Have an attitude that promotes action. Plan, control and continually review your actions. Don’t wait for success, drive towards it. Even a bad plan is better than no plan as it will get you moving towards a better plan. Planned action and preparation is the key to success.
Thoughts for the Day
A sale is not a sale until:
a) you have an agreed amount payable and you have had the dance with terms of trade / order / delivery / invoice / credit note
b) you have got the money in the bank
You have got past “Go” so before you collect your £200
a) you have made sure your documentation is right
b) you have sent a statement out asking for the agreed money
c) you have followed this up with a phone call asking when the cash is expected
d) you have still not reveieved the money and are threatening legal action, but deep down you know you won’t do this because it is costly (and so does the customer)
What else should you do?
Here’s what I tried. I appealed to his sense of fairness and switched roles.
I sent this email extract out when I became frustrated at a customer who was obviously having cash flow difficulties but was afraid to tell me.
I have changed the names to protect the innocent.
The background to this was a debt owing on the Car Rental business.
Dear Customer (real name withheld),
I can only support what Nicki says, we believe we have acted in good faith in reinstating Insurance and Central Reservations business, and we will keep to our part of that arrangement.
What I am finding difficult is believing your committment to ensuring that contractual obligations are met on time.
Despite assurances from both of you that all committments will be met, we have had two payments this week that have not.
One on Monday and one today totalling together in excess of £1000, at the time of writing this email, I am still not clear in how you will be rectifying this position.
Our debt position is now worse than it was one week ago
I am now faced with the embarassing position of releasing a car to you with a cheque that has not been cleared (it did not arrive when promised) and I am becoming nervous about this transaction.
I have also been in touch with Kelly who is equally disappointed we have not made inroads into the preparation of a budget which will enable us to competitively quote for your business.
Under the circumstances, how do you want to take this forward and are you able to meet the committments you made to us last week?
What would you do if you were me?
So I tried this re-framing, and yes, it got the desired result. That customer is still a customer, but ask yourself this – what would have happened if he ignored this request? Simple, you would have come to the instinctive conclusion that the customer’s values are simply not the same as yours and you should seriously consider doing business in the future. That is why you should set credit limits for each customer and limit your exposure with people you are uncomfortable with. Remember there are approximately 60 million people in the UK. How come you got landed with this one?
Are you a good listener? Here are some examples of what not to do
- Ordering and Commanding
- Warning and Threatening
- Preaching and Moralising
- Giving Solutions
Some of these you will think are examples of good listening. The important point to remember here is that if you want to be a Good Listener you must suspend your own ego and concentrate on what is being said. Don’t have a presumption that your beliefs and hence your replies are the only ‘true path to Enlightenment’.
A positive empathic approach is required as well as an open mind, remember, not everyone thinks like you!!
Use and learn from competition – some of the best brains work for other people. Listen and learn what and why they do.
If you want to remain sharp you need to be in the company of smart individuals who will push you.
We have all done it and seen it done. Make sure you stay on your mission by constantly reviewing the objectives. If your objectives move then your behaviour needs to alter to acheive different goals.
Failure is always a possibility, what is more important is that you tried to succeed in the first place.
Knowing when to get advice is important: to visit a psychiatrist you have to be mad. What is important is not that we fail to seek advice when needed but we know why we are asking for help and what we require to achieve the end result.
Good German word which involves developing an awareness of what other people are doing. It resonates with Emotional Intelligence and you should always have a regard for the prevailing ‘world view’ or zeitgeist when making decisions as quite often they are more successful when you consider other people’s views and the prevailing mentality.
Have a go at this, it will teach you to live more frugally, and although it is seen as a physical exercise, which is not a bad thing, it also teaches you ethical and spiritual values.
You will hear the word ‘mindfulness’ in the classes and this will teach you to appreciate the here and now.
Get known. We are highly socialble animals at heart. Meet as many people as you can at any one time and identify those like minded individuals that inspire you and radiate energy.
If you have a limited number of people in your world, your views are going to become inbred.
Increase your intellectual gene pool and meet new ideas and people as often as you can.
That way life will happen to you, not to other people.