What if your job didn’t control your life? Brazilian CEO Ricardo Semler practices a radical form of corporate democracy, rethinking everything from board meetings to how workers report their vacation days (they don’t have to). It’s a vision that rewards the wisdom of workers, promotes work-life balance — and leads to some deep insight on what work, and life, is really all about. Bonus question: What if schools were like this too?
I don’t care if you’ve seen it before. Watch it again. Be warned, if you’re not working towards being self employed, this video might push you in that direction.
My two year old, is enthralled by the fact that i can make a paper plane fly by just strategically folding a blank piece of paper. The look of awe in his eyes as the paper plane takes to the sky, is a magical experience. The art of paper plane making has been used for generations, and not just to prototype big ideas and innovative new technologies.
Beyond the fact that there might have been no wright brothers and no first flight, without the humble paper plane, i love that the paper plane is a great way to teach my young guy that ultimately his actions can affect his results and that the way he/we build things actually matters.
The point of teaching my little guy about paper planes is not just to demonstrate the potential of a piece of paper, it is also to show him what his efforts make possible.
As a business owner and leader, your business is that blank piece of paper. The kind of plane (and business) you build ultimately depends on how and where we make those folds. [Read more…] about What Paper Planes Can Teach You About Business
Why is it so hard for small business owners and independent professionals to make the sale? I think we’ve forgotten the basic building blocks of two-way communication that allow a sale to take place. We’re looking for the Holy Grail of techniques that will bring in more business. A silver bullet sales process. The perfect close. A sales letter that will attract droves of new clients. A software program that automatically sells your service with a touch of a button.
While any of these magic formulas might land you some clients if you deploy them correctly, they won’t work unless you consistently practice a critically important communication strategy.
The LAER Model: Listen, Acknowledge, Explore, and Respond
Many years ago in my formative years of selling, I learned this simple but powerful model for communicating with prospects. As I think back through the hundreds of sales opportunities I’ve had, nearly every successful business relationship was a result of using the LAER model.
You may be using this right now but don’t even know it. You might be only making use of one or two of the strategies. Then again you might be thinking, “LAER? Isn’t that where wild animals sleep?”
Let’s take a look at how this model works in the sales process. [Read more…] about Four Things You Must Do Before You Make the Sale
Do you choke on your words when it’s time to tell a prospect your fees? Do you find that you’re doing more than you contracted for without being paid for your efforts? Do you notice that your clients don’t do their part to make the most of your work together? You might be devaluing your services. How do you know what’s too much, too little, or just right?
Value: An amount, as of goods, services, or money, considered to be a fair and suitable equivalent for something else; a fair price or return.
What the market will bear…
Does it seem strange to use the word love when referring to a business relationship? Substitute another word if you prefer — “like,” for example, or “respect.” However you want to express it, the point is to consider how much you care about the people you sell to — their needs, goals, desires, concerns — all the elements of their lives that might be involved in their decision about whether to buy from you.
If you don’t love your prospects, they will know it. We’ve all been sold to by someone who didn’t care about us. The salesperson who pressures us to buy a car with options we don’t need. Or the telemarketer who launches into a lengthy script without asking if she’s interrupting our dinner. Or the guru who entices us to purchase a high-priced solution without bothering to find out whether it has any relevance to our situation. We can feel their disregard, and it turns us off.
On the flip side, you’ve probably had the pleasant experience of being sold to by someone who took the time to find out exactly what you needed, explored with you respectfully the match between what he had to offer and your desires, and allowed you to come to your own decision about the purchase. An experience like that not only makes you feel good about spending money, it makes you want to buy more from that person as soon as you can. [Read more…] about How Much Do You Love Your Prospects?