A few weeks ago, while listening to a favorite morning radio program, I was reminded of the impact on our thoughts in any economy. The talk show host was speaking with a guest about his views on the financial condition of our country. The discussion led into postulations about a depression. After quite a bit of speculation, the lines were opened for callers.
The first caller was angry. He said he was “sick and tired” of hearing doom and gloom forecasts on every channel – on television, radio, internet, and in print. He said he liked the radio station, but that he was going to turn it off. Yes, turn it off – it and every other mode of communication spreading a newscaster’s negative spin. Why? Because he had to go to work. He had to get up in the morning and go to work. And, he was tired of fighting the pessimism and depression created by the constant dripping of bad news. He was beyond overload.
You see during the days of Jimmy Carter’s 10% unemployment and 21% interest rates we did not have the various ways to distribute negative commentary. Internet? No! Cable TV? No! Talk show hosts? No! What did we do. We just worked through it.
Think about your salespeople and think about your leadership. How does negative news affect commercial and residential real estate professionals? How does losing a sale or having a sale placed on hold affect salespeople? How does learning about the stock market’s ups and downs affect marketing folks? How does news of an impending depression affect selling strength? How does hearing negative remarks about a President’s economic moves affect your belief in prospecting and sales goal achievement? How does filling your mind with all this stuff affect your ability to inspire others? And, in how many ways and how often do you take in these messages and hold them in your mind?
Turn them OFF. Even if you turn them off, you will still read a few headlines or hear enough from others to get what’s going on. It will not mean sticking your head in the sand. It will mean taking captive your thoughts and then deciding yourself what to take in and for what reason.
Here’s what I recommend for sales managers and salespeople I influence on a daily basis. Reset what you tune your mind to hear. Listen to a radio station that has great music. Turn to movies that inspire you – Braveheart, Second Hand Lions, Cinderella Man, Gladiator, Rocky, Slumdog Millionaire, etc. Read excellent literature. Focus on what people do that is admirable.
Check out the 16 minute movie Validation …
Pay attention to the tone of your emails and text messages. Increase your level of customer service and service to mankind in general. Give of your time at homeless shelters. Tell people what you see in them – work ethic, honesty, service to others. Remind them of who they are – people with a heritage of sacrifice and valor in tough times. Appreciate them. Explain your confidence in them. Do and say what you would say to your child after a hard moment in life.
Pay greater attention to people. Increase your capacity to listen. Stay around them more. Refocus their efforts. Keep them on plan. Find ways to be more efficient with time and to do more first appointments in order to get more sales working in your sales funnel. Talk about and implement strategic actions. Ask yourself, “What are the needs and problems of my customer or client in this economy?” Put together questions that get centers of influence and decision makers talking about these situation, needs, and problems. Listen for the help they need. Offer customized solutions. Communicate more often with customers. Use internet CRMs to improve your contact frequency and targeted messages. Put out a newsletter that shows you are focused on the needs and problems you hear.
Really, the action comments above are just a few of the things you can do for those you lead and for those you love. I’ve taken my first step and it’s made all the difference. No longer will I listen and watch the visceral messages day in and day out. I’ve changed my tuned-in places on my radio. I’ve canceled shows I used to record. I do not listen to certain talk show hosts – even if I like them. Why? I’ve got to get up in the morning. I’ve got to lead. I’ve got to work. Make your own decisions about what you think about and what you tell your salespeople and your children. Do it. It will make a big difference. It will get results. Lance.