Monthly Archives: February 2016

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Three from Lee – February 2016

freeman_thinking
Musings on marketing, sales and life.

Welcome to the first edition of “Three from Lee”. I look forward to sharing with and learning from those that choose to join the conversation. Why three? The obvious reason was to keep it simple and consistent.  The real goal is to share information and insights that inspire and are actionable.

Communicate…
Create…
Concentrate
Your Business won’t
survive without it
.

Communicate well and Respond better – This sounds so simple but it takes work and it has to be important to you. This means you have to work to make sure you are being understood and more importantly, understanding others. A simple way to do this is just to repeat back to them your understanding of their request. Most fear this will irritate the client or make themselves look, well, dumb. I promise it is much less painful than getting an order wrong. What it really tells them is they are important and you want to get it right. Have you ever noticed good speakers and teachers manage to tell you the same thing two or three ways? They want to make sure you get it. Try to learn this skill. It will be worth the effort. We live in a world of “instant” and we all get frustrated when we can’t get in touch with someone or get an answer or response. We also live in a work environment where most folks are overloaded and wearing too many hats. But, if you are looking for a way to separate yourself from the crowd – consider a “Response Strategy”. Here are the basics, be as easy as you possibly can be to get a hold of (you may have to prioritize for certain clients), under promise and over-serve, do what you say and follow through. Finally, develop a system or set of priorities for responding to email and phone calls. Hopefully it will be better than your competitions.

Create and Innovate – For those who don’t consider themselves “creatives” just think of it as working to stay one step ahead and you can’t do this without keeping your eye on the horizon. For most entrepreneurs this comes pretty natural. They are first and foremost problem solvers or see a need they can meet. Simply put, they have vision. You’ve heard it said you have to work on your business as well as in your business. Here is the rub, quite often working on your business means working on yourself. This means you seek knowledge, mentors and influencers that will challenge you. If your business is going to grow or your sales are going to increase learn to be comfortable, being uncomfortable.  Also, trust your instincts and don’t give up if things don’t come easily or quickly. You don’t have to be Steve Jobs, but you can find ways to differentiate your company and yourself. Our next step may help you do just that.

Concentrate on your Strengths – Too many times companies both small and large get away from what they do best. Have you experienced this? How many times have you seen the CEO of a large corporation approach the podium at the annual stockholders meeting and say “we have to get back to our core business”? In the name of diversification or line expansion they lose focus. In the small business setting this happens so often because we feel compelled to be all things to all people.  I know, I get it, it’s hard to say no to certain types of jobs or customers that don’t fit your model. As a matter fact it is almost impossible if you don’t know what your model is. I suggest you get committed to identifying two things – Who you are and who you are Not – as a company. It’s scary but it is critical and can be very liberating. Don’t get confused, working to and focusing on your strengths does not mean you can’t be flexible or expand your markets. Personally and professionally we feel compelled to work on and fix our weaknesses when in fact it is being proven more and more we would be much more productive developing and increasing our strengths. Lastly, if you are focused on your strengths and who you are as a company it makes it much easier to create and innovate, as well as communicate your message. Funny how that works.

So, the Three from Lee today comes down to these

3 Business Reminders

  1. Communicate Well
  2. Stay innovative and creative
  3. Find your strengths and work with them

**Bonus – Good moods are contagious. Make yours worth catching.


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