On a Bad Day I Take Action

Whether business owner, manager, or employee, everyone experiences days when things just don’t seem that optimistic.  You don’t get the “big” sale.  Your competitors (and everyone else) seem to be doing everything better and achieving more success than you.  When everyone else seems to be like the Six Million Dollar Man – better, stronger, faster – it is time to take action, pick up the phone, write an e-mail, get in your car and visit a client or prospect, call a colleague, do something that creates potential and opportunity.

Taking action is the best medicine for those pessimistic ills.  Call qualified prospects – companies that you “know” are the best place to start.  Pick up the phone or get in your car and go.  Just taking action has a positive effect.

Don’t know any “qualified” prospects?  Call your existing customers and see if they have everything they need AND ask them if they know a colleague, client, or vendor who needs what you do or have!  If they do, act right then and follow up with a call AND your client’s permission to use their name to make contact.  Call your vendors and do the same thing – ask them for referrals.

Here is a caveat – don’t make this a one-way street.  Ask your colleagues, clients, and vendors what type of clients do they need?  Are they looking for certain products or services  you don’t provide but know a quality vendor who does?  Make the connection and build the positive relationships between you and your circle of business allies.

The best way to results is action.  The days you just want to hibernate in your office (or, even worse, stay in bed under the covers) are actually the best days for getting your momentum back.  Before you make your first phone call, mentally picture  most successful sale or “deal.”  This will get you in the right mind frame and put confidence in your voice and demeanor.

The only thing you have to lose by taking action is inertia.  By making calls and reaching out to business allies, you generate activity for the coming weeks.  Taking action creates opportunity and who knows, you may even get some business today!

If you aren’t in an active sales role, that doesn’t mean you can’t reach out or take action to make things happen.  For instance, you can sign up for an on-line training class, contact a peer in another organization, or any number of things to change your perspective.

Whatever your role, you can change your perspective by taking action.  The hardest step is getting started.  So here are ten suggestions on how to be prepared for those inevitable “down” days:

  1. Maintain a list of people you would like to meet – the “list” can simply be a file folder of articles or announcements that you clip from newspapers and magazines.
  2. Make it a practice or habit to stay aware of what is happening with your client’s businesses and identify contacts you have made who may be good prospects for them – again you can keep it simple by having a file for your notes or use your customer relationship management system to note potential connections.
  3. Establish a few solid colleagues (not in your company or organization) who you can call any time to get you back on track (remember to reciprocate and be there for them too!).
  4. Consider an executive (personal) coach who can act as a sounding board and help with your personal goals.
  5. Have a plan for your business which includes specific tactics and things to do each day and stick to the plan.  For example,
    1. Make five phone calls a day to current customers, vendors, prospects, or colleagues to stay in touch
    2. Send out 10 note cards a week to say thank you for your business (write the cards and address the envelopes by hand – make it “personal” by taking the time to write them instead of e-mail or typing a note)
    3. Go to at least one networking event per week AND make it a point to talk to people you DON’T know (especially those who are standing alone) and ask them about themselves – don’t try to sell, just get to know these people and see who they are wanting to meet – then make some introductions
  6. Build someone else’s confidence or business – this may sound like a waste of time and you may not see what is in it for you at first, but – when you focus on helping someone else you get your mind off of your issues and gain new perspective on where you are – getting new ideas AND they usually reciprocate – but don’t do it expecting them to reciprocate – it is good for you and your business in the long run whether  or not reciprocation occurs.
  7. Take time out – “mental health moments” – and re-energize your mind by going to a bookstore and browsing the business section or a magazine to see what others are doing.
  8. Take yourself out for coffee – going alone to any of the coffee shops which have wireless access (or not) creates an opportunity to meet other people hanging out there and doing business – keep your business cards handy – you never know when opportunity will strike!
  9. Start your own business group to get to know 5 to 10 people who share the same target market, but don’t compete with you…look for opportunities and ways to cross-market
  10. Take the day off – sometimes you just have to have a “mental health day”… take the family out, go walk the dog, hike, ride a bike, do something fun and active and get perspective…AND commit to a better day tomorrow.

Copyright ©2005 F.O.C.U.S. Resource, Inc.

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