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Peter Drucker wrote:

Posted on February 14, 2010 under From the Web.

“my ancestors were printers in Amsterdam from 1510 to 1750 and during that entire time, they didn’t have to learn anything new.” (Drucker means ‘printer’ in Dutch).

And now?

“Knowledge becomes obsolete incredibly fast,” Drucker argues. “The continuing professional education of adults will be the #1 growth industry for the next 50 years.”

His thoughts just serve to reinforce a point I make constantly to my corporate and individual clients: the need for ongoing, continuous training (perpetual growth and improvement) has never been greater.

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Thoughts for the Week of 2/8/10

Posted on February 8, 2010 under From the Web, Thoughts for the Week.

Sales Reminder 113 – “You Were Raised Better Than That!”

[originally published @ CANVAS Magazine]

This past Holiday Season, I finally drew a line in my family’s sand: if you are old enough to go to school, feed yourself, be responsible for your personal hygiene, and access Face Book, you’re old enough to say ‘thank you’.

And I don’t mean a phone call (although that would be my second choice), an email, or a text message. I mean a genuine hand written thank you card.

No more IPODs, train sets, or gift cards that go unacknowledged. No more of those special die cut graduation envelopes (the ones that when the inserting is done properly feature a picture of one of our Presidents) that for all you know got lost in the mail. No more, no more, no more.

There’s a life skills lesson to be learned here and I guess I’m going to be my family’s teacher.

How about you Mr./Ms. Professional Sales Person? Are you on board here?

How many ‘thank you’ cards did you send out last month? Did you get one to:

  • Your CSR for staying until the middle of the night to check some proofs?
  • Your best customer for his loyalty and friendship and business?
  • Your estimator who turns things around in less than a hour?
  • Your new customer for that first order?
  • That outside supplier who ‘saved your bacon’ on a rush job?
  • The buyer who took time out of her day to learn more about why she should do business with you?
  • Your neighbor who watched your kids because you had a press okay?

If there is an easier way to show creativity, sincerity, and humor, I don’t know what it would be. If there is a faster way to set yourself apart from the masses, I don’t know what it is (everyone can find five minutes).

By the way if you take my advice and decide to make this a part of your weekly prospecting plan, here are some ‘thank you’ card pointers:

  • write legibly (duh!)
  • spell correctly (remember what a dictionary is for?)
  • use a quality card stock (think Crane’s)
  • before you write, practice writing a line several times (we don’t write much anymore)
  • sign it with your first name only
  • if possible, mail your card to the recipient’s home address

Thanks; make it a great month and always try to remind yourself that the daily implementation of the ‘Rule of One’: (one more call, one more quote letter, one more task, one more lap around the track, one more serving of vegetables, one more thank you note, up one hour earlier) can make all the difference in your world.

Final Thoughts

Having discipline shouldn’t be a chore!  As William Feather so aptly said “if we don’t discipline ourselves, the world will do it for us.”  Here are some keys to self discipline: 

  • have a plan and work it;
  • whenever possible ‘just do it’;
  • train yourself to be a better manager of your time;
  • within reason, make decisions quickly;
  • know your strengths and build on them;
  • know your weaknesses and get better;
  • always see to be better today than yesterday.

Make it a great week, pay it forward,  and consider keeping track of how many times a day you check your email; try checking it less frequently and see if it doesn’t save you some time without jeopardizing your sales efforts.

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