is a great trait to display in business, whether you are in sales or working to complete your latest project. Never, ever give up and follow everything up to completion. This advice is particularly relevant when you worked long and hard. Don't give up when it looks tough! Call the customer again, work that plan! Don't quit! Remember, to finish everything you start and follow through with every tackling.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Priorities And Time Allocation

Time management is a misnomer really. Time can not be managed, only your priorities can. Once you set your priorities here is a suggestion for use of your valuable time. Increase your time allocation to things that are important, valuable, fun and rewarding. Maintain your time allocation to things that are important, even if they are tedious and boring. Decrease your time allocation to things that are trivial, even if they are fun. Finally, eliminate your time allocation to things neither important nor fun and rewarding.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Help Make Decisions

Sometimes when prospective customers say they want to think about it, in a sales situation, it can be a polite objection used instead of saying "no". Don't just accept that. Make it your job to help them make a decision. Say something along the lines of; "Ok, great, what exactly is it you need to think through? Let's do it together. What additional information can I give you to help you make your decision?"

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Don't Jump To Conclusions

We think much faster than we speak and our brain has excess capacity while listening to others. It is very tempting (and in fact we do it all the time) to assume, interpret and judge the communication we receive from other people. Even when you are knowledgeable about the subject matter at hand refrain from this. Don't finish other peoples sentences and don't jump to conclusions. Let the other party explain and interpret themselves. Challenge your own assumptions and ask clarifying questions. You will be surprised more often than not.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

"I Am Not Happy"

To get great customer service you need to be a great customer. One way to be a great customer when delivering complaints is to use the I-am-not-happy routine. It goes like this; use clear I messages: "I am not happy with this situation!" Then go on to tell why you are not happy and most importantly explain what would make you happy. When you don't raise your voice, use foul language nor blame the people on the other end but clearly state what you expect it is very difficult to resist honoring your reasonable claim.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Time Shortage And Downshifting

One trend in coping with time shortage and finding that delicate work life balance is downshifting. With downshifting comes the idea to set limits to what others expect of you and lower your own ambitions for professional success in favor of other things in life. Strategies to reduce work time can be manifold, including change of boss or job, move for shorter of commuting time, doing less business travel, reduce over time, work part time etc. On a personal level it raises the all important question; "what you do want to get out of life?"

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Shut The Door

If you constantly find it difficult to get a full day's work into you day due to phone calls and interruptions from your people in the office, try the shut-door-policy for a couple of hours. Schedule a closed-door meeting with yourself in the calendar. Manage the expectations from your co-workers and the switchboard operator by explaining that you are busy in a meeting between, say 10 to 12. Put a sign on the door and bring the pieces of work where you need full concentration of efforts to complete into the meeting.
About the Author

Urban Gavelin a native Swede with more than twenty five years of business experience. He has held positions as director of sales- marketing- and business development on Nordic, European and World Wide levels. Urban has lived and worked in Stockholm, London and New York, now works primarily with leadership development and sales training and is a credentialed coach. He has studied Executive Management at Lausanne Business School and Stockholm School of Economics.

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Bottleneck Blog by Urban Gavelin © 2007-2011