Making Progress or Excuses?

We were planning an upcoming event that revolves around my son last night and about the half way point through our discussion I was suddenly reminded that as much as she and I try and include our son in so many things we do, when we were growing up this was something that would not have been understood. Remember the idea that children should be seen and not heard? That really was a pretty good idea, and probably would almost be considered child abuse today!  It’s not quite as tough as “spare the rod, spoil the child,” but you see the idea. As much as I would LOVE to start a conversation on the evils of children growing up with a warped sense of entitlement, I think I’ll stay the course and move that to a better header!

But last night, while all this CHAOS was going on around us I was reminded that MY father was almost always out of town on MY birthday PARTY days, and usually didn’t appear until it was JUST the family and it was time to cut the cake! Now it wasn’t JUST that dear old dad had no patience for kids, heck he bequeathed THREE of us ON the world, so that must say SOMETHING. But back to the subject at hand, 4 parties, 1 4 year old and LOTS of confusion equal to less than ZERO.

How does all this play and why do you care? Very simply, when you are handed something like this, a full schedule, guaranteed confusion and NO time, how can that be an advantage? Well obviously it’s an opportunity for TWO things.

1)      Learning – for those of you who have been in or near my car you know it’s a rolling library, between business and non business research I have over 300 AUDIO Cd’s in my car full of lectures, classes and various presentations from experts in one given field or another. Whether its Marketing, Lead Generation, Lists or just plain old research you have anywhere between 15 minutes and 2 hours of drive time every day, WHAT are you doing with it? What you SHOULD be doing is plugging in an expert and listening while you drive. Now the ONE caveat to that of course is that you can’t and SHOULDN’T take notes while driving. So I will be the first to admit that I have 4 cd’s sitting in my desk queue WAITING for me to play them with my headphones on, so I can take notes! That eats into the whole time thing.

2)      Networking – the one NICE thing about having a 4 year old is he has LOTS of friends and his friends have LOTS of parents who are not in our industry and therefore getting to know them and more about what they do/what they need, will ALWAYS help you to get information on the needs of other industries. Why just last night my wife spent 30 minutes discussing business with the wife of a colleague. Little did the colleague’s wife know that the industry that she is IN is actually one of MY target markets!


So the question is, are you making excuses or making progress


Always, but always find a way to learn something about what they do, what problems they have that you might solved and then demonstrate, if the situation is right, HOW what YOU do/have/sell can be made to look like its NOT all about you, but about their FAVORITE subject! – THEM! The customers number one favorite thing to talk about is themselves, their number two favorite subject is their business, somewhere down about number 14,386 is whatever it is that YOU want to talk to them about! I actually heard a trainer say once that no matter what your customer said you needed to find a way to turn it back around into something about YOUR product and the solution is can solve!

Sounds to me like a great way to get tossed to the door. If your customer says “Well I’d love what you’re selling but business is SO slow I just know I cant afford it.” If you DARE come back with “That Mr. Prospect is exactly why we have the 10% down and 10% a month program, BECAUSE the business is so slow!” Now you have REALLY insulted him! PLUS you’ve broken rule number one, you’re wasting time!

Instead, try this”Mr. Prospect we have heard from almost every other left handed widget maker in the western hemisphere, and unfortunately they are going through a lot of growth challenges. Now if my widget can solve a portion of the business your losing and find a way for it to pay for itself, Is that something you’d be interested in hearing more about?” You are acknowledging that he’s not alone, that your program was MADE to help him, and if HE IS WILLING, you will show him the next step of your plan. You have just taken ALL the fangs out of selling. He’s not afraid of being pitched and he knows that EVERYONE is in the same boat. So you have asked his permission to take him to the next step.

Now lets say he says NO. EXCELLENT! He wasn’t going to buy, and YOU have a way out without hurting his feelings. I’ve actually heard some guys say “What are you a pinhead? How stupid would you have to be?????” Yeah that’s from that other book “How to lose friends and intimidate people! Nor is it really something that I would recommend if you want to maintain all the teeth you were born with.


Besides, if you’re going to make an excuse just pick one, any one, it doesn’t matter which, just pick a good one, and learn to live with it.